Dragon DRW50240 USN Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat Fighter - Commander James Flatley, "White 00" CVAG-5 USS Yorktown (CV-10), May 1943 (1:72 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
The F6F embodied the early lessons learned by users of Grumman's previous fleet-defense fighter, the Wildcat. In June 1941, Grumman lowered the wing center section to enable the undercarriage to be wider splayed, fitting more armor-plating around the cockpit to protect the pilot while also increasing the fighter's ammunition capacity. When the prototype made its first flight, it was realized that a more powerful engine was needed to give the fighter a combat edge. A Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10 engine was installed for added power.
The aircraft made its combat debut in August 1943, and from that point on, the question of aerial supremacy in the Pacific was never in doubt. Hellcats served aboard most of the US Navy's fleet carriers, being credited with the destruction of 4,947 aircraft up to V-J Day. The Fleet Air Arm was also a great believer in the Hellcat, procuring almost 1,200 planes between 1943-45. The Hellcat saw only limited service in the post-war years, being replaced by the more powerful F9F Bearcat. Of the nine F6Fs believed to be airworthy today, seven are based in the USA and two are located in the UK.
This particular 1:72 scale aircraft was flown by Commander James Flatley of CVAG-5, embarked upon the USS Yorktown during May 1943. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: July 2007
Historical Account: "Reaper Leader" - James H. 'Jimmy' Flatley had a distinguished U.S. Navy career, later rising to the rank of Vice Admiral, after being a pilot during WWII. He formed VF-10 'Grim Reapers' where he was known as the 'Reaper Leader' He had a tour aboard the USS Yorktown (CV-10) in 1943, where he was Commander Air Group Five (CAG-5). It was at this time he helped introduce the Grumman F6F Hellcat to combat in August 1943.