The F6 Hellcat was designed by Grumman to replace the F-4 Wildcat fighter in WWII. Design began in 1941, they were built in direct response to the Japanese Zero in Pacific theater as the Wildcat was not able to compete well. The F6 Hellcat could unleash a rain of bullets onto it’s target with six .50 caliber wing mounted guns. They could also bring pilots back in aircraft that were heavily damaged by the fury of the Japanese naval aviators. These aircraft were extremely important in helping to win the naval and air battles that occurred in the Pacific theater. One of these battles was the Marianas Turkey Shoot in which U.S. Navy Ace David McCampbell had 7 confirmed kills and 2 probable kills.
A night model, the F6F-5N and then F6F-3N, had APS-6 radar mounted near the tip of the starboard wing.
Wingspan: 42 feet 10 inches
Length: 33 feet 10 inches
Height: 14 feet 5 inches
Wing Area: 334 sq feet
Empty Weight: 9,060 lbs
Normal Gross Weight: 12,598 lbs
Maximum Gross Weight: 15,413 lbs
Maximum Airspeed: 380 mph @ 34,400 ft
Cruise Speed: 200 mph
Landing Speed: 88 mph
Service Ceiling: 37,300 feet
Combat Range: 945 miles
Maximum Range: 1530 miles
Powerplant: one Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W dubbed the “Double Wasp” Air cooled radial
Horsepower: 2,000 hp @ sea level, 1,975 @ 16,900 feet
Armament: Six .50 caliber Browning M-2 machine guns with 2,400 rounds of ammunition, Later Models could substitute two 20 mm guns in place of the tow inboard .50 caliber guns
Transitional Man would like to add that the F6 Hellcat "was the first fighter Japanese pilots admitted could out turn the Zero." Thanks Transitional Man!!!