1/72 scale War Bird Collection No.71 plastic model kit of the WWII US Navy F6F3 Hellcat Fighter Plane.
A reboxing of the Italeri F6F-3. Overall a pretty nice kit of the type, and definitely a lot better than the ancient Hasegawa offering. Panel lines are recessed, andthe kit includes a detailed engine that certainly looks like an R-2800, deep wheelwells and an acceptable cockpit for the scale. Markings are for a dangerous-looking “catmouthed” aircraft from VF-27 on the Princeton, “Little Joe” of VF-51 on the San Jacinto and a British Hellcat of 804 Sq. RN aboard the Emperor.
This plastic kitset requires assembly, paints and glue to complete.
Tamiya Product Number: 60771
The Grumman F6F Hellcat was a carrier-based fighter aircraft initially conceived to replace the earlier F4F Wildcat in United States Navy (USN) service. Although the F6F resembled the Wildcat, it was a completely new design, powered by a 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800, the same powerplant used for both the Navy's earlier Chance Vought F4U Corsair and the Army Air Force's Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters. Some military observers tagged the Hellcat as the “Wildcat's big brother”. The F6F was best known for its role as a rugged, well designed carrier fighter which was able, after its combat debut in early 1943, to counter the Mitsubishi A6M and help secure air superiority over the Pacific Theater. Such was the quality of the basic simple, straightforward design, the Hellcat was the least modified fighter of the war, with a total of 12,200 being built in just over two years. Hellcats were credited with destroying 5,271 aircraft while in service with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. This was more than any other Allied naval aircraft, with its closest competitor on the Allied side being the USAAF's P-51 Mustang. Postwar, the Hellcat was phased out of front line service, but remained in service as late as 1954 as a night fighter.
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