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F2M U.S. Navy Wildcat - Palm Springs
Palm Springs Air Museum visit November, 2008

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Grumman FM-2 Wildcat

Grumman FM-2 Wildcat at Palm Springs Air Museum

The Wildcat FM-2 was a single seat, U.S. Navy carrier-based fighter.

According to museum information,  his Wildcat was delivered to the Navy from Eastern Aircraft, Linden, N.J. in June 1944, and was assigned to CASU 30 (Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 30). It retired from the Navy in November 1945, and has seen service with various civil owners. It is kept in flying condition.

The principal manufacturer of the Wildcat was Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp, Bethpage, L.I. N.Y. who produced approximately 1400 F4Fs. Under license, General Motors, Eastern Aircraft Division, Linden N.J. produced 4,467 FM-2s in 13 months. By 1945, the FM-2 was the standard fighter on board almost all of the U.S. Navy's 114 escort carriers.

Grumman FM-2 Wildcat at Palm Springs Air Museum

F4F / FM-2 is read as follows:
The first letter "F" designates a fighter aircraft (Navy).
The number "4" designates the 4th naval fighter produced by Grumman.
The second letter "F" designates a Grumman built aircraft.
The letter "M" designates a General Motors Aircraft.
The final number 1,2,3,4 etc designates continuing improved or revised versions of the same model aircraft.

The Wildcat has a 1350 hp Wright Cyclone R - 1820 (9) cylinder radial air cooled engine and weighs 7487 lbs. when loaded. Its wing span is 38 feet and 14 feet 4 inches when folded. It can carry up to to 500 pound bombs. Photo above, right, is courtesy of the Palm Springs Air Museum.


Also see on our website

F4F Wildcat - American Aircraft


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