Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1116 Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat White 71, VF-20, USS Enterprise, October 1944
On April 4, 1944 the new F6F-5 took to the air. It was a much improved version of the
F4F Wildcat. The designers gave the new plane a redesigned engine cowl for the
engine that was now water-injected. The injection increased take off performance by
10% and increased the armament capabilities. Production of the F6F-5 lasted until
November 1945 when Grumman had rolled out more than 900 “5”s. The UK received
some of these aircraft under the Lend-Lease Act and they were designated Hellcat Mk.
II. This plane was so lethal that it earned the nickname “Ace Maker” because of the
large number of pilots that earned their 5 + victories while flying it.
White 71 is the F6F-5 flown by the noted USN pilot Lt. Leo Bob McCuddin. In April
1944 he was assigned to VF-20 “Jokers” onboard the “Big E” USS Enterprise and was
credited with 5 victories while with the “Jokers”. Between October 24th and 25th, 1944
during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, he participated in the attack on a Japanese
battleship and in the sinking of an escort destroyer. VF-20 completed its tour of duty in
January 1945 with a total of 158 victories.
2000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W Double Wasp 18-cylinder radial piston engine
Empty - 9150 lbs.,
Max Takeoff - 15,410 lbs.
Wing Span - 42ft. 10in.
Length - 33ft. 7in.
Height - 13ft. 6in.
Maximum Speed at 23,500 ft - 380mph
Cruising Speed at 6,000 ft - 168mph
Ceiling - 37,300 ft
Range - 1,530 miles with 150-gallon drop tank
6 X 12.7mm (0.5 inch) wing-mounted machine guns
2 X 1,000-lb bombs, or six 127mm (5-inch) rockets