Eastern Aircraft Division FM-2 Wildcat

Eastern Aircraft Division (General Motors) FM-2 Wildcat

About the Aircraft

Eastern Aircraft Division (General Motors) FM-2 Wildcat

The Hickory Aviation Museum’s FM-2 Wildcat, Bureau Number 16278 is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum. Coordinated by Kregg Kirby.

Built by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors, the FM-2 Wildcat essentially is an improved version of the famous Grumman F4F-4. Recognized by its taller fin than the F4F, the FM-2 was also modified to include an improved power plant, increased ammunition capacity by reducing its armament from six .50-inch machine guns to four, and improved directional stability with a modified fin. It was nicknamed the “Wilder Wildcat.”

Manufacturer Eastern Aircraft Division(GM)
Designer Grumman Aircraft
First flight 02 September 1937 (F4F)
Primary users United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy
Produced 1943-1945 (FM1/2)
Number built 5,837 of 7,825 Total Wildcats
Propulsion 1 Wright R-1820-65
Developed from Grumman F4F Wildcat
Variants Various
Eastern Aircraft Division FM-2 Wildcat BuNo 16278

General Characteristics


Crew: One
Length: 28 ft 11 in
Wingspan: 28 ft
Height: 11 ft 5 in
Wing area: 260 sq ft
Empty weight: 5,448 lb
Loaded weight: 8,271 lb
Powerplant: 1 × 1,350 hp. Wright R-1820-65


Maximum speed: 332 mph at 28,000 ft
Cruise speed: 164 mph
Range: 900 miles
Service ceiling: 34,700 ft
Rate of climb: 3,650 ft/min
Armament: Four .5-in. machine guns; two 250 lb. bombs or six 5-in. rockets