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This page is about the American fighter F4F-4. For other variants, see F4F (Family).
GarageImage F4F-4.jpg
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The F4F-4 Wildcat is a rank II American fighter with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/SB) and 2.7 (RB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

General info

Flight performance

Arrestor gear
Accelerates braking by grabbing the brake cable on the deck of the aircraft carrier
Max speed
at 5 600 m517 km/h
Turn time19 s
Max altitude8 500 m
EnginePratt & Whitney R-1830-86
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight4 t

The Wildcat is a sort of middle child between the F2A Buffalo and the F6F Hellcat in the naval tree. While being slightly slower, climbing slower and turning worse than the previous F2A-3 Buffalo you unlocked, the Wildcat has two extra Browning M2's which ups the firepower by a decent amount. The Wildcat is also better at altitude than the Buffalo, meaning it's a better dogfighter at a high altitude. Given its traits, it is recommended to use the Wildcat as a high altitude dogfighter, although its mediocre climb rate makes it difficult to out-climb the opponents you face.

The clipped wings and light weight of the F4F-4 allows for a very solid roll rate while having little effect on its turning capabilities, as it will still be able to outturn most enemies.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 5,600 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 498 481 8500 20.9 21.8 11.6 11.6 258
Upgraded 538 517 18.9 19.9 16.8 14.0


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 ~13 ~4
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 320 < 390 < 300 > 200
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
3,157 m 800 hp 864 hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
5,220 m 950 hp 1,026 hp

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
  • Critical components located in front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls).

The Wildcats have two large and easy to hit fuel tanks that are placed in the centre of the fuselage, and a big oil cooling system in the cowling. This means that any pilot who knows where to aim will be able to seriously cripple you and send you limping back to the airfield if they don't kill you outright.

When facing against a Wildcat pilot, a smart Wildcat pilot will assess the situation it is in and plan accordingly. If you are in a plane that turns worse, do not take its bait to make you turn to fight them, so try to Boom-N-Zoom it and vice-versa for a plane that turns better but is slower.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB640 → 803 Sl icon.png
RB2 100 → 2 637 Sl icon.png
SB2 820 → 3 541 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications8 470 Rp icon.png
16 200 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost640 Ge icon.png
Crew training6 300 Sl icon.png
Experts22 000 Sl icon.png
Aces180 Ge icon.png
Research Aces190 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
30 / 80 / 160 % Sl icon.png
118 / 118 / 118 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
560 Rp icon.png
1 100 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
560 Rp icon.png
1 100 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
630 Rp icon.png
1 200 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
700 Rp icon.png
1 300 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
700 Rp icon.png
1 300 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
1 400 Rp icon.png
2 700 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
630 Rp icon.png
1 200 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
1 400 Rp icon.png
2 700 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
560 Rp icon.png
1 100 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
630 Rp icon.png
1 200 Sl icon.png
90 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
700 Rp icon.png
1 300 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png


Offensive armament

Ammunition1 440 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min
Main article: M2 Browning (12.7 mm)

The F4F-4 is armed with:

  • 6 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (240 rpg = 1,440 total)

If you liked the F4F-3 Wildcat but were disappointed by its poor armament, you will welcome the upgrade in firepower from the F4F-4. The 2 extra M2 Brownings increase the firepower from the Buffalo and F4F-3 by an entire kilogram, reaching a respectable one-second burst mass of 3.30 kg/s compared to the previously mentioned Buffalo and F4F-3's 2.20 kg/s.

However, a downside to this change is a much lower ammo count per machine gun load. The total ammunition load is the same at around 1,400 rounds, but compared to the F4F-3's 450 rounds per gun load, the F4F-4 only has 240 rounds per gun. As such, the time span of firing is reduced greatly for the gain in increased fire saturation.

Suspended armament

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

The F4F-4 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

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

Usage in battles

As with any American fighter, you should break into a climb at the start of a match, attempting to reach an altitude of 3,000-4,000 meters where the Pratt and Whitney R-1830-86 radial starts increasing performance. If you encounter an enemy you know you can outturn, turn fight them and make good use of the rudder.

