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F4F Wildcat - January 2015

Posted by Megan McChain
on Monday, November 24, 2014

Ron Denning

Kansas City, Missouri

Ron writes: “In February 1943, the first and only F4F Wildcat modified with floats took to the air. It was partly a response to the Japanese Zero floatplane that had appeared in the Pacific and partly due to scarcity of forward-area airfields. But flight testing proved that the floats reduced flight speed and maneuverability even further below the Zero’s. With Allied airfields being built at a greater rate than anticipated, the “Wildcatfish” was only a one-off.” Ron built way out from Revell’s 1/32 scale model, shortening floats from a Cedar Creek de Havilland Beaver to spec. He scratchbuilt the float undercarriage using the wheels from two other Revell Wildcats and fabricated small auxiliary fins and a large ventral fin from sheet styrene. Tie-downs are segments of plastic tubing; the float rudder-control cables and antenna lead are steel guitar string; and photoetched-metal seat belts went into the cockpit.

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