Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1117 Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat White 99, CAG 19, USS Lexington , November 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.

There actually were two Grumman F6F-5 “White 99”s with similar markings both belonged to T. High Winters. Winters was the original leader of VF-19 on USS Lexington and in September 1944 was promoted to Commander Air Group 19 and used the callsign “99 Mohawk”. The CAGs aircraft were inappropriately referred to as Hangar Lilies (always parked on the hangar deck) with the first one damaged by flak and pushed over board. On the second F6F-5 along with 8 victory markings; there was a flower painted forward of the windscreen.

Specifications (F6F-5):
Engine:
2000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W Double Wasp 18-cylinder radial piston engine Weight:
Empty - 9150 lbs.,
Max Takeoff - 15,410 lbs.
Dimensions:
Wing Span - 42ft. 10in.
Length - 33ft. 7in.
Height - 13ft. 6in.
Performance:
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
Armament:
6 X 12.7mm (0.5 inch) wing-mounted machine guns
2 X 1,000-lb bombs, or six 127mm (5-inch) rockets