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Grumman F4F Wildcat


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Grumman F4F Wildcat: Slightly outclassed it's ability to absorb damage and return home safely combined with superior tactics gave it a favorable kill ratio to the Zero. Although not as good of an aircraft as the F6F it was a frontline fighter in the Pacifc for most of the war and instrumental to many battles including the Solomon campaign. It also served in a limited capacity in Europe as the Royal navy took deliveries of a french order of the aircraft after the surrender of France. It was credited with the first kill of WWII by an American made aircraft shooting down a Ju-88 near Scapa Flow and several Fw-200 condors while flying as convoy escorts. I haven't been able to find anything stating that it served in the invasion but there are pictures of it wearing "invasion stripes" suggesting they may have seen service in Normandy as well? Also if we ever get a North African map it was used in operation Torch.

 

Although not my favorite plane this is the quintessential American fighter of the Pacific and should probably be the priority for the next American plane.

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I haven't been able to find anything stating that it served in the invasion but there are pictures of it wearing "invasion stripes" suggesting they may have seen service in Normandy as well? Also if we ever get a North African map it was used in operation Torch.

 

+1 for the wildcat

 

 

yes, the british flew it as Martlet MK IV.

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Just give me all the planes! Wildcats. Hellcats. Corsairs. Zeros. Lightnings. N1K2s.

 

Oh. And a goldurn gooney bird! Don't care if it doesn't have any armament. As far as I'm concerned, the Skytrain won the dang war!

 

We could do wartime cargo runs. Drop paratroops. Retrieve wounded. All under intense ground fire and fighter ambushes.

 

(And then, how about some Flying Fortresses?)

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"Yes I think this is the first plane the should be released with a WWII carrier for the Pacific campaign."

 

Sorry, but that position has already been taken by the Chance Vought F4U Corsair. We'll be getting that, I understand, with a big, beautiful, Essex class carrier. I'm really looking forward to that as I have more of an interest in late war airplanes. I check in here every day to see if there is any news on it.

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And a goldurn gooney bird!

 

Oh yeah. As I've said a gazillion times already, I'd buy a well-modelled DC-3 / C-47 on day one.

The DCS Mi-8MTV2. The best aviational BBW experience you could ever dream of.

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One of the big problems with the Wildcat in combat flight sims, is that in real life it only survived because of superior tactics. It couldn't go fast, turn, climb or anything else. But useing team tactics the U.S. Navy and Marine pilots pilots scored with it.

Now, put it in a flight sim. Your AI buddies aren't going to help, that's for sure. So, you will get your ass kicked in it.

If you fly with a squad, and you practice working together, you might do better. But single player, not so much.

I'll take the Corsair. There's a good reason that the Navy got rid of the F4F s as it's main carrier fighter as soon as the Hellcat was available. Only sim pilots want to fly outclassed airplanes. The real ones couldn't wait to get the new stuff and were glad to see them go.

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People always seem to want to fly the best performing aircraft rather than the types that were most common and/or saw the most action.

 

The F4F was used in the Battle of the Atlantic and heavily in the most significant early war Pacific battles of WW2. It was used until the end of WW2 in the Atlantic and in the Pacific on smaller escort carriers. At the 1944 Battle of Samar it was F4Fs from escort carriers that strafed the bridge of the Yamato.

 

Eric Brown spoke of the F4F in glowing terms. Saburo Sakai said he would regularly run out of ammo and the F4F in his sights would keep on flying. Bring it on :)

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The FM-2 version would be a whole lot more fun than the earlier F4F's. It was "The Wilder Wildcat."

Faster with it's 1350 horse engine, could climb quicker and with it's larger tail surfaces, could turn tighter. Some pilots claimed it could almost turn with a Zeke. General Motors took two guns out and replaced them with more ammo. 1400 rounds in the F4F's and 1700 rounds in the FM-2's.

One navy squadron operating off an escort carrier near the Phillipines late in '44 claimed 64.5 Japanese planes destroyed in air to air combat.

If we get a Wildcat, make it an FM-2 and I'm buying it.

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The thing that sucks about aircraft the flew against each other is that they were evenly matched for only a short period, which historically was a good thing for the Allies as the late war planes of the Axis were superb aircraft, but the pilot skills were not developed enough to exercise the advantages over Allied fighters, nor did they enjoy the numerical superiority of the early war times.

 

If you had flown the Zeke vs Wildcat server on Hyperlobby you would see why the challenge is so great lol.....we are all very experienced students of the craft, and while it wasn't a study sim it made for great fights with dissimilar aircraft, but similarly skilled pilots who had a great knowledge and experience base. It was pretty fun, and I think the real challenge was specifically that we all knew tactics, we all knew our planes' strenghts and weaknesses, what do avoid getting sucked into, so it really was pilot vs pilot.

 

That server was way more fun than just an Axis vs Allies server because the 190's and KI-84's would beat the shit out of Mustangs and Jugs, again, pilot vs pilot but the Axis planes hopelessly outclassed the Allied ones in general, sorta like how they did in real life to a point, only the Axis pilots were of great skill and knowledge. By the time the Dora and the KI-84 were regular frontline fighters not everyone who flew them had the experience or skill to fight a well flown Jug, or like 4 Mustangs at a time.

 

I would love to see that in a DCS server one day, Zeke vs Wildcat. It would be AWESOME!

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Years ago, I had chance to fly on Zeke vs Wildcat. Not on regular basis, but fairly often. It was fun.

But when it comes to never ending stream of the Wunderwaffe: Please, no!

Axis workhorse planes at the end of the war never outclassed Allied ones. And making comparison of those few types that were close to prototypes and Axis nations had no materials, tooling and skilled labor to make them in fully functional condition? No.

