Grumman F6F Hellcat

by Jack McKillop

The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation

See Grumman F3F.

Description

The F6F was a single-engine, single-seat, all-metal, low-wing monoplane fighter. The outboard sections of the flaps, ailerons, elevators and rudder were all fabric covered throughout production. The retractable main landing gear raised backwards after the wheel had turned 90-degrees to lie flush in the wheel wells. The tail wheel and arrester hook also retracted into the rear fuselage. The wing outer panels could be folded and spread manually and locked in the spread position by hydraulically operated locking pins controlled from the cockpit. In the folded position, the wings were almost vertical parallel to the fuselage with the leading edge of the wing facing down.

Production History

In 1938, Grumman began investigating the replacement of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 14-cylinder, twin-row, air-cooled radial engine in the F4F Wildcat with a Wright R-2600 14-cylinder, twin-row, air-cooled radial engine. At the same time, Grumman also began development work on a new design equipped with the R-2600 engine. At this time, the Navy had ordered a prototype fighter from three companies, the Brewster XF2A-1 Buffalo, the Grumman XF4F-1 Wildcat and the Seversky XFN-1.  Even though the XF4F-2 handled better than the two other aircraft, the U.S. Navy ordered 54 Brewster F2A-1s on 11 June 1938. Grumman suspended work on the new designs and began work on the XF4F-3 Wildcat.

In early 1938, the Navy circulated operational requirements for a new single-seat, carrier-based fighter. In the summer of that year, the Navy awarded contracts for prototypes to the Bell Aircraft Corporation. for the XFL-1, Chance Vought Aircraft for the XF4U-1 and Grumman for the XF5F-1. The XF4U-1 made its first flight on 29 May 1940 and the Navy brass were impressed with this high performance aircraft, which by the end of the year had reached 404-mph (650-km/h), and ordered 585 F4U-1s on 30 June 1941. However, the Corsair had a number of problems when the aircraft was used on aircraft carriers. These problems included poor visibility from the cockpit, poor stall characteristics with a left wing drop, bouncing when contacting the deck and the tail hook bouncing over the wires on the deck. As a result, the Corsair was assigned to land-based Navy and Marine fighter squadrons until these problems could be corrected.

XF6F-1: In September 1940, Grumman began work on a new aircraft that would use the Wright R-2600 14-cylinder, twin row, air-cooled radial engine. A review by the Navy resulted in a contract for two XF6F-1 prototypes on 30 June 1941, the same day that the F4U-1 was ordered. The first prototype was equipped with a 1,600-horsepower Wright XR-2600-10 driving a three bladed Curtiss propeller and large spinner. On 8 August 1942, tests of this aircraft were discontinued and, with a new engine, the aircraft was redesignated XF6F-3.
The second prototype was converted to the first XF6F-2.

XF6F-2: Two aircraft wore this designation. The first was the second XF6F-1 prototype. Initially, it was to be equipped with a two-stage Wright XR-2600-10 radial engine but before the aircraft was completed, it was re-equipped with a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10 radial engine and was redesignated XF6F-3.

The second aircraft to wear this designation was originally built as a production F6F-3. The aircraft was re-engined with a turbosupercharged 2,000-horsepower Pratt & Whitney XR-2800-16 engine driving a four-bladed propeller but because most combat missions in the Pacific were flown at low or medium altitudes, the Navy did not need a high altitude fighter. After the tests were completed, the aircraft was re-engined with an R-2800-10W engine and redesignated F6F-3.

XF6F-3: The second prototype was re-engined with a 2,000-horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10 18-cylinder, twin-row, air-cooled radial engine driving a Curtiss three-bladed propeller and made its first flight on 30 July 1942. Additional changes included increasing the area of the horizontal stabilizers. This aircraft was redesignated XF6F-4 after it was damaged in August 1942 and rebuilt.

The first prototype, now also re-engined with the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine, made its first flight on 13 September 1942 and the minor troubles found were corrected. The aircraft was later equipped with a Hamilton Standard propeller, brought up to F6F-3 standard and accepted by the Navy on 22 November 1943.

