Grumman F4F-3S Wildcatfish

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The Wildcatfish was inspired by the Japanese success in adding floats to their A6M2 Zero fighter, and was intended to fill the same requirement – to provide fighter protection to islands in the Pacific where airfields were not available.
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Two large aluminum floats were designed for the Wildcat by the EDO Aircraft Corporation of Long Island, NY.  The aircraft was not amphibious, wheeled beaching gear was attached to the floats in order to bring the aircraft ashore.  F4F-3 Bureau Number 4038 was converted for the trails.  Note that the propeller tips are painted in the pre-war three-color warning stripes.  The wing guns appear to have been removed, but the bomb racks are in place.
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Two small auxiliary rudders were attached to the horizontal tailplanes to provide additional yaw control, which was required by the large surface area of the floats.  The standard wheel well openings were skinned over.
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The configuration was first flown on 28FEB43 at Norfolk.  Only a single aircraft was converted.
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Testing revealed the aircraft was unstable in yaw, so additional tail surface area was added under the fuselage.  The Japanese A6M2-N “Rufe” floatplane also had a similar modification.
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The floats reduced the top speed and maneuverability of the Wildcatfish, which was a major liability as the Japanese Zero was already faster and more agile than a standard Wildcat.  The U.S. Navy’s Seabee Construction Battalions had also proven themselves remarkably efficient at constructing airfields.  The modification was not put into production, and the Wildcatfish slipped into obscurity.
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Injection molded kits of the Wildcatfish are available from Amodel in 1/72 scale and Hobby Boss in 1/48.