Top 7 WWII Ally War Planes: Number 5

Image result for grumman f6f hellcat

Number 5 on my list of WWII Ally fighter planes is a carrier based beast, the Grumman F6F Hellcat. This bird helped the US Navy dominate the skies in the Pacific theater. 

The Hellcat was a carried based plane that replaced the older and slower F4F Wildcat in 1941. It was a powerful plane and became the naval choice over the F4U Corsair because it was proven to be better at taking off and landing on carries compared to the Corsair. The Corsair later became the primary weapon for land based missions for the Marines (wink wink, more on this plane later in the series).

What made the Hellcat so great was first was its powerful Pratt-Whitney R-2800 engine that gave it tremendous power, allowing it to deal with adverse weather conditions across the Pacific and take off from the carriers that were the heart of the US advance against the Japanese in WWII. Over 12,275 planes were built and they were one of the main reasons the carriers were able to clear the skies of the Japanese Zero planes and establish air dominance.

The Hellcat had a range of 820 miles during combat and a top speed of 330 MPH and a ceiling of 37,000 feet. This tough bird could go far, high, and hit with force. It was armed with 6 x .50 M2 Browning machine guns, 3 on each wing with 400 rounds per gun and it also carried with 2 x .79 (20 mm) AN/M2 cannons that could pack a punch, both against opposing planes and ships that were tasked with taking down. They would also be armed with rockets, bombs, and torpedoes that were designed to take down opposing ships. These birds allowed the Allies to beat back the Japanese fleet, leading the way to island invasions and helped them win this war. It was a versatile, reliable plane, that was a major key to winning the entire war.

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