F6F-3: The first production model. The total production run of the F6F-3, including F6F-3Ns, was 4,403 and all were armed with six 0.50-caliber (12.7-mm) machine guns in the wings with 400 rounds per gun. The major difference between the XF6F-3 and this aircraft was the propeller; the Curtiss propeller of the prototypes was replaced with a Hamilton Standard propeller without a spinner. During production, two major changes were made to the production aircraft. Beginning in August 1943, all F6F-3s were given the capability to carry a 150-U.S.-gallon (125-Imperial-gallon or 568-liter) drop tank on the belly and beginning in January 1944, 60 percent of the F6F-3s were equipped with the Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W engine which provided water injection.

The first flight of an F6F-3 was on 3 October 1942, the first aircraft was delivered to the Navy on 4 December 1942 and the last delivery was on 19 April 1944.

The British Royal Navy received 252 F6F-3s under Lend-Lease; the first was delivered on 13 March 1943. They were known as Hellcat Mk. Is in Royal Navy service.

F6F-3E: Eighteen F6F-3s were modified as night intruders by equipping them with a Westinghouse AN/APS-3 X-band Air to Surface Vessel (ASV) search and bombing radar system. This equipment was installed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Quonset Point, Rhode Island (41°35'60"N,  71°24'51"W) and all were completed by January 1944. The radome was mounted beneath the right wing. Additional modifications included a flat windshield, installation of a radar altimeter and Identification Friend of Foe (IFF) equipment, red cockpit lighting and the radar scope centered in the instrument panel. All of these aircraft were powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W engine which provided water injection. Armament was six 0.50-caliber (12.7-mm) machine guns with 400 rounds per gun.

F6F-3K: After World War II, a small number of F6F-3s were converted to radio-controlled drones.

F6F-3N: Two hundred five F6F-3s built as night fighters with a Sperry AN/APS-6 X-band search and intercept radar system. The antenna was in a faired wing-mounted radome. As with the F6F-3E, these aircraft included a flat windshield, a radar altimeter and IFF equipment, red cockpit lighting and a 3-inch (7.62-centimeter) radar scope centered in the instrument panel. All of these aircraft were powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W engine which provided water injection. Armament was six 0.50-caliber (12.7-mm) machine guns with 400 rounds per gun.

F6F-3P: An unknown number of F6F-3s modified to photographic reconnaissance aircraft with the camera mounted in the belly of the aircraft. The six machine gun armament was retained.

XF6F-4: The second prototype, designated XF6F-1, then XF6F-2, and XF6F-3, had been damaged in a belly landing in August 1942. It was re-engined with a 2,000-horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 single-stage radial engine driving a Hamilton Standard propeller and re-designated XF6F-4. Grumman had proposed to replace the six machine guns with four 20-mm cannon and this aircraft was used as a test vehicle for this engine and armament configuration. The four cannon were not adopted and this aircraft remained in the inventory until stricken on 31 October 1946.

F6F-5: The second production version of which 7,870 aircraft were produced; this number includes the F6F-5N and -5P aircraft. The first flight was made on 4 April 1944 and the first aircraft was delivered to the Navy 25 days later. The final F6F-5 was delivered on 16 November 1945. Early models had a single 1,000-pound (454-kilogram) bomb rack under the right wing but late production models had two bomb racks, one under each wing, which could accommodate a bomb and/or the 11.75-inch (30-centimeter) California Institute of Technology air-to-surface rocket named Tiny Tim. The F6F-5s also had three stubs under each wing to launch 5-inch (15-centimeter) unguided air-to-ground High Velocity Attack Rockets (HVARs). Additional features included the reinforcement of the tail surfaces and ailerons, a flat rather than a curved windshield, a closer fitting cowling, and increased armor protection for the pilot. All of these aircraft were powered by a 2,000-horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W 18-cylinder, twin-row, air-cooled radial engine which provided water injection. Armament remained the same, i.e., six 0.50-caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns.

A total of 930 F6F-5s were given to the British Royal Navy under Lend-Lease and were designated Hellcat Mk. II. Some of these aircraft were converted to photographic reconnaissance aircraft and were re-designated Hellcat PR Mk. II.

F6F-5D: After World War II, a small number of F6F-5s were converted to drone aircraft controllers and were redesignated F6F-5D.
F6F-5E: A small number of F6F-5s modified as night intruders by equipping them with a Westinghouse AN/APS-3 X band Air to Surface Vessel (ASV) search and bombing radar system as was in the F6F-3E.

F6F-5K: A number of F6F-5s were converted into radio controlled drones between 1949 and 1957.

F6F-5N: Grumman built 1,432 of these night fighters similar to the F6F-3N. Initially, the aircraft were equipped with the standard six .50-caliber machine guns but late production aircraft had the inboard machine gun in each wing replaced by a 20-mm cannon. Eighty of these aircraft were given to Britain’s Royal Navy under Lend-Lease and they were designated Hellcat NF Mk. II.

F6F-5P: About 200 F6F-5s converted to photographic reconnaissance aircraft with the cameras mounted in the rear of the cockpit.

XF6F-6: Two F6F-5s were re-engined with the 2,100-horsepower, water-injected Pratt & Whitney R-2800-18W radial engine driving a four-bladed propeller. The first flight was on 6 July 1944 and during tests, the aircraft reached 417-mph (671-km/h) at 21,900-feet (6,675-meters). A production version of this aircraft was to be produced starting in September 1944 but the Vought F4U-4 had a higher priority and all of these engines went to Vought.

Operational History

Fighting Squadron Nine (VF-9) was the first Navy squadron to be equipped with the F6F. This squadron had been established on 1 March 1942 and trained with F4F-3 Wildcats. During the invasion of North Africa in November 1942, VF-9, now equipped with F4F-4s, was based in the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) and claimed six Vichy French fighters shot down over Morocco.

VF-9 returned to the U.S. and was slated to convert to the new F4U Corsairs in January 1943, but Vought hadn't produced enough to equip all the planned squadrons. As a result, on 16 January 1943 VF-9 became the first squadron to be equipped with F6F-3s and the pilots qualified aboard the ship in February, 1943.

Beginning in August 1943, F6Fs were stationed in every aircraft carrier and small aircraft carrier and participated in every invasion in the Pacific. This all began on 30 August when Task Force Fifteen (TF 15), consisting of the aircraft carriers USS Essex (CV-9) and Yorktown (CV-10), small aircraft carrier USS Independence (CVL-22), the battleship USS Indiana (BB-58), two light cruisers, 11 destroyers, supported by an oiler, set sail to attack Marcus Island (24°17'12"N, 153°58'50"E), located about 887-miles (1,427-kilometers) west-northwest of Wake Island, in the prototype fast carrier strike. The attack took place on 30 August. They launched nine strike groups in a day-long attack on Japanese installations, the first strikes by Essex and Independence Class carriers, and the first combat use of the F6F Grumman Hellcat. No Japanese aircraft sortied to fight the Hellcats and the ships returned to Pearl Harbor on 7 September.

In September, the Navy put together, for the first time, a task force [Task Force Fourteen (TF 14)] of three aircraft carriers, three small aircraft carriers, three heavy cruisers, four light cruisers, 24 destroyers and two oilers. They departed Hawaii for an attack on Wake Island (19°16'35.49"N, 166°39'1.36"E). All six carrier fighter squadrons were equipped with F6F-3s. This was to be a two-day strike on Wake on 5 and 6 October. Half an hour before dawn, each of the four carriers launched three fighter divisions, 47 Hellcats in all. When they were still 50-miles (80-kilometers) out from Wake, the Japanese radar detected them and 27 Zeke fighters (Mitsubishi A6M, Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters) intercepted. The raid showed that the new Hellcats could more than hold their own against the Zekes. They destroyed 22 of 34 aircraft at Wake, and 12 American planes were lost - six to the Zekes and six to antiaircraft gunfire.

The Hellcats became the carrier Navy’s fighter plane for the rest of the war. It was used in every mission including one of the most famous, the Battle of the Philippine Sea nicknamed The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.

In June 1944, the Americans initiated Operation Forager calling for a giant-step invasion across the Pacific from Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where the Navy’s Fifth Fleet was then based, to the islands of Saipan, Guam, and Tinian in the Mariana Islands, a leap covering 1,800 miles (2,897-kilometers) of ocean.

During previous invasions--including the most recent, the Marshall and Gilbert operations--the assault forces had been supported by land-based aircraft. With no air bases close enough to the Mariana Islands to provide such support, the Fifth Fleet would be required to provide pre-invasion air bombardment and to act as the covering force during the actual assault. The task fell to TF 58 which consisted of seven aircraft carriers, eight small aircraft carriers, seven battleships, eight heavy cruisers, 13 light cruisers and 58 destroyers. The 15 carriers had a total of 956 aircraft of all types on board; more than half of these aircraft were F6Fs, 443 F6F-3s and 24 F6F-3Ns.

In the afternoon of 11 June, 208 Hellcats, 16 from each aircraft carrier and 12 from each small aircraft carrier, accompanied by a TBF Avenger or SB2C Helldiver from each task group (the latter to lead the fighters in and out), blanketed Japanese airfields in the Mariana Islands. The fighters destroyed one-third of the Japanese aircraft and this move, which achieved complete surprise, also assured control of the air over the Marianas. Combat air patrol F6Fs began to intercept and down Japanese planes in the vicinity of TF 58 and also damaged a Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser and a cargo vessel.

The next day, planes from the 15 carriers attacked Japanese air facilities and coast defenses on Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Rota, and Pagan Islands and carrier strikes were repeated on 13 and 14 June in preparation for the landings on Saipan. Aircraft from aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9) and small aircraft carriers USS Langley (CVL-27) and Cowpens (CVL- 25) smashed a Japanese convoy (which had sailed from Tanapag harbor for Japan the previous day) northwest of Saipan, sinking a torpedo boat, and auxiliary netlayer, seven transports, a cargo ship, two army cargo ships, and a merchant vessel. The next day, strikes against Saipan continued; carrier-based planes sank an aircraft transport, which had been damaged in the 11 June fighter sweep, and destroyed a convoy of small cargo vessels. F6Fs attacked a Japanese convoy spotted the previous day and damaged a fast transport southwest of the Marianas.

On 15 June, carrier-based aircraft from Task Groups 58.1 and TG 58.4 bombed Japanese installations on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, and Chichi Jima and Haha Jima in the Bonin Islands; the attack on Iwo Jima is repeated 16 June.

On 19 June, the Battle of the Philippine Sea opened as the Japanese Fleet, consisting of five aircraft carriers and four small aircraft carriers, five battleships, 13 heavy cruisers, six light cruisers and destroyers, contests the landings on Saipan. Japanese carrier-based aircraft attack TF 58 covering the Saipan operation. The battle started shortly after 1000 hours with the first wave of 60 Japanese planes attacking the American fleet. Forty two of them were shot down, scoring only one bomb hit on the battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57). The second wave consisted of 128 planes, and 97 of them were lost without even making any significant damage to the American ships. The third attack's 47 planes had a better casualty rate, losing only seven, but they did not make it through the American escort ships, let alone see the American carriers. By the time the fourth attack wave of 82 planes was sent, it was already almost 1400 hours in the afternoon, and 54 of them were shot down. Between the Japanese attacks on the American fleet and the attacks on Guam and Rota, 429 Japanese planes were shot down. The Americans lost 29. Commander David McCampbell, Commander, Carrier Air Group 15, flying an F6F-3 from the aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9), distinguished himself in aerial combat, splashing at least seven Japanese planes. This battle was commonly referred to among the US Navy men as the "The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot." Many historians agree that this event marked the end of Japanese naval air power and coming events would force Japan to rely on the guns of its battleships and cruisers.

The next day, the Battle of the Philippine Sea concluded as planes from TF 58 launched late in the afternoon from carriers USS Hornet (CV-12), Yorktown (CV-10), Bunker Hill (CV-17), and Lexington (CV-16), and small aircraft carriers USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24), Monterey (CVL- 26) and San Jacinto (CVL-30), strike the Japanese fleet in what becomes known as the "Mission Beyond Darkness."

While the Navy’s carrier-based fighter early in the war was the Grumman F4F Wildcat, the Vought F4U Corsair reached the Marines fighting desperately to hold Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands, in February of 1943. However it wasn't until April 1944 that the Navy cleared the fighter for shipboard use. This delay was primarily due to the Corsair's high (for the time) landing speed and the pilot's limited forward visibility over the big radial engine when landing. This ban was lifted in 1944 and beginning in 1945, a small complement of F6F-5Ns and -5Ps served with five Corsair squadrons in the night fighter and/or photographic reconnaissance mode.

