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How the Navy Tamed the “Killer Corsair”

The initial carrier-landing qualifications for the Chance Vought F4U Corsair were a disaster. In fall 1942, Lieutenant Commander Sam Porter tested the feasibility of operating the Navy’s bent-wing fighter from the deck of the escort carrier USS Sangamon steaming in the Chesapeake Bay. After four terrifying landings, he called it quits, certain the airplane was on the verge of killing him. ( More...

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Being a life-long aficionado and researcher of the Chance Vought F4U, I expected to read an article littered with misinformation, as are so many articles and books written these days. I was wrong. This is actually a very short, yet accurate account of the modifications that turned the F4U-1 into an aircraft that the USN found acceptable for carrier duty.
bbabis 4
Great article. I have an uncle who flew the Corsair in Korea and liked it better than the early jets that had even worse carrier landing characteristics. The sweeping turn into very short final was what really solved the landing problem. The stall strip help save the day when the pilot actually stalled it.
Joel LaRocco 3
I have always loved airplanes. My dad was in the USAF for 24 years and I got to see many types growing up. My favorite has always been the Corsair. Thank you for the interesting facts about the Corsair’s early carrier history. I served 26+ years in the US COAST GUARD. On this Memorial Day weekend I say thank you fellow veterans and their families who gave their all for our freedom.

Joel LaRocco
wjm100 2
The air intakes for the turbo-supercharger, intercooler, and oil cooler were on the leading edge of the wings next to the fuselage. When used for ground attack these intakes would make a loud whistling sound as it came in at low altitude. This caused Japanese soldiers to christen it "Whistling Death."
My uncle, Curtiss Jefferson, flew off the Bunker Hill in a FU4 and was hit by anti aircraft fire over Tokyo subsequently ditching off the coast after losing fuel. He was never recovered. It was interesting to read that 189 Corsairs were shot down. As I understand it the FU4 had self sealing fuel tanks. So the anti aircraft fire must have hit a fuel line. Thanks to the writer for adding a small piece to our families wartime puzzle.
bbabis 1
Not just on Memorial Day but everyday we salute your uncle and those who gave their all for the freedoms we have today.


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