Grumman Hellcat F6F-3 – G-RUMW
Manufacturer:GRUMMAN AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING CORPORATION
Engines: 1 x PRATT & WHITNEY R-2800-75
Propeller: HAMILTON STANDARD 23E50-473
|The Grumman F6F Hellcat design was greatly influenced by feedback from squadrons flying her
direct ancestor, the F4F Wildcat, in the Pacific Theatre as well as input from studying European
Theatre air combat reports. The Hellcat was ordered by the US Navy in June 1941, and less than a
year later the prototype XF6F-1 flew. During prototype flight trials it was realised that a more<
powerful engine would give the Hellcat an edge in combat and so she was mated with a 2000hp
Pratt & Whitney R2800-10 and subsequently re-designated the F6F-3. It was in this guise that she
made her combat debut in August 1943.The Hellcat must be considered one of the best carrier-borne aircraft of all time, with outstanding
performance at any altitude. The type made its presence known by accounting for 75% of all US
Naval aerial victories securing air supremacy across the Pacific Theatre. The Hellcat also holds the
distinction of destroying more enemy aircraft, over 5000, than any other Allied aircraft. In addition
to her US Naval service, the Hellcat also served with the US Marine Corps in the Pacific and with the British Fleet Air Arm in Europe where she was initially known as the Grumman Gannet Mk.I before reverting back to her American name in early 1943.
The Fighter Collection’s Hellcat is the only example flying outside of America and is presented in the
The Hellcat was then acquired by collector Earl Rienhart and displayed as part of his Victory Air
The Fighter Collection contacted Alex Vraciu, who confirmed its war record, provided details of her colour scheme and even lent owner, Stephen Grey, his original flying gloves for his first flight in the recently completed Hellcat. Alex was even able to reacquaint himself with his old mount when he travelled to Duxford.
Since her arrival our Hellcat has been a popular performer appearing at many airshows across Europe demonstrating the type’s amazing performance which made such an impact across the Pacific Theatre during World War Two.