Grumman F4F-3A 'Wildcat'


Control Panel
  Base model:F4F
  Designation System:U.S. Navy / Marines
  Designation Period:1922-1962
  Basic role:Fighter
  Modified Mission:Miscellaneous modifications

  Length: 28' 9" 8.7 m
  Height:9' 2" 2.7 m
  Wingspan: 38' 11.5 m
  Wingarea: 260.0 sq ft 24.1 sq m
  Empty Weight: 5,342 lb 2,422 kg
  Gross Weight: 7,002 lb 3,175 kg
  Max Weight: 8,152 lb 3,697 kg

  No. of Engines: 1
  Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90
  Horsepower (each): 1200

  Range: 845 miles 1,360 km
  Cruise Speed: 147 mph 236 km/h 127 kt
  Max Speed: 328 mph 528 km/h 285 kt
  Climb: 2,265 ft/min 690 m/min
  Ceiling: 37,500 ft 11,429 m

Known serial numbers
3875 / 3904, 3905 / 3969

Examples of this type may be found at
National Museum of Naval AviationNAS PensacolaFlorida
San Diego Aerospace MuseumSan DiegoCalifornia

F4F-3A on display

National Museum of Naval Aviation


Recent comments by our visitors
 Frank J. Ryczek, Jr.
 Jacksonville, FL
My dad, Francis (Frank) J. Ryczek, Sr. and my Aunt Teresa Ryczek were both employed by the GM assembly plant in Linden N.J. before during and after the Second World War. My dad often told me of how the traffic was held up on Route 1 in Linden so that the new built FM-2 could be taxied across the highway to Linden Airport across from the plant. I am a scale military modeler and would just love to build a diorama of this sceene. Does anyone out there have a photo that they would be willing to share or know how I can obtain such a photograph? Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this fantantic web site!
07/26/2011 @ 11:31 [ref: 43065]
 Robert Stefanowicz
 , HI
Grew up next to the GM plant in Linden in the 70's and as a teenager worked at Linden airport. My love for aviation has took me to the Marine Corps and now 20 years later I am volunteering at the Pacific Air Museum in Pearl Harbor. The museum has a flyable Wildcat and I was trying to determine if this Wild Cat was built in Linden. Is there a a way to tell by the serial number if it was built in Linden? or were all Wild Cats built there?
Also does anyone have any pictures of the planes at the plant or airport?
01/21/2011 @ 05:50 [ref: 35835]
 steve y.
 , WA
This was the plane that won the pacific conflict; the plane that, along with the SBD Dauntless, carried the entire first HALF of the Pacific Theater. The FIRST HALF (as well as the opening half of 1943) of the conflict was the most important; the most critical period; particularly the year 1942 (the most important, pivotal year for the Allies all over the world). The F4F-3, and the earliest F4F-4, clashed with the Imperial Japanese Naval power at the height of it's reign in the pacific, at a time when it was at the apex of it's incredible power. The F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair came into the field far later(neither making it into the pacific until well into 1943) and contributed to more of a "mopping up" role as the Japanese juggernaut had already waned dramatically. It is of great significance to observe that in fact, what the late-arriving F6F and F4U accomplished in the pacific could have very easily have been seen through (accomplished as well with the same results) by increasing numbers of F4F Wildcats. This is born true by the fact that the U.S. won the pacific essentially by attrition - and the will to defeat tyranny (to defeat the Axis worldwide). In the spotlight of when the F4F Wildcat really won the pacific was during the grueling five-month battle that raged across the Solomons - the Battle of Guadalcanal. This clash occurred over land and at sea equally, in relentless struggles. This was the beginning of the end for Imperial Japan in the pacific. It was the final epic clash that sealed victory. It was won by an incredibly rugged, strongly-built, if not underpowered, somewhat range-hampered, but reliable airplane handled by(even more importantly)capable, dependable, determined team-oriented pilots who just flew it at it's terminal velocity in air clashes(a feature of the wildcat that is it's distinct hallmark). The Wildcat was the plane that,(along with it's lone counterpart, the SBD)in the most critical, intense chapters of the pacific conflict of WWII, won the battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway and ultimately, the Battle of Guadalcanal. These were the key periods, spanning from the first wee hours of 1942, all through that momentous, history-changing year, and on - into fully one-half of 1943. Obviously, the F4F Wildcat was THE most important fighter airplane in the pacific theater. The pacific theater was WON in THIS plane; even more importantly, by the pilots who OPERATED this machine, who lived and died in it to bring victory to the allied cause.
11/06/2009 @ 09:40 [ref: 25251]
 John Crow
 Lawrence, MA
My mom & dad worked at the Linden Plant. My dad was Jack Crow and my mom was Florence Mira. My dad had been a body man for Fisher at General Motors. They told me many great stories including the brave test pilots and the First Lady's visit.
06/11/2008 @ 08:22 [ref: 21376]
 William F. Mahar
 palm beach gardens, FL
Dear Sir My father was project mgr for W.L. Blanchard Const Co. when GM. converted to Eastern Aircraft at the Linden plant. Blanchard did much of the demo and restoration work there. I beleive they employed up to 600 people of various trades during that period.I cant recall the date but during that period Eastern Aircraft had an open house during which time the Navy displayed what they called the "wilder wildcat"known as the Hellcat.I had the thrill as child to sit in that airplane at the plant. The Navy had various displays of which the public or maybe it was just for the people that were working on the project were invited to identify enemy aircraft games and other activities. I can also remember lots of chartreus colored rivets scattered on the floors.Can you send any more specific info on the conversion period? thanks Bill Mahar
06/06/2006 @ 09:57 [ref: 13465]
 Richard R. Gideon
 Pittsburgh, PA
I own an original PILOT'S HANDBOOK FOR MODEL F4F-3A AIRPLANE, ENGINE R-1830-90. The entry on page 19, "Wing Flag Control," is interesting in that it describes the vacuum system that controlled the flaps. The description is carried over to page 20, and at the top of that page it states, "There is no danger in opening the flap operative valve at high speed. The flaps will not come down at speeds in excess of 130 knots."
08/26/2005 @ 17:58 [ref: 11098]
 Bill Sheeley
 St. Pete Florida, FL
Eastern Aircraft Linden,N.J. produced over 3,600 Wildcats for the USN . There were several modifications and a change from the F4F series to the FM-1 with the P&W engine to the FM-2 that had the 9 cylinder Wright. I believe this was the first radial engine that weight was less than a pound per horsepower. General Motors was the mfg. I was a civilian Navy Inspector on the flightline. WFS
08/09/2001 @ 17:20 [ref: 2882]
 richard Hansen
 Batavia, Ill, IL
I fly a F4F-3 which was brought up from Lake Michigan in 1991. It is a delight to fly except in a x-wind. Bu#12260
03/28/2000 @ 10:28 [ref: 17]


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