From January to April of 1944 all serial F6F-3 HELLCAT was equipped with uprated Pratt and Whitney R-2800-10W with water injection system that allowed short-term increase engine thrust to 2231 HP Edition F6F-3 concluded on 21 April 1944, after the release of 4401 serial instance.
In early 1941, work began on the creation of radar stations (RLS) for single-seat fighters. The most successful radar AN/APS-6 was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of technology. As shown by calculations of the aerodynamicists, the installation of such radar “eat” up to 32 km/hour speed of the aircraft. But the range of detection of air targets increased up to 7.2—8 km.
Trial installation of the radar AN/APS-6 on the XF6F-3N was completed in July 1943. After completion of the test aircraft under the designation of the F6F-3N was launched into serial production. All night fighter HELLCAT was additionally equipped with a radio altimeter AN/APN-1, system of identification “friend or foe” AN/APX-1 and the landing spotlight. In all there were 205 instances of the F6F-3N.
The night fighter variant of the F6F-3E, issued in the amount of 18 units, equipped with radar AN/APS-4, which had a wider search range in azimuth, but shorter range. The antenna for such a radar was placed in the container is a teardrop shape and hung under the right wing.
Reconnaissance modification of F6F-3P was designed for photo-reconnaissance from high altitudes. The camera gave the ability to perform panorama shooting in horizontal flight while maintaining a fixed altitude and airspeed.
The first production instance of the aircraft F6F-5 flew on 4 April 1944. On a new modification of the fighter HELLCAT mounted engines R-2800-10W. Was strengthened book — lots of additional armor plates has reached 110 kg. in addition, further reinforced the aft fuselage, under the wing set the standard bomb racks and rails for rockets. Some of the later series aircraft wing, in place of the internal machine guns were two 20-mm cannon. From June 1944, all production copies could be installed gondola with the radar on the right wing and the Central panel of the dashboard screen display of radar data.
Production of the F6F-5 was discontinued in November 1945, thus completing the story of serial production of the aircraft HELLCAT. All collected instances 7870 F6F-5.
The total number of issued F6F-5 1529 copies accounted for the modification of the F6F-5N (including F6F-5E). Night F6F-5N was equipped with radar AN/APS-6 antenna on the right wing.
Aircraft F6F-5E was a night fighter variant with radar AN/APS-4 placed in the container under the right wing.
In turn, the F6F-5P was a standard F6F-5 equipped with camera to conduct photo-reconnaissance. Some F6F-5P had no machine gun armament was removed to increase the ceiling of the flight.
The first Department that received 16 January 1943 into service F6F-3 HELLCAT, the squadron became VF-9, based on the aircraft carrier “Essex”. New aircraft on 31 August for the first time took part in the fighting around the Islands, Marcus. The first of September near the island backer pilots F6F-3 from the structure of VF-24 from the aircraft carrier “Linen wood” and VF-23 USS Princeton was hit by three Japanese four-engine flying boat Kawanishi Н8К.
A great victory aircraft pilots HELLCAT won while performing the attack on the enemy fleet in the area Kwajalein and airfield on the island Roy on 4 December 1943. On this day a group of HELLCAT in part 91 aircraft destroyed 28 of 50 Japanese Zero, rising to meet them. Their losses amounted to only three machines. By the end of 1943, the HELLCAT became the main us carrier fighter of ports in the Pacific.
Combat check night fighter F6F-3N was held in February 1944. One of the F6F-3N squadron VF(N)-76 from the aircraft carrier “Yorktown” was hit by Japanese bomber Nakajima B5NI, carrying out the attack on the aircraft carrier “Intrepid”.
Aircraft modifications F6F-5 and F6F-5N started to arrive in combat units in the late summer of 1944. From February 1945, the HELLCAT fighters were in service with four squadrons of aircraft of the U.S. marine corps, stationed on escort aircraft carriers.
His last air combat in world war II HELLCAT fighter held on August 15, 1945. On this day, six planes of the squadron VF-88 from the aircraft carrier “Yorktown” intercepted nine enemy, losing four of their own.
In the war machines F6F was armed with 69 fighter squadrons (ten of them a night), seven squadrons of fighter-bombers and six Marines. On battle account carrier-based F6F — 4947 shot down in aerial combat enemy aircraft. Another 209 enemy machines shot down a HELLCAT fighters land-based. It was built 12 275 F6F aircraft of various modifications.
