Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Chance Vought Corsair

Next up is the Corsair. This was probably my favorite plane growing up because of the TV Series "Baa Baa Black Sheep". I used to watch the show every week it was on. And I still have the air raid siren in my head. I thought it was a pretty good show when I was growing up...I wonder if it is like so many other things in that I probably wouldn't enjoy it now.The Corsair came about from a US Navy request for a fast aircraft with a pretty sizable range. The design used a gull wing design in order to accomodate the Pratt and Whitney Double Wasp engine. This prototype became the fastest US fighter topping out over 400 mph.
Because of its unorthodox design, there were a number of issues as they tried to introduce the plane to the squadrons. The gull wing made it difficult for pilots to recover from stalls. It also increased the chance of a stall during a carrier landing. As a result, the plane didn't see carrier service until 1944.
The Corsair was much faster than the Hellcat and only 13 mph slower than the Thunderbolt. It was used very extensively in the Pacific. Because of the difficult of carrier usage, the Marines used it quite a bit.
The plane had an impressive kill ratio and was feared by the Japanese.
The Corsair was built through the early Fifties and saw service in Korea. It was used by foreign countries until the mid 60's.
One of the things I like about these warbird shows is that I get to see formations that I never thought I would get to see in my life. Here we have three Corsairs in formation. Add one more and you can imagine a group during World War II.
A side view of that formation.
Because of its usage on a carrier, the wings had to fold.
The Corsairs were also used as part of the ground demonstration and a mock dogfight with a Zero.

This particular Corsair is in the regalia of the VF-17 Jolly Rogers, a squadron which has been mentioned on this blog before.
It's amazing how clean these fighters look in the air.

This is probably my favorite shot of the series.
Here you can get an idea of the gull wing.

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