Grumman F4F Wildcat

F4F picture Wildcat picture
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This stubby but rugged little plane was the main fighter for the U.S. Navy during the hard-fought first year of the war. It saw action at the Coral Sea, Midway, and the Solomons Campaign. Despite claims that it was no match for the Zero, it more than held its own, due to its solid construction and the quality of the pilots that flew her. While it was replaced by the F6F Hellcat in most Navy fighter squadrons during 1943, the Wildcat continued to be used from jeep carriers until the war's end. The Wildcat was also built by General Motors (Eastern Aircraft Division), and this version was known as the FM-2 Wildcat.

For more data and photos on this aircraft, click here for the Naval Historical Center webpage.
For additional data and history on the F4F, click here for Jack McKillop's article on

For more photos of this aircraft, visit my Naval Air War In the Pacific website,
and my Air War over Guadalcanal website.
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)

To see books about this aircraft on, click here.

Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat

Type:           Fighter
Crew:           1, Pilot
Armament:       six .50 cal machine guns

        Length:         28' 11.5" (8.83 m)
        Height:         11' 9" (3.58 m)
        Wingspan:       38' (11.58 m)
        Wing area:      259.97 sq. ft (24.15 sq. m)
        Empty Weight:   5895 lb (2673 kg)
        Gross Weight:   7973 lb (3616 kg)
        Max Weight:     7975 lb (3616 kg)

        No. of Engines: 1
        Powerplant:     Pratt & Whitney R-1830-36 Twin Wasp
        Horsepower:     1200 hp

        Range:          770 miles (1239 km)
        Cruise Speed:   155 mph (249 km/h)
        Max Speed:      318 mph (512 km/h)
        Climb:          1950 ft/min (594.33 m/min)
        Ceiling:        34800 ft (10607 m)


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