|Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat|
|Pilot's notes||Simple, rugged, and deadly, yet easy to fly, the Hellcat was another product of the “Grumman Iron Works.”
It was a larger, heavier, faster, and more powerful refinement of Grumman's F4F Wildcat, and the first American fighter to exceed the performance of the Mitsubishi Zero.
Its immense 18-cylinder, 2,000 horsepower radial engine gave it the power to dictate the terms of engagement. Its speed, maneuverability, high-altitude capability, and typical Grumman toughness made it a winner against all comers.
The 12,000+ Hellcats produced accounted for three-fourths of all U.S. Navy air-to-air kills. Its combination of performance and survivability put the Hellcat in the top rank of American fighters in the Pacific theater, along with the Vought Corsair.
|Combat||The Hellcat combines strength and power with agility.
At 20,000 or 25,000 feet the Hellcat can out-maneuver Zeros and Hayabusas, but below 20,000 it remains very dangerous to dogfight against them.
The Hellcat is far from the fastest U.S. fighter, but it’s faster than the Zero. Use the power of its 2,000 hp engine to keep combat in the zone where your plane performs best.
The Grumman is well-armored, very tough, and has heavy firepower. Use these advantages to bore in on the attack. If attacked, turn in to the enemy and use your firepower for a devastating head-on attack.
Stick together; team tactics are still excellent insurance for Hellcat pilots. Don’t assume that you can count on the F6F to keep you safe if you go off on your own, especially against late-model Japanese fighters like the Shiden.