Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat (oz3709)


Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat (oz3709) by Walt Musciano from American Modeler 1963 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Grumman Wildcat. Scale model for control line, 38in wingspan for glow power from .29 to .60. The plan shows the markings and details of the F4F-3 flown by Joe Foss during the WWII Pacific campaign. Hobby Helpers plan #663.

Quote: "Here is Walt Musciano's Grumman Wildcat from American Modeler magazine issue May/June 1963. Oddly there is no picture of the model in the accompanying article."

Quote: "Flying scale fans are certain to hail these detailed plans for one of the Navy's best known fighters, the F4F-3 Grumman. Scaled one inch to the foot Walt's model has a wingspan of thirty-eight inches, takes a glow plug engine from .29 (in very good health!) to .60. Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat, by Walt Musciano.

When the Japanese task force struck at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, the United States was woefully unprepared to battle the vaunted Mitsubishi Zero fighter. Only one airplane in Uncle Sam's arsenal proved itself against the Japanese Naval menace and this was the Wildcat, Grumman's first venture with monoplane all metal fighters. The most used version of this distinctive mid-wing design, the F4F-3, was the US Navy's first line standard fighter and bore the brunt of the fighting in the South Pacific throughout 1942-1943 until it was replaced by the newer Hellcat and Corsair.

The Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat was powered by a Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp 1,200-hp engine which enabled the 6,100-lb craft to reach a top speed of 325-mph. Ceiling was 31,000 feet; cruising range at 297-mph was 1,120 miles. Six .50 caliber machine guns were fitted in the rigid wings of most production Wildcats. Some later models featured manually folding wings to facilitate storage aboard aircraft carriers. The F4F design saw extensive service with both the US Navy and Marine Corps. Many more were delivered to England and these were called Marlets. The Wildcat was one of the first US planes to employ self-sealing fuel tanks and protective armor for the pilot.

Its relatively light weight and large wing area made the Wildcat extremely maneuverable and, therefore, more of a match for the Zero than the P-39 or P-40. In addition, the F4F was able to withstand considerable punishment from the enemy guns. Very few Wildcats went down in flames. It was with planes such as these that men like O'Hare, Hansen and Foss were able to exact a terrific toll of Japanese aircraft over the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific as well as Wake Island in the north during our follow-up rounds in the Pacific.

Presented here is a control line model patterned after one of the Grumman fighters flown by Ace Joe Foss over Guadalcanal. It is scaled one inch to the foot which provides a general 38 inch wing span. Most any engine from a healthy .29 to a quiet .60 cubic inch dis-placement can be installed in the roomy nose. We recommend a .35 or .40 as ideal for all-round sport flying.

Construction begins with the wing. Cut spars and joiners, assemble these with proper dihedral. Cut ribs while assembly is drying. Cement ribs to spar fitting notches together, then cement bellcrank mount in place. Attach lead-out lines to bellcrank, slip these through rib holes. Bend wire control rod end, slip it into bellcrank. Bolt, bellcrank to mount. Cut leading edge and cement to ribs.

Butt join balsa sheet covering to equal chord width of wing, then cut to wing outline. Cement lower covering to spar, ribs and leading edge. Hold with pins until dry. Bevel trailing edge of lower covering to follow upper camber contour, then cement upper covering in place, using plenty of cement especially along beveled lower covering. Rough-cut wing tips, drill for lead-out lines, cement to tip ribs. Set wing aside to dry..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 24/11/2018: Added article, thanks to RFJ.

Supplementary file notes



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  • (oz3709)
    Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat
    by Walt Musciano
    from American Modeler
    May 1963 
    38in span
    Scale IC C/L Military Fighter
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 21/11/2012
    Filesize: 832KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: theshadow

  • Grumman_F4F_Wildcat | help
    see Wikipedia | search Outerzone

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User comments

Can this be used in Navy Carrier events? Other than the third line, throttle, flaps, and hook, what else would need to be done to make it competitive? Thanks.
AdamJudd - 11/03/2015
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  • Plan File Filesize: 832KB Filename: Grumman_F4F-3_Wildcat_oz3709.pdf
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* Credit field

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