The Difference Between The F4F and FM-2 Wildcats

The Difference Between The F4F and FM-2 Wildcats | Frontline Videos

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Better Than The Rest?

The FM-2 and F4F Wildcats have been used extensively during WWII for its phenomenal performance and reliable design. The former was the final wartime version of the Wildcat and was produced by Eastern Aircraft after Grumman moved on from the F4F to produce the bigger and newer F6F Hellcat.

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FM-2s were optimized for small carrier operations, supported by its more powerful engine and its taller tail to cope with the added torque. It also has an enlarged vertical stabilizer and three identification lights at the bottom of the fuselage.

Aside from its airframe differences, the FM-2 only has 4 .50-cal machine guns instead of 6 from the F4F. Moreover, the belly window seen from earlier versions of the Wildcat, was removed after it was found to be rarely used during actual combat service. 

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In addition, the FM-2 Wildcat was the best performing variant with the top scoring FM-2 squadron, VC-27, credited with shooting down 62.5 Japanese aircraft in 4 months during the Philippine campaign.


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