05
Jun
09

World War II American Fighters: Chance-Vought F4U-4 Corsair

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Warplane development during World War II produced many interesting designs.  The Chance-Vought F4U-4 Corsair with its gull-like wing design proved to be one of America’s best designs.  Fighting in the Pacific Theater, in the hands of capable pilots, it outclassed the best the Japanese had to offer, destroying over 2,000 enemy aircraft with an impressive 11 to 1 kill ratio.

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The gull-like wing design, created to accommodate the massive four blade propeller, gave the Corsair a low profile and exceptional lift.  The Corsair could also absorb an enormous amount of damage — even more so “than the tank-like P-47” as reported by the EAA Airventure website.  It had one major drawback, however, in that if an inexperienced pilot gave it too much throttle on take-off, the powerful Pratt-Whitney R2800 engine produced so much torque that it could flip the plane over. 

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Usually armed with six fifty caliber machine guns, Corsairs fought in World War II and the Korean Conflict, though in Korea it served mostly as a ground attack bomber.  In the roll of ground attacker the Corsair had a larger payload than most twin-engine designs.  With superb speed, rate of climb and a large payload, Corsairs served their pilots well.

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This warplane can be found at the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

For more information on this plane see:  Corsair

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