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Did you just refer to Kermit Weeks as "a guy?" Holy smokes...Weeks is more than just some guy. He owns one of the most impressive airplanes collections in the world.

I live an hour away from his "Fantasy of Flight" museum. Google his name and you'll see some of the other airplanes he owns.

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This is one WW2 Aircraft I really hope to see make its way to DCS. We need some Navy WW2 modules for the Pacific. It would not be the same without them, in fact, its a must! Looking forward to this girl spreading her virtual wings in the future.

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My 2 cents: The Wildcat, like the P-40, is 'not very maneuverable' only in comparison to the Zero and the Oscar (Ki-43); they easily out turned and out rolled most of the rest of their contemporaries, and in the case of the Japanese fighters, out dove them and at higher speeds were much more controllable.

 

In the Wildcat's case, the small community of USN pilots quickly learned to use their better radios to obtain closer teamwork and were frankly better pilots than their Japanese counterparts--by the middle of the Solomons Campaign, USN/USMC F4F pilots were scoring better than one for one against the Zeros flown by best the IJN had (and usually beating the bombers they were escorting into mush). USN pilots were the only ones in WWII besides the Finns who were trained in deflection shooting, and they quickly learned to use those skills against the Japanese who flew beautiful (predictable) aerobatics in combat.

 

And they were doing it in the F4F-4 model, the one 'castrated' to please British combat requirements (six fifties with less total rounds and firing time than the previous 4 X.50 armament of the -3, plus the extra weight of the folding wings useless on a land base). The Dash Seven model, that was built by GM as the FM-2, was a lightened model with a stronger engine, wider Hamilton Standard props instead of the less reliable Curtiss Electric prop and the ability to carry rockets, bombs and drop tanks.

 

Best source for the Wildcat's combat history is Barrett Tillman's excellent The Wildcat in WWII, closely followed by The First Team, Vols I & II, by John Lundstrum.

 

It is almost impossible to simulate the combat between early Japanese fighters and the pre-1944 USN online; virtual fighter pilots in Zeros are not going to give up decent comms or proven superior tactics over the Japanese realities of WWII and sim developers have not gotten around to modeling the relative fragility of the early Japanese fighters--or the effectiveness of the M2 .50 HMG.

 

Also, nobody can simulate the mutual ignorance of the combatants regarding each other's aircraft.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]"Here's your new Mustangs boys--you can learn to fly 'em on the way to the target!" LTCOL Don Blakeslee, late February 1944

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I'm always frustrated by the attitude of only wanting the best plane. Flaws are what make them interesting and force you to learn. I hope we get a wildcat.

 

Yep, I agree. As well, for jets. People want the F-4 Phantom. Mostly used in combat in Vietnam. But then want the F-4E, which was only used near the end of the Vietnam war. Whereas, the F-4B and J and F-4C and D did most of work. So I would want the F-4B Phantom, with all the limitations it had.

 

So, for the F4F Wildcat, I'd want the F4F-3 and F4F-4. Already pointed out here that the difference is the F4F-4 was to have powered folding wings and six 50-cal guns. That was too heavy so they made the wings non-powered where the flight deck crew had to fold them and unfold them (and I think limited the ammo). Then the FM-1 was made by GM as identical to the F4F-4 but with only four 50-cal guns...I believe while Grumman started building the F6F. The F4F-3/4 and FM-1 had the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 (14-cyl) with two-speed supercharger (not turbo) for use at high altitude (like the P-51D in DCS has a 2-speed supercharger, non-turbo. In contrast, the P-47D has a turbocharger and a 1-speed supercharger). Later, the FM-2 was made for use on the smaller escort carriers, having the more powerful Wright R-1820, single-row (9-cyl) engine with 1-speed supercharger for low altitude, close air support and ASW work. It was more powerful until it got up to 15,000 feet or so, I believe. BTW: escort carriers were generally intended to escort slow amphibious task force ships and could only do about 19 knots. The old slow battleships where assigned to the amphibious forces. In contrast, the light carriers were fast ships (31.5 knots) and could serve in the fast carrier task forces, escorted by fast battleships when North Carolina arrived. And so, light carriers and Essex carriers (and surviving Enterprise) received F6F Hellcats while escort carriers got the FM-2, in '44.

 

We really need two versions of the Wildcat in DCS: The F4F-4 (and very similar F4F-3 and FM-1) and the significantly different FM-2.

 

I think the best known battle of the Pacific was the Battle of Midway. I think there should be a Pacific Map for that. Very little land...it's a carrier-battle map. That was fought mainly with the F4F-4, TBD-1, and SBD (not sure which version of the SBD), and one class of carrier, the 3 Yorktown's. I'd love to fly the TBD-1 Devastator. (while others would insist on using F-18's with Harpoon missiles) I'd like to see those, along with the appropriate Imperial Japanese ships and planes. The Yamato was part of this battle's forces, I believe. I'm sure people would want to bring that ship into action in user-created scenarios in such a map. That was June '42. Thereafter, the F4F-3's and -4's made Navy and Marine Corps aces over Guadalcanal and the Solomon's, in '42-43.

 

Sure the Wildcat isn't the best fighter...the F-22 is much, much better. :smilewink: But it was the best the US had to do that job at that place and time. Good pilots made it work. And so, we want to re-create and experience (and experiment with) the planes of that time and place. ...not use F8F Bearcats and mop it up! Although, the neat thing about DCS, is that you could use Bearcats and F4U-1D Corsairs in the Battle of Midway, if you wished. :) (once we get all that)

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"Although, the neat thing about DCS, is that you could use Bearcats and F4U-1D Corsairs in the Battle of Midway, "

 

But then, it's not the Battle of Midway, is it? Fly Mustangs off of the Stenson, and fly them against FW-190's, then. What's the point?

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