FHC Hellcat First Flight
YouTube / Fight to Fly Photography
After Years of Hard Work
March 27, 2013, was a day of celebration for Flying Heritage Collection’s ground crews. Finally, after years of restoration work, their very own restored Grumman F6F-5N can finally grace the skies with Steve Hinton at the controls.
The F6F-5N variant, like the 79863, was specifically designed for night fighting. It was equipped with radar and had improved visibility at night, making it an effective tool for intercepting enemy aircraft. The F6F-5N was also armed with six .50 caliber machine guns and could carry up to two 1,000-pound bombs.
The 79863 was manufactured by Grumman in 1944 and was initially assigned to the United States Navy. It was later transferred to the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm and was used by the No. 1844 Naval Air Squadron. The aircraft was eventually retired from service in 1946 and was stored in a naval aircraft yard until it was acquired by the Flying Heritage Collection in 1998.
Today, the 79863 is one of the few remaining F6F-5N aircraft in existence and is on display at the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington.