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The Ace Maker by markkarvon The Ace Maker by markkarvon
The Grumman F6F Hellcat was the US Navy's answer to the superb Japanese A6M Zero during WWII. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney, 2000 HP radial engine and armed with 6 .50 cal machine guns, the Hellcat was all muscle. Flown from aircraft carriers, the type quickly proved dominant in the Pacific over it's Japanese counterparts. Racking up an impressive 19:1 kill ratio, the Hellcat became known as "the Ace Maker". This print depicts the Navy's all time leading ace, David McCampbell. "Minsi III" was an F6F-5 Hellcat David McCampbell flew in which he scored the last 23-1/2 of his 34 victories.
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:iconedward-55:
Edward-55 Featured By Owner May 11, 2015
cvool
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:iconsotf:
SOTF Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
The Hellcat was a game changer, considering it was armored enough to barrel towards a Zero's gunfire, survive it, and annihilate the opposition with a few shots.

Then, by the time the Hellcat entered the field, Japan's quality of its pilots were already in decline. It did, however, have to go up against the Ki-84 Hayate which was easily the IJN's best fighter (as it was built to counter B-29 Superfortresses).
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:iconmrdithers:
MrDithers Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014
The ailerons on the Zero were big to add to it's turning capability, but suffered compression problems at higher speeds.  The old manual to "Aces of the Pacific" quoted the 240mph speed and above as being where the Hellcats could turn faster and inside the Zero, and pilots were encouraged to never let the Zero get below that speed in a dogfight or it would eat you for lunch.  Also, earlier Zero's weren't armor plated so a good burst from the .50 cal's and they burst in to flames and came apart.

Even though the Wildcat couldn't match the Zero one-on-one, American pilots adapted what they had to pull out superior victories over their Japanese counterparts with the slower planes. They were still able to gain air superiority in Guadalcanal with the F4F-4, which was the slowest and most sluggish of the Wildcat's versions (because it carried 6 and not 4 guns).
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:icondemondogmarine1960:
DemonDogMarine1960 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013
AH, THE IMMORTAL HELLCAT!! It achieved a kill ratio of 12 to 1.
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:icongrummancat:
GrummanCat Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
The Hellcat episode of "Wings" (also known as "Great Planes" in the UK) quotes a kill ratio of 19-1. If I had to go to war in WW2, this is what I'd want to be in!
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:iconnick-leao:
Nick-leao Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015
I would surely want to be in a Spitfire Mk.IXb or a Bf-109 F4.
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:icongrummancat:
GrummanCat Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015
I'm a bit of a sissy who would want to do my killing in a well-armoured airplane :D I can hide behind that radial engine LOL
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:iconbowtiesrcool11:
BowtiesRcool11 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
A japanes zero was faster but the Hellcat could bank turns that the Zeros couldn't keep up with, forcing them to fly slower.
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:icongrummancat:
GrummanCat Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
The A6M has a published top speed of 326 mph. The Hellcat, 380 mph.
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:iconbowtiesrcool11:
BowtiesRcool11 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
was it the hellcat, I was thinking about something else, a fighter bomber, fat body. different.

Fat bodied fighter bomber with thick wings and can bank a turn the Zero cannot keep up with?
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:icongrummancat:
GrummanCat Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
WILDcat, my friend. F4F Wildcat. The predecessor to the Hellcat. Smaller engine. Slower.
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:iconcaniswolfe:
caniswolfe Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Over 180-240 mph, on the deck, the Wildcat would easily out maneuver a zero. Couldn't climb, not turn with one below 180mph. But over 180, and down low, Wildcats had a superior turn radius. The Zero had awful problems turning at high speeds above 180mph. Wildcats (like the M4 Sherman) are truly underrated fighters. 
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:iconbowtiesrcool11:
BowtiesRcool11 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
it could outbank a zero though but only a few pilots at the time knew that, I saw it somewhere, don't remember where?
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:iconcaniswolfe:
caniswolfe Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Amen. 
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:iconcaptainprower:
CaptainPrower Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Not to nit-pick, but how the hell do you get half a kill?
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:icongrummancat:
GrummanCat Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
I think you can also be awarded half a kill if you damaged an aircraft but no witnesses saw it actually crash. Otherwise known as a 'probable'.
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:iconnick-leao:
Nick-leao Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015
I dont know in the Pacific Theater, but in Europe american crews coul get a kill just saying something like: I shot a 109 down today. Even if no one saw it. This way many kills were overrated. Sometimes a pilot got 9 kills which is very unlikely. In a big operation B-17 crews counted more than 600 kills, when the germans flew with up to 300 planes that day...
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:icongrummancat:
GrummanCat Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015
Where did you hear that about easily recorded kills? It is at odds with what was one of the strictest confirmation systems in the world at the time. Both the RAF and USAAF required pretty solid verification from other pilots. Of course, other pilots could supposedly lie to back up their fellow's claims, but I'd like to know more about where you heard that if you don't mind.
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
When two airplanes did the shoot-down.
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:iconcaptainprower:
CaptainPrower Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
So it's like when you get a kill assist in a video game?
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:iconlawntig3r:
lawntig3r Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
YeehAW! Hell yeah! :D
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:iconjohnwickart:
johnwickart Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Another one of your fine works, Mark.
I have seen a couple of these fantastic machines at airshows. Almost a 20 to 1 kill ratio. Unbelievable.
Nice job.

For Christmas I got an intake valve from a Pratt and Whitney Twin Wasp still in its box from WWII. I use it as a paper weight on my desk.
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks John. I have never seen a Hellcat fly in person. I have seen Mustangs and Bearcats. That intake valve sound cool.
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:iconrenerdecastro:
RenerDeCastro Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Student General Artist
I LOVE the Hellcat. And I actually prefer it over the F4U Corsair.
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I love the Hellcat too. I also love the Corsair. I would love to have seen how the Bearcat would have fared in the war.
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:iconuglygosling:
uglygosling Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
I love this plane so much if it could cook I'd marry it - Hellcat pilot.
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:)
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:iconxyzseaman:
xyzseaman Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013
It's one of my favorite warbird in the game "War Thunder" :)
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:iconemalterre:
emalterre Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
a god is leading your hand to paint as this !
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:iconblacknight71:
blacknight71 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012
Those planes could take punishment and give it back and i am still blown away how you can get this done.
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much.
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:iconrageth:
RageTH Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That thing is a beast. Once we got going in our aircraft designing, we made some pretty mean musclecars of the sky. That one, the Corsair, a few others...

I always loved these later designs.
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:iconjncarter:
jncarter Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks.
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:iconpakpolaris:
PakPolaris Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How beautiful is that........
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you.
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:icondugazm:
dugazm Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
great:)
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks.
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:icon01damocles:
01Damocles Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012  Professional Artist
Stunning!
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you.
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:iconc4mper:
c4mper Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012
10/10....bravo !!!!
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you.
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:iconmobiusonedt:
mobiusonedt Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I guess this is depicting Dave's famous air battle during Leyte Gulf?
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yep.
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:iconetnediserple1988:
Etnediserple1988 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"The Zero Killer". Wonderful artwork!!.
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much.
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:iconddl-photography:
DDL-Photography Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
Another breathtaking piece of work Mark! Having the history going with the piece is great!
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:iconmarkkarvon:
markkarvon Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks. The history is really just a brief blurb for the search engines to find the image.
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:iconddl-photography:
DDL-Photography Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Professional General Artist
Your very welcome Mark!
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:iconitifonhom:
itifonhom Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Really great artwork, detailed and inspiring!!
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Submitted on
October 11, 2012
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