As you climb, you will encounter enemies that outclass you in many ways such as BF 109 E-3/4's and F-1's, C.202EC's and C.205's, Zeroes and the dreaded J2M2. Do not engage with any of these targets! All of the previously mentioned planes will rip you to shreds and almost completely outclass you.

When encountering enemies, there are some that should be highlighted as dangerous to the F4F-4's well-being.

  • BF 109's: The legendary Messerschmitts out climb you, outrun you and in some cases, outturn you. E-4's and F-1's are the most common versions you will come across, but you can face the F-4 which is entirely superior. You can outturn the E-4, but be wary of its twin MG FF/M carrying the volatile minengeschoß round. However, do not engage with the F-1, as it turns better and is faster than you while still mounting a single MG FF/M which only needs to land a few shots before downing you and the same goes for the F-4 which mounts the more powerful MG 151.
  • A6M2's: Zeroes are an interesting opponent to fight, but are easily countered. Zeroes turn better than almost every plane in the game but are painfully slow, so abuse their low speed to Boom-N-Zoom them, but be careful about their two 20mm cannons which can still down you as you fly away.
  • J2M2's: The Raiden is the ultimate counter to the Wildcat. It is better at altitude, climbs almost twice as well, is faster, and mounts two powerful 20mm Type 99 Mk2 cannons which can rip you to shreds, and as such, you should avoid them at all costs. However, if you are forced to fight one, use your better turn time to try to get on its tail, but it is the best course of action to fly towards teammates so they can help get rid of it.

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


  • Decent maneuverability
  • Fair roll rate
  • Extra pair of .50 M2 Browning machine guns, compared to the F4F-3
  • Can carry some payload
  • Can take some heavy punishment
  • Improved pilot protection, compared from the previous model
  • Good dive speed characteristics
  • Can fly with a red engine (AB)


  • Commonly faces difficult foes
  • Mediocre rate of climb and top speed
  • Low ammo count (of only 1,440 rounds) despite the added guns
  • Bad cockpit rear visibility (SB)


The F4F-4 Wildcat was an improved version of the F4F-3. The main improvements were the addition of a third pair of wing-mounted .50 cal machine guns - for a total of six machine guns, and the Grumman Sto-Wing system, which allowed the outer wings to fold inwards on hinges. This would theoretically allow 5 Wildcats to be stored in the space that 2 would have taken up before, but this didn't quite work out in actuality.

After entering service in 1941, the F4F-4 replaced the earlier F4F-3 Wildcat in all squadrons but VMF-221 by the Battle of Midway in 1942. As such, the F4F-4 was the main fighter aircraft in service during the early part of the war, including the Battle of Midway.

Many pilots disliked the F4F-4, because despite having two more guns the F4F-4 had the same amount of ammunition as earlier models. The 1,800 rounds of ammunition had just been distributed between the guns; the F4F-3 had 450 rounds per gun but the F4F-4 only had 240, decreasing firing time by almost 50%. The extra guns had been added per Royal Navy request. Additionally, the extra guns and folding wings increased weight and therefore decreased performance. The F4F-4 had a lower top speed and climb rate than the F4F-3. As well, the folding wings only allowed an increase of F4F Wildcats in a carrier wing by only 50% - much lower than was hoped.

In-game description

The Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat was a single-engine all-metal construction plane in the F4F series.

The F4F-4 increased the number of 12.7 mm machine guns to six and was built with manually folding wings. Wingspan was decreased from 11.5 to 4.36 meters when the wings were folded, allowing 50% more aircraft to be held on a carrier. The plane's ruggedness was also much improved. To protect the pilot, bulletproof glass was installed and the area under the pilot's seat was armored. Other armored areas were improved, fuel tank protection was increased, and the oil radiators under the wings were better protected, as well. The engine was replaced. The F4F-3 model had a two-stage supercharger, but those engines were in high demand for the production of B-17 bombers, so engines with single-stage superchargers were used instead for the F4F-4.

The F4F-4 entered service in 1942, but the pilots were disappointed with the new model. It had greater survivability when compared with the F4F-3 but had significantly lower performance characteristics. Also, its gun ammunition was reduced and could be depleted in less than 20 seconds, which also evoked a negative response from pilots.

All in all, 1169 F4F-4s were constructed.


Reworked model of the F4F-4.

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