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2019-11-09

BACKGROUND  NOTES

 
     
 

GRUMMAN  F4F Wildcat

 
     
  The story which did happen ... outside Atlantic Air Combat  
     
  See also : AAC Data Sheet
 
Illustrations :
 
 
Illustrations :
 

INTRODUCTION

The Grumman F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter which entered service in 1940 with both the U.S. Navy, and the Fleet Air Arm.  However outperformed in the Pacific by the faster, more maneuverable, and longer-ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero, the F4F's ruggedness coupled with better pilot's training resulted in a claimed air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 7:1 during the course of the war.  Superseded by other types, like the F6F Hellcat or fhe F4U Corsair, Wildcats nevertheless continued to be assembled throughout the war as it was well fitted to serve on the small escort carriers.

As mentioned, the Fleet Air Arm had ordered the type (even before the US Navy) and the Wildcats operated in the Atlantic, shooting down several Luftwaffe Fw200 Condor during convoy escort operations. In March 1945, FAA Wildcats shot down four Bf109s over Norway, the last FAA victories with the type.

At the end of the war, while the surviving Fleet Air Arm’s Wildcats were formally to be returned to the United States, most were dumped overboard to make room aboard carriers being used to repatriate prisoners of war back to their homes.

Strangely enough, while various WWII fighter types were exported after the war, this F4F wasn't, notwithanding its success, simplicity and low operating cost.

Historical

Op Role

QTY

Aircraft

Name

1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
3

9

4

4

5

8

11

1948 1949
3

9

4

4

5

8

11

4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
3

9

4

4

5

8

11

                           

Atlantic Air Combat™

Aircraft

Name

1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
3

9

4

4

5

8

11

                           
3

9

4

4

5

8

11

                           
3

9

4

4

5

8

11

                           

At the end of 1939, Grumman received a French order for 81 G-36A, to equip their new Joffre and Painlev้ aircraft carriers. The main difference with the basic G-36 was the engine : a nine-cylinder, single-row Wright R-1820-G205A radial engine of 1,200 hp with a single-stage two-speed supercharger.  The G-36A had French metric instruments, radio and gunsight, and French throttle where the lever was moved towards the pilot (i.e. backward) to increase engine power.  Armament was also different with six 7.5 mm Darne machine guns, two in the fuselage and four in the wings.

First flown in May 1940, all G-36A contracts were taken over by Britain, with their throttle modified back to standard, and four 50 cal guns installed in the wings and the nose guns removed.  The aircraft ordered by Belgium (10), and Greece (30) were also transferred to the Royal Navy.

Here is a quick summary of the Wildcat variants :.

 Variants Engine Power Fuel Guns External Load Carrying

Main

Reserve

Wings

Cowl Wings Outer   Central   Inner
 F4F2 (G18) R1830-66 1050hp

110.US

20.US

–

2ื.30 cal 2ื.50 cal

–

–

–

–
– – –
 F4F3 (G36A) R1820.60 1200hp

110.US

20.US

–

2ื7.5mm 4ื7.5mm

–

– – –
– – –
 F4F3 (G36) R1830.86 1200hp

117.US

27.US

–

–

4ื.50 cal

–

– – –
2ื250 lb

or

2ื58.US

 F4F3S R1830.86 1200hp

117.US

–

–

–

4ื.50 cal

–

– – –
– – –
 F4F4 R1830.86 1200hp

117.US

27.US

–

–

6ื.50 cal

–

–
2ื5" or 2ื110lb
–

2ื250 lb

or

2ื58.US

 F4F7 R1830.86 1200hp

117.US

–

568.US

–

–

–

– – –
– – –
 F4F8 (FM2) R1820.56 1350hp

126.US

–

–

–

4ื.50 cal – –
6ื5" or 2ื110lb
and

2ื250 lb

or

2ื58.US

 F4F8H10 R1821.82 1525.hp

126.US

–

–

–

4ื.50 cal 2ื110lb and
6ื5" or 6ื110lb
and

2ื250 lb

or

2ื58.US

 F4F9S15 R1821.82 1525.hp

117.US

–

568.US

2ื.50 cal

–

2ื110lb and
6ื5" or 6ื110lb

–

– – –

A handful of reconnaissance F4F7 were manufactured without wing folding mechanism and without guns to allow for a wet wing with 2100 litres of fuel giving the aircraft an incredible 5938km range or over 25 hours endurance !  In the context of AAC™, the same F4F7 wing is used for the seaplane.  However, in order to give this aircraft some punch, provision is made for 5" HVAR under the wing, and the cowl guns initially provided for the French G36A/F4F3 are "re-installed" perhaps  in .50 cal format..

