Two points to consider.Brady wrote: ↑07 Apr 2021 18:31
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Rate of climb was noticeably worse in the F4F-4; while Grumman optimistically claimed the F4F-4 could climb at a modest 1,950 ft (590 m) per minute, in combat conditions, pilots found their F4F-4s capable of ascending at only 500 to 1,000 ft (150 to 300 m) per minute.
Firstly climate. Heat and humidity both sap engine power and therefore adversely affect performance. Both are present in the Pacific, especially areas like the Solomons.
Second, aircraft performance is affected by the quality of the maintenance. It is a lot harder to keep an aircraft in good condition while on a front line base with shortages of spares etc. Also as aircraft age they gain dents in their skin surfaces, removable panels don’t fit so well etc which again affects performance through increased drag, as well as engines losing power as they age.
So the performance achieved with a brand new aircraft straight out of a factory in the USA and tested there, could generally be expected to exceed that achieved on the same type in service in the tropics after 6 months of hard combat service on the front line.