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Grumman Wildcat

Grumman Wildcat

The first of Grumman’s “Cats” and their first monoplane began life on the drawing board in 1935. It was the U.S. Navy’s sole carrier-based fighter at the start of World War II. A contemporary of the Japanese Zero, its performance was inferior in many respects, yet the F4F held its own because of superior armament, rugged construction and well-trained pilots.

The F4F-4 Wildcat entered service at the beginning of World War II, and was the Navy’s frontline carrier-based fighter aircraft by the time of the Battle of Midway in June of 1942. Grumman’s design for the F4F-4 evolved in several stages over the course of seven years. It was initially conceived as a biplane in 1935 for the Navy, the XF4F-1, but Grumman lost the contract to a monoplane design by Brewster. Not to be outdone, Grumman redesigned the biplane into a monoplane, the XF4F-2, yet the design was considered underpowered. Finally, with the addition of a more powerful supercharged Pratt and Whitney 1830 Twin Wasp engine, Grumman was awarded a Navy contract. This was the F4F-3 which was also produced for France and Britain, where it went by the designation “Martlet.”




Proceeds from the air show benefit these three museums in Colorado Springs that are dedicated to the education of future generations through the preservation of our nation’s military heritage.

Important Info:

U.S. Army’s A/DACG
7250 Getting Heights
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80916

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