Chance Vought F4U Corsair

This Chance Vought F4U Corsair has been serving U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines during World War II, It became the most capable carrier-based fighter-bomber of World War II.

Restorated F4U Corsair

The F4U incorporated the largest engine available at the time, the 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) 18-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial. To extract as much power as possible, a relatively large, 13 feet 4 inches (4.06 m) Hamilton Standard Hydromatic three-blade propeller was used. To accommodate a folding wing, the designers considered retracting the main landing gear rearward, but for the chord of wing selected, it was difficult to fit undercarriage struts long enough to provide sufficient clearance for the large propeller. Their solution was an inverted gull wing, a similar layout to the one used by Germany's Junkers Ju 87 dive bomber, considerably shortening the length of the main gear legs. The anhedral of the wing's center-section also permitted the wing and fuselage to meet at the optimum angle for minimizing drag, without the need for wing root fairings. Offsetting these benefits, the bent wing was more difficult to construct and weighed more than a straight one.

Corsairs were flown by the famous "Black Sheep" Squadron (VMF-214, led by Marine Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington) (VMF is Marine Attack Squadron, an aviation unit of USMC) in an area of the Solomon Islands called "The Slot". Boyington was credited with 22 kills in F4Us (of 28 total, including six in an AVG P-40). Other noted Corsair pilots of the period included VMF-124's Kenneth Walsh, James E. Swett, and Archie Donohue, VMF-215's Robert M. Hanson and Don Aldrich, and VF-17's Tommy Blackburn, Roger Hedrick, and Ira Kepford. Nightfighter versions equipped Navy and Marine units afloat and ashore.
At war's end, Corsairs were ashore on Okinawa, combating the Kamikaze, and also were flying from fleet and escort carriers. VMF-312, VMF-323, VMF-224, and a handful of others met with success in the Battle of Okinawa.

F4U Corsair on formation

Corsairs also served well as fighter bombers in the Central Pacific and the Philippines. By spring 1944, Marine pilots were beginning to exploit the type's considerable capabilities in the close-support role during amphibious landings. Charles Lindbergh flew Corsairs with the Marines as a civilian technical advisor for United Aircraft Corporation in order to determine how best to increase the Corsair's payload and range in the attack role and to help evaluate future viability of single- versus twin-engine fighter design for Vought. Lindbergh managed to get the F4U into the air with 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg) of bombs, with a 2,000 pounds (910 kg) bomb on the centerline and a 1,000 pounds (450 kg) bomb under each wing. In the course of such experiments, he performed strikes on Japanese positions during the battle for the Marshall Islands.
By the beginning of 1945, the Corsair was a full-blown "mudfighter", performing strikes with high-explosive bombs, napalm tanks, and HVARs. She proved surprisingly versatile, able to operate everything from Bat glide bombs (without sacrificing a load of 2.75 in/70 mm rockets) to 11.75 in (300 mm) Tiny Tim rockets. The aircraft was a prominent participant in the fighting for the Palaus, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Today this legendary "Whistling Death" fighters are mostly used for airshows, flybys, film and also for a warbird aerobatic airshow routine.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Length: 33 ft 8 in (10.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 41 ft 0 in (12.5 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)
  • Empty weight: 9,205 lb (4,174 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 14,669 lb (6,653 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney R-2800-18W radial engine, 2,450 hp (1,827 kW)

  • Maximum speed: 446 mph (388 kn, 718 km/h)
  • Range: 1,005 mi (873 nmi (1,617 km))
  • Service ceiling: 41,500 ft (12,649 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,870 ft/min (19.7 m/s)

  • 6 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns, 400 rpg
  • 4 × 20 millimetre (0.79 in) AN/M2 cannons
  • 8 × 5 in (12.7 cm) high velocity aircraft rockets
  • 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg) Bombs

** Chance Vought F4U Corsair - Warbird Fare

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