Monday, October 3News That Matters
Shadow

Tag: f6f

The case for the Grumman F6F Hellcat being the greatest fighter of the Second World War

The case for the Grumman F6F Hellcat being the greatest fighter of the Second World War

Warplanes
The best fighter of the Second World War started life as an insurance policy. In late 1940 Grumman was asked to develop an upgrade of the F4-F Wildcat with a 1600hp Twin Cyclone engine as an interim measure due to ‘issues’ with Vought’s XF4U-1 that would require considerable work to resolve. Instead, Bob Hall proposed a new design using knowledge gained from talking to pilots who had fought in the Battle of Britain. This would become the F6F Hellcat, or Gannet if you’re in the niche of Fleet Air Arm pilots to fly it before the beginning of 1944 when sanity prevailed. The USN gave approval for work to start on 30 June 1941, the first prototype flew just under a year later with a 1600hp Wright Cyclone, the first aircraft equipped with a 2000hp Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp flew a mon...