F-4U Planes of Fame Corsair

History on the Corsair

Going back to 1938 when the US Navy put out an RFP, it needed to have 4 requirements:
1. It had to fly a thousand miles, range of a thousand miles
2. It had to carry four guns
3. It had to have a stalling speed no higher than 70 mph
4. was maximum speed

The winner was the company Vought located on the east coast
They came up with this design, but in order to achieve the speed, they decided to go with a brand new prototype engine from Pratt & Whitney, which was the XR2800 engine that the prototype was capable of 1800 horsepower
The production model came out with 2000 horsepower
That’s what went into this airplane
And the design of the plane itself, you’ll notice that it doesn’t have rivets
It is a very smooth skinned airplane and that’s because Vought went with a new thinner aluminum and they use spot welding
So that achieved a much more even airflow a little bit higher speed as well
With the 2800 engine they went with a large Hamilton standard propeller 13 feet 4 inches
So how do you get a Navy airplane that is designed to land on aircraft carriers with that high of a propeller
So that’s where the inverted gull wing design came in
Lift the nose of the use launch, get the propeller up
But the challenge then is how do you develop landing gear that’ll accommodate carrier landings
So with the speed, with the propeller wash of this massive propeller, the prop wash created a problem going over the wing
So the left wing would stall before the right wing it became a real challenge
As well you’ll notice that the cockpit is far back, the gasoline tank is there in front so that was a challenge for carrier pilots and landing
The stall speed coming in on an aircraft carrier needs to be a little bit low so we’ve designed this plane to be quite fast
It was one It was the first airplane as a matter of fact in I believe 1940 to break 400 miles an hour
But in order to develop an airplane that was passed, they sacrificed low landing speed
So these things had to be figured out and consequently through Navy trials, the Navy decided not to use the Corsair
Changes made by England
Number one, for carrier landings rather than a straight-on approach, they came up with a circular approach for the pilot always keeping the carrier in sight
Number two, they raised the seat another seven inches providing the pilot a little bit better visibility and they They also came up with this bubble canopy
So it wasn’t until the fall of 1944 that the Navy finally accepted the Corsair
But in the meantime, the Marines, of course, did quite well with it in the South Pacific and in the Central Pacific as wel
The plane was acquired by the planes of fame in 1970 and it was restored to flight in 1975
And it is one of the oldest corsairs that is still flying
The nickname for this airplane was the “Instant Eliminator.”
Had a kill ratio of 11 to 1 by the end of the war.

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