Air Power Series>1:32 die-cast display model>F6F>HA0302

Grumman F6F-3 "Hellcat" White 19 of VF-6, flown by Alex Vraciu, USS Intrepid, Feb 1944
General Background
The F6F Hellcat was basically designed as the "Zero Killer". It could fly about an average 55 mph faster than the Zero and it was heavier and more powerful than the Zero. The Hellcat also had the highest kill ratio of any American fighter plane during WWII (19 to1). US Navy pilots referred the Hellcat as the "Aluminum Tank".

The Aircraft
Alexander Vraciu started flight training in late 1941 and earned wings in August 1942. Assigned to VF-3, he downed his first aircraft in October 1943. June 20, 1944 brought his nineteenth and final kill. Alex also destroyed 21 aircraft on the ground and one merchant ship. Known as "Grumman's Best Customer" he survived two carriers being torpedoed, ditched twice and two parachute jumps. He was shot down in December 1944 and returned to the US where he remained as a test pilot. Post war, he commanded VF-51.
Specifications :
Total production : F6F-3 (4,403), F6F-5 (7,870)
Powerplant : Single 2,000-horsepower 18-cylinder, Pratt and Whitney R-2800-10W air cooled radial engine
Climb rate to 14,000 ft. : 6 minutes 42 seconds
Armament : six .50-caliber M2 Browning machine guns a 2,000 lb. bomb load, or six 5-inch rockets
Wingspan : 42 ft. 10 in. (13.1 m)
Length : 33 ft., 7 in. (10.2 m)
Height : 13 ft., 1 in. (4.0 m)
Weight : 9,238 lb. empty
Maximum speed : 380 mph at 23,400 ft.
Ceiling : 37,300 ft.
Range : 945 miles