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Crane

Hellcat main external fuel tank

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I've noticed that most (if not all) main efts on Hellcat models have nearly the same color and amount of wear. I would like to know if the efts were changed out irl, or if generally the Hellcat wore the same eft throughout it's life span.

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It's a drop tank, not a permanent fixture. I can certainly imagine bringing back an empty one on a positioning flight, test flight or other mission not involving combat, but by intention they were throw-away items so the question of a specific airframe keeping a specific tank for an extended operational life doesn't arise.

Edited by Work In Progress

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In many cases the F6F-5s (sea blue) used up the older white drop tanks that were still on stock. This can be seen on many wartime pictures. There were at least two different type of Hellcat drop tanks - the earlier one has a curved fairing, the later one a straight fairing, both with a vertical seam line. A third version (after war?) had a horizontal seam line and no fairing, i.e. pipes into fuselage are visible.

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