HOT- The Vought F4U Corsair: Unveiling the Curved-Winged Avian Marvel

Discover the Fascinating Legacy of the Vought F4U Corsair: A Curved-Winged Avian Marvel

The Vought F4U Corsair is an instantly recognisable carrier-based WW2-era fighter aircraft. It received many upgrades throughout its lifetime and even saw action in Korea. In this article, we take a look at the Bent Wing Bird.

The inception of the F4U was very much like many other aircraft; the US Navy set out a specification and invited various aircraft manufacturers to come up with designs. They wanted a single-engine fighter aircraft that would have a range of 1,000 miles and carried at least 4 guns.

The Vought F4U Corsair
The Vought F4U Corsair

Rather oddly, as part of the specification, it had to have anti-aircraft bombs.

In the late 30s, the thinking was that fighter aircraft would fly high above enemy bombers formations and drop these charges into them. This idea never really took off.

The XF4U-1 prototype was the very first aircraft to be designed around the Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine. This beast of an engine was the heart of the F4U.

With 2,800 cubic inches (46 litres) of displacement and 18 cylinders, this mammoth put down over 1,800 hp. The engine spun a large 13 feet 4 inches (4.06 m) propeller.

On October 1, 1940, the XF4U was the first single-engine US fighter to exceed 400 mph. Not only was she fast in a straight line but also in a dive too, attaining speeds of up to 550 mph.

Behold! The Curved-Winged Avian: the Vought F4U Corsair.

However, these dive tests didn’t leave the prototype unscathed – with damage to control surfaces.

Despite the initial snags, the US Navy was so impressed with the performance that in 1941 they awarded Vought with a contract for 584 F4U-1s which were given the name ‘Corsair’.

Gull Wing

Probably the most famous aspect of the F4U’s design is the bent or inverted gull wing.

The airframes of carrier based aircraft are subject to much more stress compared to traditional land-based planes. The area most impacted is the landing gear. Initially the XF4U had traditional wings with long landing gear struts to prevent the gigantic propeller from striking the ground.

Behold! The Curved-Winged Avian: the Vought F4U Corsair.

Longer landing gear for carrier landings made it more difficult to get the aircraft down safely as it would encourage it to bounce if not brought in extremely smooth, which is very difficult out at sea.

Furthermore, the landing gear had to retract backwards to make room for the folding wings. If they were too long they couldn’t fit inside the wings.

To remedy this, the designers introduced a bend into the wing to shorten the landing gear and give the propeller adequate clearance. No prop strike, much easier to land and could fold its wings.

A secondary benefit was the gull wing meant the fold started lower down, reducing the overall height of the stowed aircraft.

Behold! The Curved-Winged Avian: the Vought F4U Corsair.

F4U’s Armament

Armament was the Corsair’s party piece, she was extremely versatile and was designated as a fighter-bomber. The initial prototype was for two 7.62 mm machine guns in the cowling and two 12.7 mm Browning machine guns in the wings.

After reports from Europe in the wake of WW2, it was decided that this would not be enough.

More firepower was needed.

The first production version, the F4U-1, came with a host of upgrades over the prototype. The biggest of which was six 12.7 mm AN/M2 guns.

Behold! The Curved-Winged Avian: the Vought F4U Corsair.

A ground-attack variant was also introduced, based on the F4U-1, designated the F4U-1C. 200 of these were built and all were equipped with the mighty 20 mm AN/M3 cannons – each with 231 rounds.

A lot of pilots thought that the cannons were actually better for all types of combat situations, not just ground pounding. But they suffered issues with freezing at altitudes above 25,000 feet, although this was eventually remedied with gun heaters.

On top of this impressive firepower, the F4U could also carry up to 1,800 kg of bombs or eight 12.7 cm high-velocity unguided rockets.

Behold! The Curved-Winged Avian: the Vought F4U Corsair.

With a mix of cannons, machine guns, rockets and bombs, the Corsair was able to tackle almost every combat situation all whilst being carried based.


The Corsair was loved by her pilots, a fast, agile and heavy-hitting fighter-bomber and saw plenty of combat throughout the war. Over 64,000 sorties were flown throughout the war.

Behold! The Curved-Winged Avian: the Vought F4U Corsair.

2,140 air combat victories for only 189 losses gave the Bent Wing Bird a kill-to-death ratio of 11:1! Not only this, 70% of all the bombs dropped by US fighter aircraft were carried by the Corsair.

During the Korean War, the F4U was used mostly as a close support aircraft. For this, the F4U-5 was used; a highly upgraded version with a more powerful engine, using a single-stage supercharger.

Behold! The Curved-Winged Avian: the Vought F4U Corsair.

Despite this, Marine Captain Jesse Folmar was credited with shooting down a MiG-15 using the four 20 mm AN/M3 cannons on his Corsair.

This goes to show that the Vought F4U in its many variants was an extremely capable fighter aircraft that was highly feared by its foes and loved by the pilots who flew the Bent Wing Bird.

If you like this article, then please follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Related Posts

CH-53K: The Largest and Most Lethal US Helicopter Poses Challenge for Russians

The most powerful helicopter the United States has ever fielded is joining the Marine Corps rotary wing fleet. Next week, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 will redesignate and become the first CH-53K King Stallion squadron in the Marine Corps. While …

German Puma IFV: The World’s Most Cutting-Edge Combat Vehicle

ѕtгoпɡ ωєαρσи system, extremely good self-defeпѕe and advanced electronic system, Puma is considered the most modern infantry combat in the world. And Puma IFV is also among the most exрeпѕіⱱe armored vehicles in the world, costing nearly 8 million USD …

Archer’s Electric Vertical Takeoff Enters Production at Midnight Debut

In the lead-up to unveiling their first production eVTOL Wednesday in Silicon Valley, the Ьгаіп trust at Archer Aviation sought an aircraft name that would forge an emotional connection. The Midnight will have a payload of more than 1,000 pounds (454 …

The Bo-105, a highly effective German helicopter design, successfully completed its maiden flight.

Bo-105 was the first light twin-engine helicopter in the world, and the first rotorcraft that could perform aerobatic maneuvers such as inverted loops. The Bo-105, a light utility helicopter from Germany, is globally recognized for its versatility, рeгfoгmапсe …

Currently, Ukraine is constructing the An-225, the world’s largest airplane.

Ukraine Is Secretly Building A New AN-225 Aircraft, the World’s Largest Plane deѕtгoуed By Russia:  Antonov State Enterprise, the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing company headquartered in Kyiv, is reported to be building a second An-225 Mriya aircraft, …

Tunisia will have Textron build the Beechcraft T-6C Texan trainer aircraft.

The U.S. Air foгсe Life Cycle Management Center has awarded Textron Aviation a $90.7 million contract modification for the delivery of eight Beechcraft T-6C aircraft to Tunisia. The total value of the contract is $105.4 million, and foresees the delivery …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *