Our Wildcat was built in 1944 by General Motors. Went to the West Coast and served in Training Command. Was transferred to Great Lakes in Glenview, Illinois and mustered out of inventory in 1946. History until 1987 is unknown although it likely was on display at a gas station around Palwaukee Airport.
It was restored in 1987 in Colorado and then taken to England where it flew only 4.5 hours. It was placed in a container sometime in the 90’s and returned to the United States in 2005. Tab Air put it back together and it was sold and ferried to a museum in Phoenix, Arizona. We bought it in 2007 and returned it to Illinois. It is based at Aurora Airport (KARR) and is flown regularly. It is great fun to fly.
The Wildcat was designed by Grumman in 1936 and became our front line naval fighter in 1940. “The Wildcat held the line in every U.S. carrier action in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor through Guadalcanal in the face of the superior Zero. They continued in Service with the Marine Corps and Navy through 1945, even after higher performance fighters replaced them on the fleet aircraft carriers. Wildcats flew from tiny island airfields and from the decks of escort carriers until the end of the war.
In the Royal Navy, the Wildcat was called the Martlet and it fought Axis aircraft from Scapa Flow to Singapore, beginning its long service in 1939.” (Barrett Tillman- The Wildcat in WWII.)
Not many Wildcats are flying. We consider it a great privilege to be able fly an airplane with a history unmatched by any other type. Eight Medal of Honor recipients flew the Wildcat. No other single seat fighter had as many. The airplane is a testament to the skill, honor and courage of the Greatest Generation that built and fought an airplane that held the line and made history.
|Date of Manufacture
|Carrier based Fighter
|Grumman F4F/ General Motors FM-2
|28 feet 9 inches
|FM-2 Version – Wright 1820-56W, Single Row Radial Piston Engine
|Rate of Climb
|Number of Crew
|F4F Six 12.7 mm machine guns, FM-2 four 12.7 mm machine guns
|F4F two 100 pound bombs, FM-2 two 250 pound bombs
Printable QR Codes for: FM-2 Wildcat :
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