Aero Detail 17 - Grumman F6F Hellcat
English/Japanese | 86 pages | 26MB | PDF
The F6F-5 now on display at the New England Air Museum was originally delivered to the Navy on April 3, 1945. During the next few months, the aircraft served with three stateside fighter squadrons and finally VBF-11 at NAAS Santa Rosa, CA, where it saw the end of the war. It's current markings are believed to be those in which it served with this unit in the summer of 1945. Following the war, this Hellcat was rotated among a number of units for nearly 11 years, accumulating 1,549 hours of flight time. In the mid-1950s, it was converted to the F6F-5K target drone configuration. Before it could meet a fiery end in this role, however, it was heavily damaged in a wheels-up landing at China Lake in 1956. It was placed in storage there, upside down in a cradle, until 1973. During those years, it was stripped of virtually all its internal equipment and some control surfaces.