Grumman Hellcat NF Mk.II: A Hungry, Hungry Gannet (ii)

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Grumman Hellcat NF Mk.II

Hello and welcome to my second of three suggestions for the Grumman F6F Hellcat in FAA service, Today’s suggestion will focus on a familiar variant of the Hellcat, the F6F-5N in Royal Navy service, dubbed the Hellcat NF Mk.II, I feel this could come to game as a multirole Naval fighter to fill the areas between 3.0 and 5.0



The F6F-5 was an improved variant of the F6F-3 aircraft, featuring a slightly improved Water cooled version of the R-2800-10 engine dubbed the 10W, this variant saw significant use with the FAA with over 900 F6F-5s being supplied to the British under the designation Hellcat Mk.II, this is the variant we currently have in game, however, far lesser known is the Night Fighter variant of the Hellcat, the F6F-5N, these aircraft were also supplied to the FAA, with two squadrons.

The first Squadron was 892 Naval air squadron, this squadron had originally been equipped with Grumman Martlet Mk.IV fighters, however had been disbanded in 1943. The squadron was reformed on the 1st of April 1945 and supplied with several Hellcat NF Mk.IIs, they trained in scotland and in december they were deployed to HMS Ocean, who had been converted into a dedicated Night Fighter Carrier, whilst they were not deployed for combat, the goal of this mission was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Hellcat as a night fighter against the Fairey firefly to investigate if they were worth Buying instead of returning or destroying like other lend lease aircraft, the trials continued into April 1946 in which the FAA judged the Firefly was sufficient as a Interim Night fighter and the Squadron was disbanded later that year.

The second squadron was 891 Naval air squadron, having originally been disbanded in 1943 alongside its Hawker Sea Hurricanes, it reformed in June 1945 and was quickly equipped with the NF Mk.II, intended to be deployed to the Indo-Pacific regions, however before they could deploy, the War ended in august and the Squadron was disbanded in September that year.

The Night Fighter variant was only able to be deployed to those two squadrons before the War ended, The NF Mk.II had featured various changes over the standard Mk.II, incorporating the AN/APS-6 radar in the starboard wing and having its armament changed to include two 20mm Cannons, however it never truly got a chance to shine with the FAA before the end of the war.




Several Hellcat NF Mk.IIs of 892 Squadron in October 1945


Several Hellcats preparing to launch from the deck of HMS Ocean


A Hellcat NF Mk.II being attached to the Steam Catapult of HMS Ocean


A Hellcat Having waved off following a bad approach


A Hellcat Making a bad landing on the deck of HMS ocean


The Hellcat from above, almost falling overboard into the sea

The Same hellcat being being prepared to be Hoisted back up onto the deck



General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 33 ft 7 in (10.24 m)
  • Wingspan: 42 ft 10 in (13.06 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m)
  • Wing area: 334 sq ft (31.0 m2)
  • Engine: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W Double Wasp 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 2,200 hp (1,600 kW) with a two-speed two-stage supercharger and water injection
  • Aspect ratio: 5.5
  • Airfoil: root: NACA 23015.6; tip: NACA 23009
  • Empty weight: 9,238 lb (4,190 kg)
  • Gross weight: 12,598 lb (5,714 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 15,415 lb (6,992 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 250 US gal (208 imp gal; 946 L) internal; up to 3 × 150 US gal (125 imp gal; 568 L) external drop tanks
  • Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0211
  • Drag area: 7.05 sq ft (0.655 m2)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton Standard, 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m) diameter constant-speed propeller


  • Maximum speed: 391 mph (629 km/h, 340 kn)
  • Stall speed: 84 mph (135 km/h, 73 kn)
  • Combat range: 945 mi (1,521 km, 821 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 1,530 mi (2,460 km, 1,330 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 37,300 ft (11,400 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,600 ft/min (13 m/s)
  • Time to altitude: 20,000 ft (6,096 m) in 7 minutes 42 seconds
  • Lift-to-drag: 12.2
  • Wing loading: 37.7 lb/sq ft (184 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.16 hp/lb (0.26 kW/kg)
  • Take-off run: 799 ft (244 m)



  • 2 x 20mm AN/M2 cannons (225 rounds per gun)
  • 4 x 12.7mm Browning machine guns (400 rounds per gun)


  • up to a 2000 lbs bomb under fuselage
  • up to 1000 lbs of bombs under each wing


  • Up to 6 HVAR Rockets
  • possibly up to 6 RP-3 Rockets (unsure)
  • 1 x Tiny Tim rocket under each wing


  • 1 x Torpedo of up to 2000 lbs


  • AN/APS-6 Radar

Place in game


I feel this could be a strong contender to give Britain Naval Fighters between 3.0 and 5.0, currently this would fit perfectly at 4.3 where currently Britain has no naval aircraft at all between 3.7 and 5.0 and this would give a good performing Naval aircraft to fill that gap. Since it is effectively identical to the F6F-5N in the US tree, bar maybe some suspended armament, it would most likely sit at the same BR with the biggest differences being the Camouflage.



Grumman F6F Hellcat - Wikipedia
891 Naval Air Squadron - Wikipedia
892 Naval Air Squadron - Wikipedia
Grumman F6F Hellcat
MaritimeQuest - Raymond J. Stenner, R.N. Collection Page 4
F6F Performance Trials
F6F-5N - War Thunder Wiki



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This would be a nice addition to the UK strike fighter line, especially if it gets the RP-3 rockets. It’d be fine without them, but they make it that much more special as a British-service version. +1

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