When Grumman Aircraft began producing the F6F Hellcat, other Grumman aircraft then being produced had to be manufactured by other companies. The F4F Wildcat and the Avenger torpedo bomber were examples of this, and both types were manufactured under license by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors. The General Motor's Wildcat was given the designation FM-1, with the only difference being that the armament was changed from six .50 caliber machine guns to four, with an increase in ammunition capacity of 20%. During 1943 some 1,127 FM-1s were built, and simultaneously General Motors began working on an improved version designated the FM-2. The FM-2 differed from the FM-1 in that it had a more powerful engine, a taller fin and rudder, and various changes in airframe weight. The latter change was made to allow the FM-2 to operate from the small escort carriers, and the aircraft was developed to have the best possible take-off performance. In fact, later model FM-2s were given a water-injection system to help boost short-term engine output. By the time production was terminated in August 1945, 4,777 FM-2s had been produced.
For more data and photos on this aircraft, click here for the Naval Historical Center webpage.
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)
General Motors FM-2 Wildcat
Type: single-seat carrier-based fighter Crew: 1 Armament: four .50 inch machine guns optional 2 250 lb. bombs or six 5" rockets Specifications: Length: 28' 10.75" (8.81 m) Height: 9' 11" (3.02 m) Wingspan: 38' 0" (11.58 m) Wing area: 260 sq. ft (24.15 sq. m) Empty Weight: 5448 lb (2471 kg) Max Weight: 8271 lb (3752 kg) max at takeoff Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Wright R-1820-56 Cyclone 9 radial Horsepower: 1350 hp Performance: Range: 900 miles (1448 km) Cruise Speed: 164 mph ( 264 km/h) Max Speed: 332 mph ( 534 km/h) at 28,800 ft Ceiling: 34,700 ft (10,575 m)
(go to General Motors page)
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