The U.S. Marine Corps commissioned six night fighter squadrons during the war which were equipped with F6F-3Ns and -5Ns. All were land-based on Guam, Mariana Islands; Leyte Island in the Philippines; Okinawa Island in the Ryukyu Islands; and Peleliu Island in the Caroline Islands. The first squadron to see action was Marine Night Fighter Squadron Five Hundred Thirty Four [VMF(N)-534], which flew its first night combat patrol with F6F-3Ns, and later -5Ns, from their base on Guam in August 1944. This squadron remained on Guam through August 1945 and was credited with shooting down one Japanese aircraft.

The second night fighter squadron entered combat in September 1944 with F6F-5Ns and while based on Peleliu, they shot down one Japanese aircraft. In November, they were transferred to Leyte Island and during a two month period, shot down 22 Japanese aircraft. They returned to Peleliu in January 1945 and did not shoot any other aircraft.

Three of the squadrons were based on Okinawa between April and August 1945. These three, equipped with F6F-5Ns, were credited with shooting down 68 Japanese aircraft.

In August 1944, a agreement was reached between the Navy and Marines that Marine squadrons would be assigned to escort aircraft carriers (CVEs) to provide close air support during amphibious landings. Marine Air Support Groups (MASG) were established to command these forces. Each MASG would be comprised of four Marine Carrier Air Groups (MCVG) to operate from Commencement Bay Class escort aircraft carriers. Each MCVG would be comprised of an 18-plane fighter squadron designated Marine Fighter Squadron (Carrier Squadron) [VMF(CVS)] and a 12-plane torpedo bomber squadron designated Marine Torpedo Bomber Squadron (Carrier Squadron) [VMTB(CVS)]. The composition of an MASG was six CVEs, four Marine CVEs and two Navy CVEs. The Navy carriers were to provide antisubmarine patrols, combat air patrols, etc. By the end of the war, five MASGs and 24 MCVGs had been established but only one MASG was in combat in the Pacific, the rest were still in the U.S.

MASG 48, comprised of MCVG 1 through 4, was serving in four CVEs, USS Block Island (CVE-106), Cape Gloucester (CVE-109), Gilbert Islands (CVE-107) and Vella Gulf (CVE-111) and were the only units to see combat. All of the fighter squadrons flew Goodyear FG or Vought F4U Corsairs but all had Hellcats for support. VMF-511(CVS) in MCVG-1 had eight F6F-5Ns and two F6F-5Ps; the other three fighter squadrons had one or two F6F-5Ps. On 3 July 1945, the pilot of a VMF-511(CVS) F6F-5N shot down a Jake (Aichi E13A1, Navy Type 0 Reconnaissance Seaplane), the only aircraft destroyed by this unit.

During World War II, 72 U.S. Navy fighting squadrons and six U.S. Marine Corps fighting squadrons flew the F6F and engaged the enemy in combat. The U.S. Navy was credited with shooting down 6,477 enemy aircraft; 4,947 were shot down by F6Fs in air-to-air combat by carrier-based aircraft and 209 by land–based Navy and Marine units. In other words, 79.6 percent of all Japanese aircraft were destroyed by Hellcats and the kill-to-loss ration was 19.1 to 1. In 1945, five carrier-based Navy fighting squadrons were equipped with F4U Corsairs but also operated F6F-5N and -5P aircraft; they are credited with shooting down 17 Japanese aircraft. The Marines flew the land-based F6F-3N or -5N and were credited with shooting down 92 Japanese aircraft at night.

In April 1946, the Navy issued a directive calling for the formation of a flight exhibition team which has become known as the Blue Angels. Three F6F-5s were picked as the first aircraft and the team flew their first exhibition on 15 June 1946. However, after ten public performances, the Blue Angels transitioned to the Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat in August 1946.

After the war, the F6F-5s and -5Ps remained in service aboard aircraft carriers until 1948. Many were assigned to Naval Air Reserve units into the early 1950s. The last Hellcat reported in squadron service or inventory was on 31 August 1953 when  an F6F-5N was assigned to Composite Squadron Four (VC-4) based at NAS Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Survivors On Display In The U.S.

