Vought F-4U, Goodyear FG-1 and Brewster F3A Corsair Scrapbook

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Chance Vought designed and produced one of the most recognizable fighters of the Second World War… the F4U Corsair. The “inverted gull wing” was used to allow carrier operations with the large prop hanging on the nose. The type was so useful and relevant that it was used through the Korean War years, and ultimately took part in the final prop-driven air combat skirmishes of the so-called “Football (or Soccer) War” between Honduras and El Salvador in 1969. The last active-duty Corsairs were retired by Honduras in 1979.

The first flight of a Corsair prototype took place on May 29, 1940. The U.S. Navy and Marines would use the majority of the 12,571 airframes produced, but other countries, including France, Great Britain’s Royal Navy and the Royal New Zealand Air Force put them to use between World War II and the Korea War.

FG-1 Corsair

Both Goodyear (FG-1) and Brewster (F3A) manufactured the Corsair alongside Chance Vought. The U. S. State of Connecticut was a major producer of the aircraft… Chance Vought factories were in the city of Bridgeport; engine maker Pratt and Whitney (East Hartford) and propeller manufacturer Hamilton Standard (Windsor Locks) were both located in-state too.

“Birdcage Corsair”

Early versions of the fighter utilized a “birdcage” canopy, but most others used “blown” hoods for better pilot visibility. Later Marine Corps versions included the AU-1 version, optimized for ground attack with added armor and a redesign for less ground fire vulnerability.

F2G Super Corsair

The ultimate Corsair – the F2G Super Corsair – was fitted with the huge Pratt and Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major engine; in civilian hands two of these aircraft won the Thompson trophy air races in 1947 and 1949.

Here are a number of photos of many of the restored Corsairs that are still flying today:

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