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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Warbird Digest
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:28 am 
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I think the Hellcat is quite a good looking airplane. Not sleek and streamlined like a P-51 or an early P-38 perhaps, but good looking in a very functional way. I also expect that it's docile handling qualities compared to something like an F4U made it a much better airplane for a three-hundred hour, frightened kid to try to get back aboard ship with.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:37 am 
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This also lent the Hellcat to being more maneuverable at slow speeds than the Corsair was in a dogfight (although the Corsair was more maneuverable at high speed than the Hellcat).


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:22 pm 
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Lot's of Hellcat and Corsair action in "Flying Leathernecks". https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043547/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2KN25zFJu8

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:32 am 
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Well, I saw on TV that you could just go and find Hellcats at random desert airports, tow them home and with a few grinder sparks you can have them flying again.
:D

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:55 am 
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Coming in late, but everything said thus far is dead on. Good handful of projects on the way, and VERY well-done too. Might've missed it, but don't think anyone mentioned Collings Hellcat that's coming along? Ezell is restoring Rod's and if you saw the pictures they posted today of the Brewster, (and the F8F), the Hellcat will be phenomenal. Same with Allied Fighters, check out Dottie and apply that restoration to the Hellcat... Gorgeous!!!

In SoCal, CAF's Minsi gets around A LOT. I almost feel bad for the girl, the 3 other Hellcats are all flawless without any chips in the paint, etc... Both of CAF's 'Cats could use some love, but I guess that's what happens why you fly them every weekend! Watching Jason Somes put her through her paces at Redlands Hangar 24 was awesome!!! Plenty of more respect for the F6F after that. Much beefier sounding than the Goodyear FG-1s, similar to the Bearcat and Chance-Vought later models (-5, -7).

I think the other reason there isn't much love is that Hellcats don't seem to be a "casual" warbird pilot plane. Mustangs, Corsairs, Bearcats, a good amount of them are owned by individuals and who really wants a Hellcat when you could get any of those 3? (I know some of you would, but I would have to take a Bearcat too realistically....) Probably a good reason there aren't many around, none of them raced,.... etc... Similar to the F7F, but without the sexiness and power.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:00 am 
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I imagine that their rarity today is due to the fact that there were few survivors left to restore. The P-51 and Corsair had long post-WWII careers, so there were quite a few to be found when the warbird movement was starting up. While the F6Fs were quickly replaced by the USN (and scrapped because there was no secondary market for carrier, as opposed to land-based, fighters). Someday I hope to see a flying Hellcat; I guess the odds of that are improving!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:42 am 
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Hellcats made great drones in the '50's...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:05 am 
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Yeah, quite a number of the Hellcats surviving today were once used as drones in the 1950's (and perhaps one key reason why they were able to survive to this day/avoid scrapping). I believe all of the Hellcats displayed at the NEAM, NASM, USMC Museum, USS Yorktown, Andrews AFB, Kalamazoo Air Zoo, Palm Springs Air Musuem, the FHCAM Hellcat and at least part of the airframe that went into the Rod Lewis (former TFC) Hellcat were once used as drones. When the FHCAM Hellcat was overhauled and refinished several years back, they found some red paint in areas inside the fuselage still, tied to its days as a drone.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:07 am 
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Did they use anything else for drones in those days, apart from F6F's and B-17's? Early model Corsairs, P-47's...?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:12 pm 
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GRNDP51 wrote:
Coming in late, but everything said thus far is dead on. Good handful of projects on the way, and VERY well-done too. Might've missed it, but don't think anyone mentioned Collings Hellcat that's coming along? Ezell is restoring Rod's and if you saw the pictures they posted today of the Brewster, (and the F8F), the Hellcat will be phenomenal. Same with Allied Fighters, check out Dottie and apply that restoration to the Hellcat... Gorgeous!!!

In SoCal, CAF's Minsi gets around A LOT. I almost feel bad for the girl, the 3 other Hellcats are all flawless without any chips in the paint, etc... Both of CAF's 'Cats could use some love, but I guess that's what happens why you fly them every weekend! Watching Jason Somes put her through her paces at Redlands Hangar 24 was awesome!!! Plenty of more respect for the F6F after that. Much beefier sounding than the Goodyear FG-1s, similar to the Bearcat and Chance-Vought later models (-5, -7).

I think the other reason there isn't much love is that Hellcats don't seem to be a "casual" warbird pilot plane. Mustangs, Corsairs, Bearcats, a good amount of them are owned by individuals and who really wants a Hellcat when you could get any of those 3? (I know some of you would, but I would have to take a Bearcat too realistically....) Probably a good reason there aren't many around, none of them raced,.... etc... Similar to the F7F, but without the sexiness and power.

Minsi does get around quite a bit. I caught it at Beale this year and I'm pretty sure it was at Chino the following weekend.
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The Hellcat isn't the best looking warbird out there. Its not a bad looking plane, but there is just something a little awkward about it. I also agree, its not a "casual" warbird. I enjoy seeing them fly, they have an important place in history. Its just that since there are other more attractive looking planes out there that cost the same to operate why buy the Hellcat unless you want to stand out in the crowd?

Will


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:29 pm 
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Blackbirdfan wrote:
The Hellcat isn't the best looking warbird out there. Its not a bad looking plane, but there is just something a little awkward about it. I also agree, its not a "casual" warbird. I enjoy seeing them fly, they have an important place in history. Its just that since there are other more attractive looking planes out there that cost the same to operate why buy the Hellcat unless you want to stand out in the crowd?


Those are fightin' words right there!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:04 pm 
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C VEICH wrote:
Blackbirdfan wrote:
The Hellcat isn't the best looking warbird out there. Its not a bad looking plane, but there is just something a little awkward about it. I also agree, its not a "casual" warbird. I enjoy seeing them fly, they have an important place in history. Its just that since there are other more attractive looking planes out there that cost the same to operate why buy the Hellcat unless you want to stand out in the crowd?


Those are fightin' words right there!

Not meant to be fighting words. Just an observation. I think its the peak of the canopy. It gives it a bit of a humped back look. The Wildcat is a little more smooth, the Bearcat is a bubble canopy. The Tigercat is the best looking of the bunch. The lines on that are perfect.

Will


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:38 pm 
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Blackbirdfan wrote:
Not meant to be fighting words. Just an observation. I think its the peak of the canopy. It gives it a bit of a humped back look. The Wildcat is a little more smooth, the Bearcat is a bubble canopy. The Tigercat is the best looking of the bunch. The lines on that are perfect.



I was just kidding Will, to each their own of course. I've actually become a much bigger fan of the Hellcat in recent years than I was in my younger days. Probably because I built a model of the airplane which turned out to be one of the best flying and most successful scale models I have had. Plus I pretty much have an addiction to anything from Grumman with a prop on the front of it!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:24 pm 
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Blackbirdfan wrote:
Minsi does get around quite a bit. I caught it at Beale this year and I'm pretty sure it was at Chino the following weekend.

The Hellcat isn't the best looking warbird out there. Its not a bad looking plane, but there is just something a little awkward about it. I also agree, its not a "casual" warbird. I enjoy seeing them fly, they have an important place in history. Its just that since there are other more attractive looking planes out there that cost the same to operate why buy the Hellcat unless you want to stand out in the crowd?

Will

She was at Beale then Chino then Hangar 24 then PRS all within about 2 months I believe. A lot of flying for a Hellcat!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:07 am 
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Anything happening with Kermit's Hellcat??

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