ULSTER AVIATION SOCIETY

UAS-Logo-2016-RGB-Website-130px Facebook-2016-Logo-RGB Twitter-2016-Logo-RGB YouTube-2016-Logo-RGB QAVS-Queens-Awards-UAS-logo-RGB Original Wildcat JV482 Pilot, Peter Lock, with Harry McKillop, and UAS Chairman, Ray Burrows

The only WW2 aircraft in the collection.  It was based at Long Kesh with 882 Sqn when it had an engine fire on Christmas Eve 1944 when en route to Lough Neagh for some dive bombing practice.

 

It was ditched in Portmore Lough by the then 19-year-old pilot, Peter Lock.

 

It was recovered from the lough in 1983/84 with the help of Ulster Sub Aqua Club, Heyn Group, Belfast and Army Air Corps as well as other organizations and individuals. Being restored to static display condition.  Was a very good naval fighter aircraft which could give a good account of itself, even against Spitfires.  Royal Navy had 15 squadrons of Wildcats in total.

Original Wildcat JV482 pilot Peter Lock (left); Harry McKillop (centre) and Raymond Burrows, Chairman (right) pictured beside the aircraft at the UAS hangar

The Grumman F4F Wildcat was a carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940.

 

Although first used in combat by the British in Europe, the Wildcat was the only United States Navy or Marine fighter in World War II 1941–42 in the Pacific Theater besides the brief appearance of the F2A Buffalo.

 

With a top speed of 318 mph, the Wildcat was outperformed by the more nimble 331mph Mitsubishi Zero, but its ruggedness and tactics such as the Thach Weave resulted in an  air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war.

Grumman F4F Wildcat — JV482 being restored from the Ulster Aviation Society's Heritage collection

Grumman F4F Wildcat — JV482 currently being restored

Grumman F4F Wildcat

— JV482

Photo: Mark J. Cairns

Our in-house Aircraft Painter, Ian Hendry was proud as punch with the F4F Wildcat’s “882 squadron” markings applied

(Above)  Our in-house Aircraft Painter, Ian Hendry was proud as punch with the F4F Wildcat’s “882 squadron” markings applied during August 2017, with JV482 now looking just as she did on that fateful Christmas Eve 1944. In memory of all 882 squadron personnel.

Photo: Ray Burrows

UNDER

RESTORATION

One of our sanding team, Neville Greenlee gets to work on the Wildcat starboard stub wing... back to bare metal then protected and painted ready for reassembly within the Ulster Aviation Society hangar.

One of our sanding team, Neville Greenlee gets to work on the Wildcat starboard stub wing... back to bare metal then protected and painted ready for reassembly.

Photo: Ray Burrows

Wildcat-Cockpit-Console-01 Wildcat-Cockpit-Console-02

Photo: Ray Burrows

Photo: Alex Wright

Two heads are better than one as the equivalent reverse photo shots from our Chairman and Wildcat restoration member, Alex Wright show the progress surging ahead on the aircraft that started the whole Heritage Collection. Pictured inside the cockpit area is fellow Wildcat restoration member, Nick Rogers (our expert in the Wildcat's tight spaces as you can see).

Wildcat restoration volunteer members, Alex Wright and Nick Rogers fit the penultimate piece of cockpit skin to the Wildcat F4F at the Ulster Aviation Society's hangar 2.

Wildcat restoration volunteer members, Alex Wright and Nick Rogers fit the penultimate piece of cockpit skin to the Wildcat F4F at the Ulster Aviation Society's hangar 2.

Photo: Ray Burrows

Wildcat restoration volunteer, Alex Wright working on a piece of the Wildcat F4F cockpit skin (mid-May 2018) within Ulster Aviation Society's hangar 2

Photo: Mark J. Cairns

Wildcat restoration volunteer, Alex Wright working on a piece of the Wildcat F4F cockpit skin (mid-May 2018) within Ulster Aviation Society's hangar 2.