The grumman f4f wildcat is an american carrier based fighter aircraft that began service with both the united states navy and the british royal navy in 1940 where it was initially known as the martlet. After war erupted in the pacific the grumman f4f wildcat was the primary fighter aircraft operated by the united states navy and the marine corps by 1942 every american navy fighter squadron flew the f4f. The f4f wildcat usually outnumbered and outclassed by its opponents was a heroic airplane this article was written by bruce l crawford and originally published in aviation history for more great articles subscribe to aviation history magazine today. Grumman put an f4f 3 wildcat on floats and called it f4f 3s seaplane fighter with the great nickname wildcatfish unfortunately the addition of the floats reduced top speed to 250 mph far too slow to be an effective fighter. The f4f 4 was the first version of the wildcat to feature a grumman innovation the sto wing the sto wing used a novel approach using a compound angle folding wing that was unique to grumman leroy grumman developed the idea by experimenting with a rubber eraser and a paperclip
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