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Corsair

Aircraft specs (F4U-1A):
  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Length: 33 ft 4 in (10.1 m)
  • Wingspan: 41 ft 0 in (12.5 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 1 in (4.90 m)
  • Wing area: 314 ft2 (29.17 m2)
  • Empty weight: 8,982 lb (4,073 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 14,000 lb (6,300 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8W radial engine, 2,250 hp (1,678 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 425 mph (369 kn, 684 km/h)
  • Range: 1,015 mi (882 nmi (1,633 km))
  • Service ceiling: 36,900 ft (11,200 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,180 ft/min (16.2 m/s) Armament
  • Guns: 4 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns, 400 rpg and 2 × 0.50 in Browning M2 machine guns, 375 rpg
  • Rockets: 4 × 5 in (12.7 cm) High Velocity Aircraft Rockets and/or * Bombs: 2,000 pounds (910 kg)

Development of the Corsair began in 1938, when the US Navy issued a request for a new single-seat carrier-based fighter. The Chance-Vought company won the contract with their unique, gull-winged airframe pulled by the largest engine then available, the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp. The wing design was necessitated by the tall landing gear which was, in turn, necessitated by the huge propeller required to propel the plane at the desired high speeds.

The prototype of the Corsair was first flown on 29 May 1940, but due to design revisions, the first production F4U-1 Corsair was not delivered until 31 July 1942. Further landing gear and cockpit modifications resulted in a new variant, the F4U-1A, which was the first version approved for carrier duty.

The Corsair served with the US Navy, US Marines, the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force (and later, the French Aeronavale), and quickly became the most capable carrier-based fighter/bomber of the war. Demand for the aircraft soon overwhelmed Vought’s manufacturing capability, resulting in additional aircraft being produced by the Goodyear Company (as the FG-1) and the Brewster Company (as the F3A-1). Production ceased in 1952. Over two dozen Corsairs are believed to be still airworthy, most in the United States.

Goodyear Corsair FG-1D (G-FGID)
Corsair Chance Vought F4U-4 A, BuNo 97264
F4U-7 Corsair – BuNo 1234541
F4U-5NL Corsair BuNo 124724

Goodyear Corsair FG-1D (G-FGID)

This Corsair was built under licence by the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation at their facility in Akron, Ohio and allocated Bu No 88297.

She was accepted by the US Navy on 9th April 1945 and delivered a mere two days later. She was initially dispatched to Guam in the Pacific, being allocated to the Aircraft Pool Airwing 2.

The next piece of her known history has her at a Repair Depot in the Philippines, possibly Samar, for repairs in October 1945 and following this was returned ‘State-side’.

This Corsair then spent a number of years being allocated to various US Naval Air Reserve squadrons as well as varying periods of storage until she was eventually put up for disposal in March 1956 with a total of 1652 flying hours on the airframe. She was purchased by ALU-MET Smelters in January 1959 and languished in their yard until being rescued a year later.

She passed through a number of other civilian owners until joining The Fighter Collection fleet in 1986.

F4U-7 Corsair – BuNo 1234541

Built in 1950 as F4U-5NL (BuNo 125541), this Corsair served during the Korean War in the VC-3 and the VMF-513 “Flying Nightmares”. After 122 hours of missions he returned to the USA on December 10, 1952. Delivered to Argentina in 1957 among a batch of 26 Corsair (F4U-5 and -5NL), he carried the codes 3-A-202, then 3-A- 204.

Exhibited at the Naval Aviation Museum in Buenos Aires in 1969, it was later discovered in 1991 at the entrance of the Rio Paraná Delta Air Base in southern Argentina, planted on a pylon. He was then bought by four private individuals (three French and one Australian) who took him back to Castelet in June 1994, in the restoration workshops of the Asert Company of Claude Semenadisse.

It was then decided to transform this aircraft into F4U-7, a version specially created for the French Naval Aviation. The refit, led by Didier Rohmer, lasted six years. The most noticeable changes were the dismantling of the right wing leading edge radar and the replacement of the engine hood and exhausts with genuine F4U-7 engine hoods and exhausts from the one exhibited at Mobile in the UK. Alabama and acquired by exchange. The original Pratt & Whitney R-2800-32W engine was replaced by a more powerful Pratt & Whitney R-288-CB16.

Thus transformed the Corsair found the sky on March 9, 2000, in the colors of a Flottille 14.F. In December 2010 he was sold to Max Alpha Aviation in Bremgarten (Germany). After a great visit, he was handed the standard F4U-5NL by Meier Motors and found the colors he wore during the Korean War with the VMF-513, but kept his French registration. Thus restored, the aircraft made its first flight on May 5, 2011.

F4U-4 Corsair, BuNo 96995

The Corsair F4U-4 of the Flying Bulls is an especially demanding plane: approximately 40 maintenance hours are needed for every flight hour. The fuel consumption amounts to an average of 400 liters an hour, even triple that at takeoff.

The airplane is entirely fit for aerobatics, but it is flown conservatively because of its age. Still, 4.5 g’s in a steep curve is not uncommon despite the protective treatment.Furthermore, the top speed of 750 km/h is only seldom attained, in order to keep the engine’s wear and tear to a minimum.

The Corsair flown at the Flying Bulls has a storied history: it was one of about 12,500 built models delivered to the US Navy in 1945, but it did not see action. A few years later, it was transferred to Honduras in Latin America where it was in active service until 1965. Then a Texan millionaire purchased it and gave it a complete overhaul in the USA. Its owner flew the plane infrequently in subsequent years.

In 1990 he sold it to Sigi Angerer, the formerchiefpilot of the Flying Bulls, who at that time was searching for good vintage planes purely out of personal interest–and he was able to hammer out an acceptable deal with the millionaire with much patience and finesse.Angerer brought the Corsair, partly by ship, partly flying it himself, to Austria and received flight approval for it here.

The plane is equipped with a Pratt & Whitney R2800 CB-3 18-cylinder Double Wasp engine that provides 2,400 HPwith a cubic capacity of 46 liters. The oil content in the engine is 95 liters. What people who are not particularly into flying always pick up on, and about which Sigi Angerer never grows tired of raving, is the motor’s sound: throaty and yet soothing.

The restoration required much time and effort. The airplane’s original instrumentation fortunately could be largely retained; the only new parts are the modern navigational instruments (ILS, DMS, GPS). The second seat was a later addition. The mission of the Bulls-Corsair is considerably peaceful. It is one of Hangar-7’s great attractions at the Salzburg airport. And its exhibition at air shows is an absolute highligh