Grumman F4F Wildcat
The Grumman F4F Wildcat was initially conceived of as a biplane, hence its oversized fuselage design.
The Wildcat was an American carrier-based single seat fighter aircraft that began service in 1940. First
used in combat by the British in Europe, the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the
United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during the early part of World War II.
With a top speed of 318 mph the Wildcat was outperformed by the faster 331 mph more maneuverable,
and longer ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero. But the F4F's ruggedness, coupled with it's ability to absorb
battle damage resulted in an air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 7 to 1. In every combat area, the Grumman
F4F Wildcat had metamorphosed from underdog to champion, covering itself with glory and its pilots
with medals, in hard-fought battles over Wake Island, Guadalcanal, the Battle of Midway, the Solomon
Islands, the Corral Sea and elsewhere across the Pacific. Although nearly 8,000 Wildcats were built less
than 20 remain in airworthy condition today.
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