Vought F4U-1A Corsair
|Vought F4U-1A Corsair|
|MiGMan's Combat Diary|
Big, tough, and fast, the gull-winged Corsair was a formidable fighter against any opposition.
The Corsair's signature gull wing prevented its immense propeller from chewing up the deck while keeping the landing gear struts short enough not to buckle in rough carrier landings.
Initially the Corsair's shock absorbers were too stiff, causing a disastrous bounce on landing that could catapult this heavy fighter right over arresting cables on the deck. This defect relegated the Corsair to land-based operations until April 1944.
Then Navy and Marine Corps aviators operated the “Bent-Wing Bird” from carriers and land bases, dominating the Pacific skies along with the Grumman F6F Hellcat. Like their comrades flying the Hellcat and the Army P–38, Corsair pilots could use the power of their fighters to engage the Zero at higher speeds and altitudes where the legendary Mitsubishi fighter struggled to compete.
The Corsair did pose some problems for pilots: its long nose limited forward vision on the ground and also made it hard to see the landing signal officer on final approach to a carrier landing. Its spin characteristics made recovery difficult as the nose dropped and the spin tended to tighten.
Nevertheless, the Corsair was a thoroughbred with top-notch acceleration, speed, and maneuverability, respected and feared by its opponents. Some Japanese pilots called the Corsair “Whistling Death” because in a dive the wind whistled through the big fighter’s wing-mounted oil coolers.
The Corsair is very big, very tough, and very fast. Like most other advanced fighters in the Pacific, it is at its best at high speeds and altitudes.
Use the Corsair’s power, acceleration, and maneuverability to engage enemy fighters at higher speeds and altitudes where the Zero and Hayabusa struggle to compete and where the Shiden will find it hard to out-fly you.
If attacked, turn in to the enemy for a head-on attack or, altitude permitting, use the Corsair’s mass and power to dive away from attackers.
|Empty/Max Weight and Dimensions||8,892/14,000 lbs (4,041/6,364 kg)|
|Span||Span: 41' (12.5 m)|
|Length33' 4" (10.2 m)|
|Engine||Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8 Double Wasp 18-cyl. radial air-cooled, 2,000 hp|
|Max speed @ altitude||363 knots/417 mph (671 km/h) @ 19,900 ft (6,065 m)|
|Ceiling||36,900 ft (11,247 m) Initial climb rate: 2,890 ft (880 m)/min|
|Range||1,015 miles (1,633 km); with drop tanks, 1,562 mi (2,513 km)|