Interview: Steve Craig
Proud owner of the last flying Wildcat
- By Diane Tedeschi
- Air & Space magazine, March 2007
(Page 3 of 3)
A&S: Have you outfitted the aircraft with modern radio and navigation equipment?
Craig: The radios that were in the plane, interestingly, are still there, but they’re not operable—the tubes and things on the inside have been removed. Over in the corner, we have two [modern] radios and a transponder, which is required to fly in today’s airspace. About a year after flying the plane, I installed a GPS that mounts in an area that doesn’t detract from [the Wildcat’s] originality. It’s a Garmin 500, which is probably, if not the best, certainly one of the two or three best GPS systems today.
A&S: How does the F4F compare to other aircraft you’ve flown?
Craig: It actually is a lot of fun to fly. And relatively speaking, as these warbirds go, it’s a simple airplane. And it’s a very straightforward airplane. It has a big Grumman wing—forgiving. It has a gentle stall. It was designed for young men to bring aboard carriers, and to operate out of primitive airstrips in the Pacific. It does not handle crosswinds well at all, so you have to be very, very careful. But it actually is a very nice airplane to fly.