In the spring of , the Navy was looking to replace the Grumman F4F Wildcat in light of new developments in the field of aeronautics, and the worsening military situation both in Asia and in Europe. They were to have the Wright R engine, producing 1, horsepower, on the -1 and a turbo-charged Wright on the Up until the time of the first flights of the XF6F-1, very little reliable information was available on the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero other than through reports with encounters with the Zero.
It was fast, agile and shot down an alarming number of Allied aircraft.
Shortly after the first flight of the XF6F-1, a curious incident was occurring 2, miles 4, km away on a small island known as "Akutan" in the Aleutian chain which would have a devastating effect on the supremacy of the Zero. Dynamic static. The rapid change of pressure and drop in temperature create condensation.
Rotating with blades, the halo moves aft, giving depth and perspective. A Navy PBY , making a routine patrol, happened to pass over tiny Akutan Island and one of the observers aboard happened to notice a dark speck on the tundra below which appeared out of place. The pilot took the "Catalina" down to have a closer look.
The speck turned out to be a Japanese aircraft, and even though it was upside down, it was almost immediately identified as a Zero. The radioman sent the coordinates and within hours a Navy recovery team was on the way to investigate. On arrival, the recovery team found the dead pilot, Flight Petty Officer Tadayoshi Koga still hanging in his seat harness.
Koga had had engine problems and tried to land the plane on the flat tundra of the small island with the wheels down. The wheels dug in and flipped the Zero on its back, snapping F. The Zero was almost undamaged, even the engine looked to be in good shape aside from a broken oil line. The Zero was dismantled and shipped directly to the Grumman Aircraft factory in California where it was reassembled and flown. The information gleaned from this fortunate confirmed the increase in power on the Hellcat.
It was found that the XF6F-1 would have been marginally slower than the Zero if it was powered with the Wright R The old version saying the engine was upgraded, because of the Akutan Zero, has been declared a myth. The Akutan Zero did provide very important intelligence on its performance and this information was used to make improvements on the F4F Wildcat , but only so much could be done, because Wildcat production was in full swing at this time.
But some of the intelligence was used for the Hellcat, which was just about to enter production. However, some historians feel that the Akutan Zero that the Akutan Zero had nothing to do with the development of the Hellcat since it flew only two weeks before the first flight of the F6F-3 production version, in October With certainty the following can be said:.
The decision to change the XF6F-2 Wright engine for the R was 23 days before the first flight of the XF6F-1, and this was more than a month before the Akutan Zero was even sighted. Although the Akutan Zero did not fly until September, some intelligence had to be divulged to Grumman before the first flight of the XF6F The Akutan Zero may not have figured into the selection of engines, but the information certainly would have aided in the design of the production version F6F In terms of size, the Hellcat was the second largest single engine fighter of the war, being ever-so-slightly smaller than the P "Thunderbolt".
At first glance, the F6F appeared too big to operate safely from a carrier. But The Grumman Iron Works had a great deal of expertise in building carrier aircraft. The empty airfields were assaulted with unspecified results. Afterwards the planes returned to their mother ship. That disappointment would be in some respects made up for next day, over Formosa now Taiwan.
The fighters loaded with bombs and missiles.
Unfortunately they were surrounded by a ring of efficient AA defenses. The wall of flak soon brought down its first victim — the victor from two days earlier, Ens. The wingtip of the plane caught up with the ground. Tumbling and exploding.
The Grumman F6F Hellcat is an American carrier-based fighter aircraft of World War II. Designed to replace the earlier F4F Wildcat and to counter the Japanese. Grumman F6F Hellcat adalah sebuah pesawat tempur sayap rendah (low wing) yang dioperasikan di atas kapal induk yang dibangunkan untuk mengantikan.
Burying the pilot in the wreckage. Meanwhile a taking off Japanese fighter formation passed right next to the ball of fire. Spitting fire from all of its machine guns, an F6F shot down one of the enemy planes just as it took off. The undercarriage dropped under the bullet-torn plane.
Another green-and-silver Oscar and a similarly-colored Ki Tony managed to climb into the air. Not for long. Quickly throttling back, the pilot located his Hellcat just behind the Japanese. From such a perfect position he began firing one short burst after another. After shedding a considerable amount of parts, the Ki left behind one of its horizontal stabilizers.
Many airplanes and pilots lived to fight another day because LeRoy Grumman had a firm rule that the airplane should have no vices whatsoever in the carrier environment and should be able to be flown, and fixed, by any one. When the numbers were tallied up, an incredible 12, plus Hellcats were built and they downed more Japanese aircraft than any US fighter in the war with a kill ratio. It did it well. And it did it while providing as much safety as a combat fighter pilot could reasonably expect from his mount. Great article on the F6F Hellcat!
As a kid during WWII,was always flying fighter models and fighting all kinds of air battles. But unfortunately I never had a chance to fly it. But I always wanted to see what an F6F felt like. Your article helped a bit. Your email address will not be published. Profile Data. In an effort to better serve you, our reader, and ensure a rich and relevant experience please help us by completing this Flight Journal interest profile.
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