GRUMMAN F4F WILDCAT

WILDCAT SERVICE

Manufacturers: The Grumman Aircraft Engr. Corp, Bethpage, Long Is., New York, USA
General Motors Corp., Eastern Aircraft Division, Trenton, New Jersey, USA
Models: G-16, G-18, G-33, G-36, G-43, G-52, G-53
Designations: F4F; FM, F2M
Names: Wildcat; Wildcatfish (F4F-3S), Martlet (Royal Navy)
First official flight: (XF4F-2) 02/09/1937
Factory production period: 1937 - 1945
Primary service period: 1940 - 1945
Last official flight: 1945

WILDCAT VARIANTS

Grumman

1937 Model G-18 XF4F-2 1  
         
1940 Model G-36 F4F-3 285  
1940 Model G-36A Martlet Mk. I 91  
1940 Model G-36B Martlet Mk. II 100  
1941 Model G-36 F4F-3A 95  
         
1941 Model G-36 XF4F-4 1  
1941 Model G-36 F4F-4 1169  
1941 Model G-36 Martlet Mk. IV 220  
         
1940 Model G-36 XF4F-5 2  
1940 Model G-36 XF4F-6 1  
1941 Model G-52 F4F-7 21  
1942 Model G-36 XF4F-8 2 Total: 1988

General Motors

1942 Model G-36 FM-1 1060  
1943 Model G-36 FM-2 4777 Total: 5837

 

Grand Total: 7825


The narrow spaced undercarriage on all Wildcats were hand-cranked
with 29 turns required when retracted or lowered.
Warbirds Over Wanaka, New Zealand, 2002.

WILDCAT PRODUCTION

Grumman

XF4F-1 - Model G-16 biplane fighter design, not built.

XF4F-2
Prototype monoplane fighter, 2 nose guns,
fixed wings, later upgraded to XF4F-3.
Produced 1937

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.0383 356

Total: 0001

Model G-33 - 1938, proposed engine upgrade, cancelled.

F4F-3
As XF4F-3, 4 wing guns, minor changes,
late production aircraft had engine upgrade.
First 2 airframes retained for tests.
Produced 1940 - 1943

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.1844, 1845 558, 559  
BuNo.1848 / 1896 562 / 610  
BuNo.2512 / 2538 616 / 642  
BuNo.3856 / 3874 738 / 756  
BuNo.3970 / 4057 852 / 939  
BuNo.12230 / 12329 5890 / 5989

Total: 0285

Martlet Mk. I
As F4F-3, order for France, diverted to
Royal Navy, fixed wings, 4 wing guns,
engine upgrade. First 7 with US reg.:
NX-G1 / NX-G7. 81 delivered, last 10
lost at sea.
Produced 1940

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

(RAF) AL231 / AL262 unknown  
(RAF) AX725 / AX747 unknown  
(RAF) AX753, AX754 unknown  
(RAF) AX761 unknown  
(RAF) AX824 / AX829 unknown  
(RAF) BJ554 / BJ570 unknown  
(RAF) BT447 / BT456 unknown

Total: 0091

Martlet Mk. II
As Martlet Mk. I, order for Britain, similar to
XF4F-4 with engine upgrade, folding wings,
6 wing guns. AM954 / AM963 with fixed wings,
redesignated as Martlet Mk. III.
Produced 1940 - 1942

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

(RAF) AJ100 / AJ153 unknown  
(RAF) AM954 / AM999 unknown

Total: 0100

F4F-3A
As F4F-3, supercharged engine of XF4F-6,
First 30 diverted from Greece to Royal Navy
as Martlet Mk. III. Original designation was F6F-6.
Produced 1940 - 1941

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.3875 / 3969 757 / 851

Total: 0095

XF4F-4
As F4F-3, hydraulic folding wings,
6 wing guns, pilot armour.
Produced 1941

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.1897 611

Total: 0001

F4F-4
As XF4F-4, manual folding wings.
Produced 1941 - 1942

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.4058 / 4098 940 / 980  
BuNo.5030 / 5049 981 / 1000  
BuNo.5050 / 5262 2001 / 2213  
BuNo.01991 / 02152 3026 / 3187  
BuNo.03385 / 03544 3190 / 3349  
BuNo.11655 / 12227 unknown

Total: 1169

F4F-4A - Projected version with engine upgrade, cancelled.

Martlet Mk. IV
As F4F-4, Lend-Lease version for Royal Navy,
engine upgrade, US designation
F4F-4B.
Produced 1940
Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

(RN) FN100 / FN319 unknown

Total: 0220

XF4F-5
As F3F-3, factory converted with two
separate engine upgrades.
Produced 1940

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.1846, 1847 560, 561

Total: 0002

XF4F-6
As F3F-3, factory converted with engine
upgrade, prototype to the F4F-3A.
Produced 1940

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.7031 737

Total: 0001

F4F-7
As F4F-4, unarmed photo reconn. version,
fixed wings, autopilot.
Produced 1941 - 1942

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.5263 / 5283 2214 / 2234

Total: 0021

XF4F-8
As F4F-4, reduced weight, slotted flaps,
engine upgrade, second airframe with tall tail.
Produced 1942

Grumman Bethpage, New York (F)

BuNo.12228, 12229 unknown

Total: 0002

General Motors

FM-1
GM built version of the F4F-4, 4 wing guns.
Produced 1942 - 1943

General Motors Linden, New Jersey (M)

BuNo.14992 / 15951 unknown  
BuNo.46738 / 46837 unknown

Total: 1060

FM-2
GM built version of the XF4F-8, tall tail, lower
observation windows deleted, 4 wing guns,
engine upgrade.
Produced 1943 - 1945

General Motors Linden, New Jersey (M)

BuNo.15952 / 16791 unknown  
BuNo.46838 / 47437 unknown  
BuNo.55050 / 55649 unknown  
BuNo.56684 / 57083 unknown  
BuNo.73499 / 75158 unknown  
BuNo.86297 / 86973 unknown

Total: 4777

746 additional airframes cancelled.


The General Motors FM-2 Wildcat was the last Wildcat variant
produced, it had the taller tail and the distinctive under fuselage
observation windows deleted. This one was delivered with BuNo. 86819.
Warbirds Over Wanaka, New Zealand, 2002.

XF2M-1 - 1944, 3 prototypes with engine upgrade, cancelled on VJ Day.

Grand Total: 7825

WILDCAT CONVERSIONS

US Navy

XF4F-3 1 Model G-36
(Model G-18) XF4F-2, 1939, redesigned fixed wings, fuselage, tail section,
engine upgrade. Proposal made to the Army as the Model G-43.
F4F-3P 18 17 F4F-3 / 1 F3F-3A, 1940, photo reconnaissance conversions.
F4F-3S 1 Wildcatfish
F4F-3(4038), 1943, float plane conversion, later with ventral stabilising fin.
F4F-4P 1+ F4F-4, photo reconnaissance conversions.
FM-2P 1+ FM-2, photo reconnaissance conversions.
Model G-53 1 F4F-4(5262), 1942, factory converted with fixed wings, full span flaps.

British Royal Navy

Martlet name changed to Wildcat in 1944.
Martlet Mk. III 40 10 Martlet Mk. II, 1941-1945, fixed wing version for Royal Navy.
Assigned RN s/n: AM954 / AM963.
30 F4F-3A, 1941-1945, fixed wing order for Greece, diverted
to Royal Navy in the Middle East.
Assigned RN s/n: AX733, AX824 / AX829, BJ507 / BJ527,
HK841, HK842. Some s/n's duplicated with Martlet Mk. I.
Martlet Mk. V 312 FM-1, 1942-1945, aircraft in service with the Royal Navy.
Assigned RN s/n: JV325 / JV636.
Wildcat Mk. VI 370 FM-2, 1944-1945, aircraft in service with the Royal Navy.
Assigned RN s/n: JV637 / JV924, JW785 / JW836,
JZ860 / JZ889.

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