KIDS: F4U Corsair Let's Take a Ride!

F4U Corsair Let's Take a Ride!

{State Symbols Page Header} State Symbols
F4U Corsair - Let's Take a Ride!
 
 
 
Let's Pretend
 
To help introduce you to the F4U Corsair, let's take a ride in one. Since we don't have an F4U Corsair, we will pretend. While there are computer programs that might do this, your mind is more powerful that any computer and can take you anywhere you want to go. So let's fly!
 
You will need four chairs. Three of the chairs should be straight-backed, dining room chairs with high backs (as high as possible). The other chair should be shorter, like a folding chair or a foot stool. Place one of the dining room chairs in the middle of the floor. This will be your pilot's seat. On either side of this chair, place the other two dining room chairs with their backs toward you. Your cockpit is almost finished. In front of your pilot's seat, place the smaller chair so that your feet can rest on the bar that connects the back legs. Now you are ready for the controls.
 
{Four Chairs in Position}
Your F4U Corsair Cockpit
 
Between your knees there is a control stick with a handle like the handlebars on a bicycle. You can move the stick forward and backward or side-to-side. You hold the stick with your right hand. Near your left hand there is lever that moves forward and backward. This is the throttle control. The last controls are the two pedals under your feet. They look like the things they use to measure your feet at the shoe store.
 
{Sitting in Chairs Before Takeoff}
Before Takeoff
 
What do these controls do? When the control stick is moved side-to side, small pieces of each wing (ailerons) move up or down to make each wing move up or down (bank), If you move the stick to the right, the left wing will move up, and the right wing will move down. If you move the control stick forward or backward, small pieces of the tail section (elevators) move up or down, making the tail go up or down. If you push the control stick forward, the tail will go up, and the nose will go down. If you push the control stick forward and to the right, the left wing will go up and the tail will go up, making your plane go down and bank to the right.
 
When the throttle lever is pushed forward, the engine speeds up, making you go faster. If the throttle lever is pulled back, it makes the engine, and you, go slower.
 
The two pedals under your feet control the rudder, which is part of the tail, and makes the plane turn either right or left. If you push down on the right pedal, the rudder will move to the right, making the lane turn to the right. If you push on the pedals with your toes, you will put on the wheel brakes to stop the plane when you are on the ground.
 
{Takeoff}
Takeoff
 
Let's take off! There is a compass on the dashboard in front of you and it is pointing to W for West. With your left hand on the throttle lever and your right hand in the control stick, begin pushing the throttle lever slowly forward. As you keep pushing, the plane rolls faster down the runway. Suddenly, you will feel the plane start to lift up. Pull gently back on the control stick and your plane will start to climb up in the air. Houses and trees fall away under your wings. You feel heavy with the increased force of gravity. The engine is almost at full power and is very loud. In front of your left hand there is lever that is the landing gear control. Push it up to raise and lock the landing gear.
 
{Level Flight}
Level Flight
 
When you are as high as you want to go (about 5,000 feet), you push the control stick gently forward until it is about even with your knees. At the same time, you slowly pull the throttle back with your left had until it is about half way back. You are now flying along in level flight at a crusing speed of about 350 miles per hour. The sun is bright above you, there are many white clouds like cotton balls around you, and the sky is bluer than you have ever seen before.
 
{F4U Corsair Cockpit Front View}
Photograph used by Permission of Jim Collins, Copyright 2005
F4U Corsair Front View
 
Let's turn North! You will do two things at the same time. 1). Push gently with your right foot on the right rudder pedal; and 2). Move the control stick slightly to the right. Your F4U Corsair is now turning and banking slowly to the right. You watch your compass until it points to N, North. Push gently down on the left rudder pedal and move the control stick slowly back to center.   
 
{F4U Corsair Control Stick}
Photograph used by Permission of Jim Collins, Copyright 2005
F4U Corsair Control Stick, Rudder Pedals and Front Panel
 
Let's dive! Push the control stick gently forward. As you do this, the nose of the F4U begins to drop. You can see the earth way below you. You can see houses and factories, roads and bridges. The ground is covered with small squares of green, yellow and brown. There are cars and trucks on the black roads, but they look very small. Now we pull back on the stick and the nose begins to lift. With the control stick back in the center, you will again be in level flight.
 
{F4U Corsair Left Panel Controls}
Photograph used by Permission of Jim Collins, Copyright 2005
F4U Corsair Throttle and Landing Gear Controls on Left Panel
 
All too soon it is time to land. Since we flew West and North, we must fly East and South to get back to the airfield. Let's turn East! You will do two things at the same time. 1). Push gently with your right foot on the right rudder pedal; and 2). Move the control stick slightly to the right. Your F4U Corsair is now turning and banking slowly to the right. You watch your compass until it points to E, East. Push gently down on the left rudder pedal and move the control stick slowly back to center. When we have flown far enough East, we will do the same procedure to turn South.
 
{F4U Corsair Right Control Panel}
Photograph used by Permission of Jim Collins, Copyright 2005
F4U Corsair Right Control Panel
 
There is the airfield! There is a long fabric cone (wind sock) on a tall pole that shows us which way the wind is blowing. We want to land facing the wind as much as possible to get the most lift on our wings. The wind is blowing from West to East, so we will land from the East end of the runway. Using the controls as we did before, we make a turn around the airfield and then line our F4U Corsair up with the runway.
 
Move your left hand gently back to slow the engine and reduce the air speed. Keep the control stick in the middle and the nose of the plane pointed to the center of the runway. Pull back on the throttle a little more and feel the plane slowly sinking toward the runway. In front of you left hand, there is the landing gear control. Pull it toward you to lower and lock the landing gear. The F4U Corsair is now almost on the runway. You feel the main landing gear wheels touch the pavement, then the tail wheel. Pull the throttle lever back to the idle position and begin pushing the toes of both feet forward to apply the brakes. The plane is slowing down and finally stops.
 
{F4U Corsair Landed}
Photograph used by Permission of Jim Collins, Copyright 2005
F4U Corsair Parked at Airfield
 
You have just taken your first F4U Corsair ride!! You have earned your ConneCT Kids Pilot's Wings! Select the My Wings link below to go to the ConneCT Kids Wings Download Page. Print in color, cut them out and wear them proudly!
 
 
 




Content Last Modified on 5/30/2007 9:19:23 AM