The U.S. Navy F-6 Hellcat was a game changer for military operations. It was first introduced to combat in 1943, and immediately began turning the tide in Asian-Pacific battles as it was the perfect answer to the Japanese Zeros. Continued modification led to continued success, most notably when a night vision element was added that allowed the Hellcat to fight 24 hours a day.
The Hellcat’s success in the Asian-Pacific theater led to it being called upon to help in the European theater as well. The F-6 that will be appearing in Tucson has been painted in the colors of Cmdr. David McCampbell, USN, Air Group Commander of VF-19 on the USS Essex during WWII.
- Origin: Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation
- Type: Single-seat shipborne fighter – also fighter-bomber and night fighter
- Span: 42′ 10″ (13.05 meters)
- Length: 33′ 7″ (10.2 meters)
- Height: 13′ 1″ (3.99 meters)
- Empty: 9,042 lb (4,101 kg)
- Loaded: (clean) 12,186 lb (5,528 kg)
- Loaded (maximum) 14,250 lb (6,443 kg)
- Early production: one 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10
- Double Wasp two-row radial
- From Jan 1944: (final batch of F6F-3s) two-thirds had a 2,200 hp R-2800-10W (water-injection rating).
- Armament: 6 x 0.5 inch Browning machine-guns with 400 rounds per gun. (Some F6F-5 and F6F-5N Hellcats had 2 x 20 mm cannon plus 4 x 0.5 inch machine-guns) Under-wing attachments for six rockets Center-section pylons for up to 2,000 lb of bombs
- Maximum speed (clean): 376 mph
- Initial climb (typical): 3,240 feet per minute
- Service ceiling: 37,500 feet
- Range: 1,090 miles