KIDS: F4U Corsair Unusual Facts and Features

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F4U Corsair  - Unusual Facts and Features
{F4U Crosair Flying over Staffor Shoal Lighthouse}
Photograph used by permission of Richard Allnutt Copyright 2005
F4U Corsair Flying over Stratford Shoal Lighthouse
The F4U Corsair was originally designed to be a carrier based fighter aircraft for the U.S. Navy. To get the maximum number of planes on the carrier, the wings need to fold up so the planes can be stored in the least possible space side-by-side. The wings were folded and unfolded by hydraulic pressure. Indicators on both wings told the pilot when the wings were locked down in place.
  {F4U Corsair with Wings Folded Up}
Photograph used by permission of Corey Robinson Copyright 2005
{Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp Aircraft Engine}
The nose of the F4U Corsair was long to allow the use of the most powerful aircraft engine available at the time that the F4U was designed. This engine was the Pratt and Whitney R-2800, 18 cylinder, air-cooled, radial engine. The later engines developed over 2,400 maximum horse power. There was also a need to place an additional fuel tank between the engine and the cockpit. This made the nose even longer and made it difficult for pilots to  see in front of the plane during take-offs and landings. It was also the reason that one of the nick names for the aircraft was "Hog Nose." This type of engine uses pistons just like the engines in most cars, except that the engine is round. It is called a "reciprocating engine."
The large engine used on the F4U Corsair needed a large propeller to take advantage of the high horse power. A new, longer propeller was designed by Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft. The longer propeller meant that the nose of the aircraft had to be higher off the ground to prevent the proeller from hitting. A high nose meant that the landing gear would also have to be long, but that was considered dangerous for carrier landings.
The aircraft designer, Rex Beisel, developed a radical new bent wing - or inverted gull wing - design that allowed the landing gear to be short and sturdy while still providing ground clearance for the propeller. 
{F4U Corsair Showing Bent Wings}
Photograph used by permission of Richard Allnutt Copyright 2005
{F4U Corsair Over Connecticut}
Photograph used by permission of Richard Allnutt Copyright 2005
Nicknames for the F4U Corsair included : U Bird,  The Hog, The Ensign Eliminator, Old Hog-Nose, The Bent-Wing Bird, Whistling Death, Sweetheart of Okinawa, Horseshoe, and The Great Iron Bird.
The nickname "Ensign Eliminator" came from the fact that inexperienced pilots could have accidents with the F4U Corsairs due to the powerful engine.
The nickname "Whistling Death" was reportedly given to the F4U Corsair because of the destinctive sound that the aircraft made in flight. 
 What Television Show Featured the F4U Corsair?
Based on Marine Attack Squadron VMA-214 commanded by  Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, the television series "Baa Baa Black Sheep" aired on NBC from 1976 to 1978. It stared Robert Conrad as Colonel Boyington.
{Pilot form TV Series in Corsair}
From Wikipedia
  {Charles Lindberg}
Photograph used by permission of the Vought Aircraft Industries Retiree Club
Charles Lindbergh, famous for his non-stop flight from New York to Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis on May 21, 1927, worked as a consultant for Vought-Sikorsky during World War II. As part of this work, Lindbergh flew several F4U Corsair missions with the cooperation of local Pilot Col. Francis Clark. Lindbergh and Clark designed modifications to the F4U Corsair that would allow greater bomb loads.
The F4U Corsairs had two spring-loaded doors for the pilots to put their feet into on the right side of the aircraft only. One door was in the wing flap, and the other was in the fuselage. The pilots would have to put their left foot in the first door, step up onto a small pad on the wing with thier right foot, then put their left foot into the door in the fuselage and then swing themselves up into the cockpit.
{F4U Corsair Steps}
Photo by Jim Collins
{On Corsair Steps}  
Photo by Jim Collins
  {On Second Corsair Step}
Photo by Jim Collins
  {Honduran F4U Corsair}    
Photograph Used by Permission of Jim Collins Copyright 2005
F4U Corsair with Houduran Tail Markings
The last piston engine fighter aircraft combat took place in the week long Honduras-El Salvador Soccer War that began on July 14th, 1969. Aerial combat was primarily between F4U Corsairs on opposing sides.

Content Last Modified on 6/20/2014 2:02:19 PM