The incredible story of the Grumman F4 Wildcat is a testament to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of American flyers of WWII. The F4 was the Navyʼs only available fighter at the beginning of the war, and had to do battle with the much faster, more maneuverable Japanese Zero. With aerial tactics devised to make the most of the rugged Wildcat and to confuse and outmaneuver the Mitsubishis, the tough old cat maintained a ratio of seven enemy aircraft downed to every single F4 lost. Lewis Air Legends is especially proud of this F4F-3. Though it never saw combat, it is intertwined with one of the most fascinating and courageous characters of the war, Edward Henry “Butch” OʼHare. If the name sounds familiar itʼs because Chicagoʼs OʼHare Airport is named after the Navyʼs first flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient. Butch OʼHare is practically synonymous with the Wildcat. Like the F4 that graces the Butch OʼHare exhibit at the Chicago hub, this fighter was pulled from the bottom of Lake Michigan, nearly 50 years after it had crashed there on a training flight, and painted with Butch OʼHareʼs scheme. The big difference is, this Wildcat is the only flying model in existence.
|Max Speed||318 mph|
|Gross Weight||7,063 lbs|
|Power Plant||Pratt & Whitney R-1830-36 Twin Wasp 14 cyl radial piston engine|
4 x .50 cal