During the war in Korea, the unmanned F6F-5K with a suspended beneath the fuselage 908-kg bombs were used to attack targets, which had an effective air defense system. In August 1952 F6F-5K destroyed several railroad bridges in the area Chungnam. In flight, they were driven aboard carrier-based Skyraider attack aircraft.
CARRIER-BASED FIGHTER F6F HELLCAT
It was a single-seat, single-engine low with retractable landing gear designed for carrier operations.
The fuselage of the aircraft aluminum, semi-monocoque, oval in cross-section shape. The fuselage was molded out of smooth leaves, was connected to a power set with rivets. In front of the dashboard and pilot seat were installed armor plate.
The wing is all-metal, trapezoidal shape. His force consisted of two main and one rear spars and ribs. Dural spars, stamped. Cladding made from sheet duralumin.
The wing had a center section and two consoles, which evolved along the fuselage. The ailerons are trimmed with canvas. Trimmer left Aileron could deflect a pilot, trimmer right drive had. Flaps were divided into four sections: two on the center and one on the left and right consoles. The power range of the flaps consisted of ribs and stringers. Trim — dural. All sections were simultaneously issued and retracted by hydraulic cylinders. This was controlled electrically or manually. Automatic release of the flaps occurred at speeds less than 315 km/h and cleaning in excess of this speed.
Tail unit all-metal construction. The power range of the keel — two spar and seven ribs. Trim — dural. The rudder, built from duralumin ribs and stringers and covered with canvas, was equipped with a trimmer. Stabilizer dural structures consisting of two halves, had a symmetrical profile and has been mounted under an angle of +4.5 degrees to the axis of rotation of the propeller plane. The design of each blade of the stabilizer 14 include ribs and stringers. Trim — dural. Elevators going from 13 ribs and stringers and trimmed with canvas. The elevators were located-driven trimmers.
Glazing of the cockpit is a fixed hood with front armoured glass and the movable part of the lamp made of Plexiglas. Open the lantern, moving back, during the rotation of the pilot lever on the starboard side of the cabin. There was also an emergency reset of the lamp. The cockpit glazing is supplied with de-icing system, which includes an alcohol reservoir and a cylinder of compressed air. System management manual. The dashboard consisted of a Central and two side panels. Located on the Central flight and navigational instruments and control devices operating parameters of the engine.
CARRIER-BASED FIGHTER GRUMMAN F6F HELLCAT
Control system — with classic handle and pedals. On the handle was located the trigger of the machine guns, dropping bombs and launching missiles. The plane was equipped with autopilot GR-1.
The power plant consisted of 18-cylinder air-cooled engine Pratt and Whitney R-2800-10W starting capacity of 2028 HP engine Axle was rejected down from the axis of the aircraft three degrees. Motor mount was attached to the armored power frames. Before the frame was located PROTEK-based oil tank. The engine has closed dural quick release hood. At the top of the hood was a sash to adjust the cooling of the engine.
The fuel system includes two main fuel tank for 331 l in the center section and the reserve tank capacity 284 l under the cockpit. In addition, under the fuselage could be suspended a fuel tank capacity of 568 L. also on wing pylons could fix two tank for 379 L.
The oil system consisted of a tank with a capacity of 79.5 liters, pump, two return pumps, oil cooler and electric control system oil temperature.
Radio TR1196 or SCR522A working in the ranges of short and ultrashort waves, installed in the radio compartment behind the cockpit.
Takeoff and landing gear is a tricycle landing gear with a tail wheel and landing GAK. Cleaning and release of the main landing was carried out by hydraulic cylinders. Alarm system of the landing gear is pneumatic. Depreciation racks oil.
Brake main wheel — hydraulic. Cleaning and release of the brake hook — hydraulically.
The primary armament of the aircraft to six wing-mounted 12.7-mm machine guns with ammunition 200 rounds each. When installed in the wing, two 20mm cannons, the ammunition was 250 rounds per gun. To report attacks on the left wing was mounted shot-method. Under each wing console, if necessary, installed launcher guides for NUR caliber 127 mm or 298 mm. in addition, the plane could take up to three bombs of 454 kg each.
N. Food reserve was, A. CHECHIN, Kharkov