Since theWildcat was not exported to any country after WW2, the type wasn't scheduled to be available.   Then, as the presence of the seaplance version is considered, the carrier version sort of came along.   The outer 110lb worth wing pylon, is fictional as the use of a 1,525 hp R1820.84C (Sikorsky S.58) or R1820.82WA (Grumman S-2 Tracker) engine, relabelled R1821.82 for AAC™ purposes.

There are no lack of background data available on the F4F but there isn't a clear view of specifics regarding weight and performances.  A source attempting at such a comparison has been used to assemble the below table, while the main table has been partly fed with aircraft specifications.  There is no pretense here to have done any better.
 Grumman XF4F-2 F4F-3
(G-36A)
F4F-3
(G-36)
F4F-3A
(F4F-6)
F4F-3S
(Floats)
F4F-4 F4F-5 F4F-7 FM-1
(F4F-4)
FM-2
(F4F-8)
 Built (1) 80 285 195 (1) 1389 F4F-5 21 1150 4777
 Engine R1830-66 R-1820-60 R1830-86 R1830-90 R1830-86 R1830-86 R-1820-40 R1830-86 R1830-86 R1820-56
 Power 1,050 hp 1,200 hp 1,200 hp 1,200 hp 1,200 hp 1,200 hp 1,200 hp 1,200 hp 1,200 hp 1,350 hp
 Guns/Nose 2ื30cal/300@ 2ื7.5mm/300@ // // // // // // // //
 Guns/Wings 2ื50cal/300@ 4ื7.5mm/300@ 4ื50cal/450@ 4ื50cal/450@ 4ื50cal/450@ 6ื50cal/240@ 6ื50cal/240@ // 4ื50cal/430@ 4ื50cal/430@
 Bombs 2ื100lb // 2ื100lb 2ื100lb // 2ื100lb 2ื100lb // 2ื100lb 2ื250lb
 Rockets // // // // // // // // // 6ืAR5"
 Length     8.78 m   8.78 m   8.78 m   8.78 m   9.09 m   9.09 m   9.09 m   9.09 m   9.09 m
 Span 10.36 m 11.58 m 11.58 m 11.58 m 11.58 m 11.58 m 11.58 m 11.58 m 11.58 m 11.58 m
 Span/Folded // // // // //   4.37 m   4.37 m //   4.37 m   4.37 m
 Height     3.58 m 3.61 m 3.58 m 3.58 m 3.58 m 3.58 m 3.58 m 3.58 m
 Empty     5,238 lb 5,216 lb 5,841 lb 5895 lb   5,456 lb 5,448 lb 5,895 lb
 MTOW     8,152 lb 8,026 lb   7,975 lb   10,328 lb 7,975 lb 8,271 lb
 Speed/Max 258 kn 259 kn 287 kn 271 kn   278 kn     278 kn 288 kn
 Ceiling   30,100 ft 37,500 ft 34,300 lft   34,900 ft     34,900 ft 34,700 ft
 Range     734 nmi 717 nmi   669 nmi     669 nmi 782 nmi
 Fuel/Std 130.US 130.US 147.US 147.US 117.US 144.US 144.US 685 US 144.US 126.US
 Fuel/Drop // // // //   2x58.US 2x58.US // 2x58.US 2x58.US
Aircraft.ID     (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
Aircraft.NAME     Wildcat Wildcat Wildcatfish Wildcat Wildcat Name Wildbat Wildbat
11 2 2 2 2 3 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7
AAC Category - - - - - - - - Fighter Fighter
Genre - - - - - - - - Vintage Vintage
Sub-Genre - - - - - - - - - Seaplane
Carrier.Capable YES/NO - YES YES NO YES YES YES YES NO
Launch=No.cat YES/NO - YES YES NO YES YES YES YES NO
Propulsion: Main - Piston Piston Piston Piston Piston Piston Piston Piston
Propulsion: Aux. - // // // // // // // //
Pressurized YES/NO - ?... ?... ?... ?... ?... ?... YES YES
DIMENSIONS (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
Length   -  8.76 m  8.76 m  8.76 m  8.76 m  8.76 m  8.80 m  8.80 m  8.80 m
Span   -  11.58 m  11.58 m  11.58 m  11.58 m  11.58 m  11.60 m  11.60 m  11.60 m
Height   -  2.81 m  2.81 m  2.81 m  2.81 m  2.81 m  2.81 m  2.81 m  2.81 m
EQUIPMENT (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
Avionics: Radar ID // // // // // // // //
Avionics: IRST ID // // // // // // // //
Avionics: Warn ID - - - - - - - -
Avionics: Sonobuoy ID // // // // // // - -
Engine-1:ID   ID WR.1820.60 PW.1830.86 PW.1830.86 PW.1830.86 PW.1830.86 WR.1820.56 R1821.82 R1821.82
Engine-1:Type   - Piston Piston Piston Piston Piston Piston Piston Piston
Engine-1:Nbr   - 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Engine-1:Pwr1 Military - 1000 hp 1200 hp 1200 hp 1200 hp 1200 hp 1350 hp 1525 hp 1525 hp
Engine-1:Pwr2 extra - - - - - - 1500 hp // //
Engine-1:Prop Diam - 9'09" 9'09" 9'09" 9'09" 9'09" 19'01" 19'01" 19'01"
Engine-1:SFC1 lbs/hr*hp Mass - - - - - - - -
Engine-1:SFC1 gal/hr*lbf Vol - - - - - - - -
Engine-1:SFC2 lbs/hr*hp Mass - - - - - - - -
Engine-1:SFC2 gal/hr*lbf Vol - - - - - - - -
FEATURES (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
Engine-1: Reverse - no no no no no no no no
IFR:boom Fixed - no no no no no no no no
IFR:boom Retract - no no no no no no no no
IFR:receptacle - - no no no no no no no no
IFR:receptacle Doors - no no no no no no no no
Air.Brakes - - no no no no no no no no
Flaps - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Landing.Gear - - Yes Yes no Yes Yes Yes Yes no
L-Gear retract Retract - Yes Yes no Yes Yes Yes Yes no
Arresting.Hook - - Yes Yes no Yes Yes Yes Yes no
Brake.Chute - - no no no no no no no no
Wingfold Powered - Yes Yes no Yes Yes Yes Yes no
Canopy Opening - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nav.Lights - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Extinguisers - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bomb/Cargo Doors - no no no no no no no no
Search.Light - - no no no no no no no no
Crew - Q 1   1   1   1   1   1   1   1  
Egress Pilot - Bail.Out Bail.Out Bail.Out Bail.Out Bail.Out Bail.Out Bail.Out Bail.Out
INTERNAL WEAPONS (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
Recce.Pack Inbuilt ื Q - // - // - // - // - Inbuilt - // - Inbuilt - Inbuilt
Guns:Fwd-1 - ื Q 6 AA52 4 ANM2 4 ANM2 6 ANM2 // // 4 ANM2 6 ANM2 2 AN1
FUEL:INTERNAL (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
Fuel:Internal Standard gal ___ US 144 US 117 US 144 US 685 US 117 US 263 gal 685 US
Fuel:Internal Standard gal 213 gal 120 gal 97 gal 120 gal 570 gal 97 gal 263 gal 570 gal
Fuel:External 2ื58 US gal ___ US 116 US // 116 US // 116 US 116 US ___ US
Fuel:External 2ื58 US gal ___ gal 96 gal // 96 gal // 96 gal 96 gal ___ gal
WEIGHTS & LOADS (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
Weight:Empty - - 4907 lb 5381 lb 5841 lb 5895 lb 5456 lb 5448 lb 5542 lb 5542 lb
Crew: 200 lb/@ - 1 200 lb 1 200 lb 1 200 lb 1 200 lb 1 200 lb 1 200 lb 1 200 lb 1 200 lb
Fuel:Int.AvGas galื7.20 - - 1534 lb - 1534 lb - 1534 lb - 1534 lb - 8395 lb - 1555 lb - 1894 lb - 8755 lb
Guns:Fwd-1 rpg - 300 180 lb 450 595 lb 450 595 lb 240 475 lb //  lb 430 568 lb 240 475 lb 300 60 lb
Sub-Total-1 Basic -  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb
EXTERNAL LOAD CAPACITIES (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
HVAR: R1 R3 R5 – Port -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb 3 420 lb 3 420 lb 3 420 lb
Pylons:W3:Wings Central Port -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb
Pylons:W1:Wings Inner Port -  lb 2 100 lb -  lb -  lb -  lb 2 250 lb -  lb -  lb
Pylons:W2:Wings Inner Stb -  lb 2 100 lb -  lb -  lb -  lb 2 250 lb -  lb -  lb
Pylons:W4:Wings Central Stb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb
HVAR: R2 R4 R6 – Stb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb -  lb 3 420 lb 3 420 lb 3 420 lb
Sub-Total-3 External   2750 lb 3000 lb 4400 lb 2750 lb 4400 lb 2750 lb 3000 lb 4400 lb
WEIGHTS & LOADS SUMS (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
Sub-Total-1 Basic -  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb
Sub-Total-2 Internal -  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb
Sub-Total-3 External -  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb
Weight:Total - -  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb  lb
Weight:MTOW - - 7423 lb 7423 lb 7423 lb 7958 lb 10328 lb 8762 lb 10328 lb 10328 lb
PERFORMANCES (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
Speed: Rotation F35ฐื1.1 knot .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn
Speed: Takeoff F35ฐื1.2 knot .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn
Speed: Max   knot 287.kn 287.kn 231.kn 278.kn 269.kn 288.kn 300.kn 300.kn
Speed: Cruise   knot .kn 150.kn 116.kn .kn 168.kn 170.kn .kn .kn
Speed: Approach F35ฐื1.4 knot .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn
Speed: Stall F00ฐ knot .kn .kn .kn 77.kn 85.kn 75.kn .kn .kn
Speed: Stall F15ฐ knot .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn
Speed: Land F35ฐ knot .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn
Speed: Stall F35ฐ knot .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn .kn
Climb.rate ft/min   2303.ft/min 2460.ft/min 2460.ft/min 1950.ft/min 1765.ft/min 3650.ft/min 2400.ft/min 2400.ft/min
Ceiling - ft .ft 36400.ft 33500.ft 34000.ft 26900.ft 34700.ft .ft .ft
TakeOff Run - m .m 225.m 762.m 257.m 408.m 182.m .m .m
Landing Run Brakes m .m .m .m .m .m .m .m .m
Landing Run Reverse m .m .m .m .m .m .m .m .m
Landing Run Chute m .m .m .m .m .m .m .m .m
Range: Fuel Internal nmi 734.nmi 816.nmi 521.nmi 721.nmi 3293.nmi 782.nmi 730.nmi 3200.nmi
Range: Fuel External nmi .nmi 1234.nmi .nmi 1108.nmi |     1469.nmi |     |    
Range:10,000lb Payload nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi |     .nmi |     |    
Range:14,000lb Payload nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi |     .nmi |     |    
Range:20,000lb Payload nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi |     .nmi |     |    
Range:28,000lb Payload nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi |     .nmi |     |    
Range: Max Load nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi .nmi 730.nmi 3200.nmi
      (G36A)  F4F3 (G36) F4F3 F4F3S (FM1)  F4F4 F4F7 (FM-2)  F4F8 FAF8H10 F4F9S15
      Wildcat Wildcat Wildcatfish Wildcat Wildcat Wildcat Wildbat Wildbat
 
 
___________