KIDS: F4U Corsair Restoration

{State Symbols Page Header} State Symbols
F4U Corsair - Restoration
{Connecticut Corsairs Hanger}
Connecticut Corsair Hanger - Chester Airport
Some people restore old cars, some people restore paintings, some people restore houses, Craig McBurney is restoring an F4U-4 Corsair. Craig is a pilot and F4U enthusiast who is restoring  the Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair N5222V, US Navy Bureau Number 97330 to flying condition. The restoration company he created, Bootstrap Aircraft, has a hangar at Chester Airport that serves as the base for the restoration project. At Craig's invitation, I visited the hanger in April, 2005 to see the project.
{Connecticut Corsair Hanger}
Connecticut Corsair Hanger and Tower - April 2005
You might think that restoring a World War II aircraft is just a matter of repainting, replacing a few parts, and starting the engine. It is a little more complicated than that. The last F4U Corsairs were produced in 1952, and most of the F4U-4 aircraft were produced in 1944. After World War II many of these planes were retired and sold for scrap metal. Even ones that remained were badly damaged by corrosion if they were not maintained. While most of the F4U Corsairs' parts were metal, some parts were made of wood and could quickly deteriorate. Just finding major sections on a aircraft intact could be difficult.
There is an old saying about airplanes - "You can't get out and walk!" Therefore, aircraft parts are made to exact specifications, tested and certified for flight to ensure that pilots and passengers will have the maximum safety. If parts cannot be found or are badly damaged, they must be replaced. Often the original drawings and test specifications are not available. This means that a lot of research and investigation must be done to determine how parts and be made or returned to original condition.
A lot of the restoration process involves contacting other people who either own parts or know where parts can be found. A lot of swapping is done, so it is good to have a lot of parts, even if you can't use them all.
Restoring an aircraft like an F4U Corsair takes many years, many hours of labor, and a lot of dedication.  
Below are pictures taken at the Connecticut Corsair Hangar at the Chester Airport. Select any image to see a larger view.
Students from Platt Technical High School have been assisting Craig in the restoration of F4U-4 Corsair N5222V.
Terryn Reineke
"My name is Terryn Reineke and I was able to work on the drawings for the F4U-4 Corsair aircraft. It was exciting to know these drawings were to make an airplane that was used in World War II.  It is very special to know this was the only airplane 100% made in my home state of Connecticut. Next year I will be continuing work on this project and going to see the actual plane where it is being restored in Chester, Connecticut."
A restoration project of this type depends a lot on volunteers. If you would like to volunteer your time to be part of this project and restore an F4U Corsair, contact Craig McBurney at Connecticut Corsair.
Address: Connecticut Corsair, PO Box 569, Chester, CT 06412

Content Last Modified on 6/20/2014 2:06:36 PM