Grumman Wildcat FM2, G-RUMW

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Grumman Wildcat FM2, G-RUMW

Wildcat © Jean-Pierre Touzeau& Australian War Memorial
Wildcat © Jean-Pierre Touzeau& Australian War Memorial

The Grumman Wildcat is an American designed carrier-based fighter aircraft. It served in the US Navy as well as in the British Naval Air Force during the Pacific War.
Despite the performance of the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero, its main adversary, the Wildcat demonstrated a very effective force during the great battles of 1942, such as those of the Coral Sea, Midway, or Guadalcanal.

The Royal Navy adopted it, preferring it to the Sea-Hurricane and Seafire that were more difficult to operate on aircraft carriers, and available in fewer numbers.

From 1943, the more efficient Chance Vought F4U Corsair and Grumman F6F Hellcat began to replace it.
However, the Wildcat continued to be used until the end of the war on escort aircraft carriers where its small size was an advantage.

This Wildcat was built by the General Motors Corporation (Eastern Aircraft Division) at Trenton, New Jersey for the US Navy in 1945, and accepted by the US Navy on the 24th July 1945. It was immediately placed into storage at Tillamook Naval Air Station, Oregon. The aircraft was subsequently struck off US Navy charge on the 28th February 1946.

The aircraft went through a series of private owners between 1946 and 1975, and in 1975 it was placed on display at the Chennault Air Museum, California. This is where it stayed until 1992, when it was moved to Chino for overhaul to airworthy condition by Fighter Rebuilders. The first post restoration flight took place in January 1993.

The aircraft was acquired by The Fighter Collection in 1993 and shipped to Duxford in April of the same year. It currently wears the scheme of a Fleet Air Arm Wildcat on board HMS Tracker in 1944.

Operator: The Fighter Collection
Manufacturing date: 1945
Serial number: 5765
Livery: Fleet Air Arm