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This page is about the American naval fighter F4F-3. For other versions, see F4F (Family).
GarageImage F4F-3.jpg
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The F4F-3 Wildcat is a rank II American fighter with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB/RB) and 3.0 (SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

The Wildcat is a beast when piloted well. Its strengths lie in its firepower and diving ability, but it also has the ability to outmanoeuvre most aircraft in War Thunder. This gives you numerous options when dogfighting.

The F4F-3 Wildcat is a good all-around fighter, though its top speed and rate of climb are lacking. It is good to go head-on with opponents from other nations as their aircraft won't be able to withstand the damage that the Wildcat can deal, and the good protection for your pilot added to the overall resilience of the aircraft gives it some pretty impressive defence.

General info

Flight performance

Arrestor gear
Accelerates braking by grabbing the brake cable on the deck of the aircraft carrier
Max speed
at 5 800 m518 km/h
Turn time18 s
Max altitude12 000 m
EnginePratt & Whitney R-1830-86
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight4 t

In the air, the Wildcat performs pretty well, with roll rate and turn time being adequate for most engagements. However, on the ground (not on a carrier), it does not perform as well. The acceleration, even when fully upgraded, is subpar on the ground. When taking off, you will find yourself still struggling to take off when most of your teammates are already in the air.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 5,800 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 499 482 12000 19.9 20.7 12.7 12.7 210
Upgraded 540 518 18.0 18.9 18.0 15.1


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
826 320 420 420 420 ~14 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 300 < 330 < 350 > 335
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
1,158 m 1,100 hp 1,210 hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
3,444 m 1,090 hp 1,199 hp
Setting 3
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
5,608 m 1,040 hp N/A

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural826 km/h
Gear320 km/h
  • 6.35 mm steel- behind pilot's body
  • 8 mm steel - behind pilot's head
  • 38 mm bulletproof glass - armoured windscreen

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB530 → 665 Sl icon.png
RB1 600 → 2 009 Sl icon.png
SB1 230 → 1 544 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications6 880 Rp icon.png
9 390 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost530 Ge icon.png
Crew training3 000 Sl icon.png
Experts10 000 Sl icon.png
Aces130 Ge icon.png
Research Aces160 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
20 / 70 / 190 % Sl icon.png
112 / 112 / 112 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
460 Rp icon.png
630 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
460 Rp icon.png
630 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
520 Rp icon.png
710 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
580 Rp icon.png
790 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
580 Rp icon.png
790 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
1 100 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
520 Rp icon.png
710 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
1 100 Rp icon.png
1 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
460 Rp icon.png
630 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
520 Rp icon.png
710 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
580 Rp icon.png
790 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png


Offensive armament

Ammunition1 800 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min
Main article: M2 Browning (12.7 mm)

The F4F-3 is armed with:

  • 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (450 rpg = 1,800 total)

Suspended armament

Number of setups1
List of setups
Setup 12 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bomb
Main article: AN-M30A1 (100 lb)

The F4F-3 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (200 lb total)

Usage in battles

The Wildcat is an easy plane to fly. It is very manoeuvrable and well-armed for its class. You can out turn pretty much all German and Russian aircraft, but beware that you don't get sucked into a turn fight with any of the Japanese planes and especially the British Spitfire.

The Wildcat will have a hard time downing planes simply because it has only 4 machine guns, you will often get matched with the Bf 109 E-3 and F-1 which have powerful cannons and a very good turn rate. The best way to use this plane is to BnZ since most of your opponents are less armoured and are slower. You can also out turn some of the Russian aircraft, but you cannot simply dive away, as you may rip the wings off.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Auto control available
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Separate Controllable
3 gears
Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • More than adequate turn rate
  • Decent armament with loads of ammo, 4 wing-mounted .50 calibre with 450 rpg
  • Almost never overheats, even when holding down WEP
  • Decent roll rate
  • Can carry bombs
  • Can take some damage
  • Good Pilot Protection
  • Good dive speed and characteristic
  • Can fly with a red engine (AB)


  • The F4F-3 is a rather sluggish climber, doing 15 degrees at most
  • Terrible at head-ons, due to the exposed engine being a target and the guns being wing-mounted
  • Most of the flammable components are stored in the front of the plane, near the pilot
  • Only 4 x .50 cal, somehow inadequate compared to the P-40
  • Bad cockpit rear visibility (SB)
  • Engine and oil overheat quickly when using WEP


During the early years WW2, the United States' main fighter in its navy was the F4F Wildcat, one of the first monoplane navy fighters of its era. It served well in many battles, like the battle for Wake Island, and most notably in the battle of Guadalcanal. It was a very reliable aircraft, however, was constantly challenged by the infamous A6M2 and A6M3 Zero. However, most of the time skilled pilots like John Smith were able to out-dogfight more manoeuvrable fighters like the Zero and Oscar in those battles.

In-game description

The first model, the XF4F-1, was a biplane, but to meet the demands of U.S. Navy's carrier-based monoplane competition, the Grumman Company changed the design, creating the XF4F-2 prototype. Due to a number of defects in the XF4F-2, a competing firm won instead with the Brewster F2A Buffalo. However, the F4F had potential and was sent back for revision. The next model was superior to the Buffalo, and the other new versions of the Buffalo did not satisfy the requirements of the fleet, so in August of 1939, Grumman received an order for the first series of F4F-3 Wildcats.

The F4F-3 was a single-engine all-metal plane with midwing construction, armed with four 12.7 mm M-2 Browning machine guns. Because of its lack of manoeuvrability, the F4F-3 lost to the Japanese fighter in close dogfights, so pilots prefer to avoid such situations by diving out of battle, taking advantage of their aircraft's higher speed.

The Wildcat had only one major drawback - the landing gear extension system. In order to release or retract the landing gear, the pilot had to crank a mechanical hoist handle 29 times, which was difficult given the need to direct the aircraft and start climbing after takeoff.

The Wildcat was exported to Greece, Britain and Canada.

All in all, 7251 F4Fs (including all variants) were constructed, including 285 F4F-3s.


  • Updated image of the F4F-3.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation
Fighters  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2 · F4F-3 · F4F-4 · F6F-5 · F6F-5N · F7F-1 · F7F-3 · F8F-1 · F8F-1B · XF5F · XP-50
Jet Fighters  F9F-2 · F9F-5 · F9F-8 · F11F-1
Bombers  TBF-1C
Export  ▄Martlet Mk IV · ▄F6F-5 · ▄F6F-5N · ▄F8F-1B · ▄Avenger Mk II · ▄Hellcat Mk II

USA fighters
P-26 Peashooter  P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
P-36 Hawk  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G
P-39 Airacobra  P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
P-40  P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40E-1 TD · P-40F-10
P-43 Lancer  P-43A-1
P-47 Thunderbolt  P-47D-22-RE · P-47D-25 · P-47D-28 · P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-47N-15
P-51 Mustang  P-51 · P-51A (Thunder League) · P-51C-10 · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA
P-63 Kingcobra  P-63A-5 · P-63A-10 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
Prototypes  XP-55
F2A Buffalo  F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3
F3F  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2
F4F Wildcat  F4F-3 · F4F-4
F4U Corsair  F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1D · F4U-1C · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214 · F2G-1
F6F Hellcat  F6F-5 · F6F-5N
F8F Bearcat  F8F-1 · F8F-1B
Other countries  ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃A6M2 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc