Igor I. Sikorsky's F4U-1D
Vought: Founded in 1917 by the student of the Wright brothers Chance Milton Vought and by Birdsey B. Lewis as Lewis & Vought Corporation. Since 1920, the company specialized only in military aircraft. In 1929, the company joined United Aircraft Corporation. In 1939, it united with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation to form Vought-Sikorsky. January 1943 Vought-Sikorsky split into its two original components. Vought remaining in the Stratford plant to concentrate on military airplanes and Sikorsky moved to a plant in Bridgeport to continue helicopter development and production.
Production: Vought-Sikorsky, Brewster and Goodyear
First flight of prototype: XF4U: May 29th, 1940
Weight: empty: 4100 kg / 9040 lbs; with full load: 6400 kg / 14100 lbs
Engine: Pratt&Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp, 18 cylinders
Power: 2200 hp
Armament: 6x 12.7 mm (.50cal) machine guns in the wings
Performance: Max speed: 635 km/h / 395 mph / 343 knots
Ceiling: 11280 m / 37000 ft
The F4U was conceived to use the most powerful engine and largest propeller a fighter plane ever had; these long propeller blades caused ground clearance problems. The "W" shaped-wings helped reducing the required length of the landing gear, and provided quite good visibility to the sides... But the landing gear was still long and therefore fragile, and the first reports of carrier tests were: "This plane will never be a good carrier plane". The Corsair was nicknamed "Ensign Eliminator"; the strong engine torque didn't make it an easy plane to land.
Description: F4U was a single-engine aircraft. The fuselage was round with a small bubble canopy and a tall rounded fin. Fuselage extended past the fin. A radial air-cooled engine was mounted in the nose and was fitted with a four-blade propeller. Low-set wings were inversed-gullwing shaped. They were elliptical with rounded tips. An oval air intake was housed in the leading edge of either wing close to the fuselage. Machine guns were mounted in the wings. Tailplane was parabolla-shaped and was set past the tail fin. Landing gear with tail wheel and a hook was retractable. F4U was developed in 1938 for US Marine Corps. First prototype XF4U-1 flew on May 29, 1940. The airplane went in production in 1942. Main modifications were: F4U-1 - first production version; F4U-1A - improved F4U-1; F4U-1B - exported to United Kingdom in 1943; F4U-1C - close air support version armed with guns rather than machine guns; F4U-1D - fighter/bomber; F4U-2 - night fighter, a radar was housed in a fairing on the left wing; XF4U-3 - experimental high-altitude fighter with twin turbochargers; F4U-4 - fitted with more powerful engine, could carry rockets; F4U-5 - night fighter with Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine. By 1952, 12681 airplane was built. Many F4U were used in Korea.
last update SEPTEMBER 11. 2012