CALIFORNIA
   Camarillo: The Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force has an F6F-5 on display.
   Chino: The Yanks Air Museum has an F6F-5 on display.
   Hayward: The Museum of American Aircraft has an F6F-5 that may be seen by serious researchers with prior permission.
   Palm Springs: The Palm Springs Air Museum has an F6F-5N on display.
   San Diego: The San Diego Air & Space Museum has an F6F-3 on display.

CONNECTICUT: The New England Air Museum in Windor Locks has an F6F-5K on display.

FLORIDA
   Pensacola: The National Naval Aviation Museum (formerly National Museum of Naval Aviation) has an F6F-3 and an F6F-5 on display.
   Polk City: Fantasy of Flight has an F6F-3 is undergoing restoration and may be seen by serious researchers with prior permission.

MICHIGAN: Air Zoo in Kalamazoo has an F6F-5 on display in the Main Campus.

NEW YORK: The Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City has an F6F-5K on display.

OREGON: The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville has an F6F-3 on display.

RHODE ISLAND: The Quonset Air Museum at Quonset State Airport has an F6F-5 on display.

SOUTH CAROLINA: The Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant has an F6F-5K on display.

TEXAS: The Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston has an F6F-5N on display.  

VIRGINIA: The Steven Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly has an F6F-3 on display.

BuAer Numbers
02981......................XF6F-1. Converted to XF6F-3, rebuilt as XF6F-4, BuNo changed to 02982.
02982......................XF6F-1. Converted to XF6F-3 and changed BuNo to 02981.
04775 - 04958.........F6F-3
08798 - 09047.........F6F-3
25721 - 26195.........F6F-3
39999 - 43137,,,,,,,,,F6F-3
58000 - 58999.........F6F-5
65890 - 66243.........F6F-3
66244......................XF6F-2. Completed as F6F-4.
69992 - 70187.........F6F-5
70188......................XF6F-6
70189 - 70912.........F6F-5
70913......................XF6F-6
70914 - 80258.........F6F-5
93652 - 94751.........F6F-5

Specifications

Wing span: 42-feet 10-inches (13.05-meters)
Wing area: 334-square-feet (31.02-square-meters)
Length: 33-feet 10-inches (10.31-meters)
Height: 14-feet 5-inches) 4,39-meters
Empty weight
   XF6F-1: 8,480 pounds (3,847 kilograms)
   XF6F-3: 8,896 pounds (4,035 kilograms)
   F6F-3: 9,023 pounds (4,093 kilograms)
   F6F-5: 9,238 pounds (4,190 kilograms)
   F6F-5N: 9,421 pounds (4,273 kilograms)
   XF6F-6: 9,422 pounds (4,274 kilograms)
Maximum speed
   XF6F-1: 375 mph at sea level (604 km/h at sea level)
   XF6F-3: 398 mph at sea level (641 km/h at sea level)
   F6F-3: 376 mph at 20,000-feet (605 km/h at 6,096-meters)
   F6F-3N: 360 mph at 18,000-feet (579 km/h at 5,486-meters)
   F6F-5: 380 mph at 23,400-feet (612 km/h at 7,132-meters)
   F6F-5N: 336 mph at 23,200-feet (541 km/h at 7,071-meters)
   XF6F-6: 417 mph at 21,900-feet (671 km/h at 6,675-meters)
Service Ceiling
   XF6F-1: 35,600-feet (10,851-meters)
   XF6F-3: 39,900-feet (12,162-meters)
   F6F-3: 37,300-feet (11,369-meters)
   F6F-3N: 38,900-feet (11,857-meters)
   F6F-5: 37,300-feet (11,369-meters)
   F6F-5N: 36,700-feet (11,186-meters)
   F6F-5P: 38,800-feet (11,826-meters)
   XF6F-6: 39,000-feet (11,887-meters)
Maximum Range
   F6F-3: 1,850-miles (2,977-kilometers)
   F6F-3N: 1,235-miles (1,988-kilometers)
   F6F-5: 1,530-miles (2,462-kilometers)
   F6F-5N: 1,260-miles (2,028-kilometers)
   F6F-5P: 1,900-miles (3,058-kilometers)
   XF6F-6: 1,730-miles (2,784-kilometers)