Aircraft Type Index

WWW 2 Fighter Planes Index



Picture of Grumman F4F Wildcat WW2 Fighter

The Grumman F4F Wildcat first went in to battle with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm where the fighter served as the Martlet, it's first combat victory was on Christmas Day 1940 when a shore based British Fleet Air Arm Martlet patrolling the Grand fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow shot down a German Junkers Ju 88 bomber.

Grumman F4F Wildcat Fighter Plane


By the time the US entered WW2 the Grumman F4F Wildcat had become the standard carrier-based fighter of the United States Navy, consequently the Grumman F4F Wildcat was US fleet's primary air defence during the Battles of Coral Sea and Midway. The overall performance of the Grumman F4F Wildcat fighter was inferior to the Japanese fighters  it had to engage, especially the Mitsubishi Zero, however this was balanced by the Grumman F4F Wildcat's self sealing fuel tanks and armour plate which gave the fighter the ability to absorb high levels of enemy fire and still survive to fight another day.

Grumman Wildcat fighter production ceased in early 1943 to make way on the production lines for the new improved performance Grumman F6F Hellcat which along with the Chance Vought F4U Corsair were to replace the aging Grumman F4F Wildcat on the US Pacific carrier fleet.

Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat (Martlet) Specifications:

  • Crew: Pilot only
  • Length: 28 ft 9 in (8.8 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 0 in (11.6 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 2.5 in (2.8 m)
  • Wing area: 260 ft (24.2 m)
  • Max takeoff weight: 7,950 lb (3,610 kg)
  • Engines: Single 1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-86 double-row radial
  • Maximum speed: 320 mph (515 km/h)
  • Range: 770 miles (1,240 km)
  • Service ceiling: 39,500 ft (12,000 m)

Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat (Martlet)  Armament:

    • Six 0.5 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns
    • Two 100 lb (45 kg) bombs

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