Hellcat Vs The Zero

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Hellcatgirl5785, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. Hellcatgirl5785

    Hellcatgirl5785 New Member

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    Which aircraft did you prefer personally as you can probably tell by my user name I perfered the Grumen F6F Hellcat which was an update of the F4F Wildcat and killed the most Zero's of the war
     
  2. twoeagles

    twoeagles Member

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    Leroy Grumman would probably forgive your misspelling his name, Hellcatgirl.
    As for aircraft choice, in a real fight it's the big 'Cat. But if I could own
    either one today, it would be an original A6M2 with Sakae engine - so
    very rare. My Dad, an old F6F pilot in WW2 would understand. He always
    wanted to fly a Zero himself.
     
  3. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    unless the F6F pilot's stupid enough to get into a slow turning fight it has to be the F6F...........
     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Agreed.
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Heard flying the Wildcat was like driving a sports car while flying the Hellcat was like driving a station wagon. Comfortable, predictable. Works for me.
     
  6. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Ditto
     
  7. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Zero isn't made for pilots of any height. At least that is what I've read. Figure if you are in the range of 5'5", you'll be ok. But 5'9"+ and it'll get tight fast. Small cockpit.
     
  8. twoeagles

    twoeagles Member

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    Yes - that has been a problem for me - I was probably as big as one could be
    and still fly the A-4. I am 6-1 and 220 pounds, so I would have to fly
    the A6M with the canopy open!!! Oh Lord you know I would love to.
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    You and I are the same size. Them thar little birds aren't made for us. We'd look like Shaq in a Toyota. Head sticking out the sunroof!
     
  10. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    that being said the Japaneese were/are far smaller than westerners so to them 5"8's quite large.......
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    About the Zero cockpit being too small, all you have to do is modify it with a lower, adjustable seat. The Planes of Fame Museum HAS one (with the original Sakae engine), and it is flyable by tall pilots because it was refit for taller pilots.

    The Hellcat is, by far, the best fighter ever used against the A6M series and it decimated the Zero. Still, if an experienced piolot were in the cockpit of the Zero, it was dangerous to ANY opponent right up to the war's end.

    By the end of 1943, Japan had lost a LOT of senior pilots and the Zeros were being flown by green trainees. If the U.S.A. had experienced the same thing, WE would have experienced a LOT of missing F6F's.

    I'd say the war went our way, but NOT overly due the Zero being a poor fighter. It was more that Japan bit off more than it could keep against a LARGE, PISSED-OFF war machine. People tend to get angry when suddenly attacked without warning or provocation. THAT went a LONG way toward explaining away what happened in the Pacific Theater.
     
  12. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The Hellcat didnt start scoring big time untill middle 1944 when the carrier task forces began roaming the Pacific at will.

    While the Hellcat had tremendous success through out the time it was introduced into combat untill the that time, there really were no big time battles it flew in, and even then, they were few between.

    Throughout 1943, the majority of the Japanese naval pilots that were shot down, were thrown away in the SW Pacific (New Guinie and Solomons) to Corsair's, P40's and P38's.
     
  13. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The first action Hellcats were involved with was on Aug. 28, 1943. VF 43 escorted bombers from Guadalcanal. The Hellcats are later based at Munda and in 3 weeks claim 21 Zeros shot down for the loss of 4 F6F-3s. Hellcats are credited with 5156 enemy airplanes downed in the Pacific. The British Hellcats in the Pacific add a further 47 aircraft destroyed. Hellcats in Europe claim 13 enemy AC. The total is 5216 in two years. Appox. 270 Hellcats are lost ACM. Ratio is 19:1.
     
  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    And between May 1942 and Aug 1943, it was USN pilots in Wildcats and later Corsairs that shot down the cream of the IJN fighter corps. And that doesnt include the USAAF P38's and P40's doing their part at Guadalcanal and New Guinie.
     
  15. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Of course, you are right on. What you just pointed out is the reason I would place Joe Foss up near the top in ww2 fighter pilots. All of his kills were in the F4F-4 and they were while many of the top IJN pilots were still around. In addition the living conditions and maintenance of aircraft on Guadalcanal left a lot to be desired. He was a great pilot and marksman and he knew how to get the most out of the aircraft he flew.
     
  16. rousseau

    rousseau Member

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    I am sure one point that Mitsubishi A6M must be suprior than Hellcat, is the range longer aproxi to 300km. I still don't know why Zero take such long range than most of US fighter aeroplane.
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The Zero had a 300 mile advantage in range. It was built lighter. In the end it's advantage in range didn't matter...
     
  18. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I'll take survivability over range any day.
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    And the Zero's poor handling charachteristics above 300 mph hampered the pilot.

    Not to mention two 7mm MG's and two underpowered cannons wasnt going to hurt the Hellcat that much unless the Zero was up real close.
     
  20. rousseau

    rousseau Member

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    The 300 miles is combat radius I am afraid but still is small deviation. I checked some detail, most of them denoted Mitsubishi Zero has almost over 2000km range.
     
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