Warbird Tech 04 - Vought F4U Corsair
English | 102 pages | 53MB | PDF
Chance M.Vought established a long-lived dynasty of Navy aircraft marked by daring design, bold execution, and wildly erratic success over six decades. The Lewis and Vought Corporation was founded in 1918, and its VE-7 biplane was among the earliest carrier aircraft, operating from USS Langley (CV-1) in 1922. Thus, Vought-Sikorsky Division of United Aircraft Corporation had a long record of Navy business when, on 1 February 1938, the Bureau of Aeronautics proposed a high-performance, single-seat carrier fighter. Based at Stratford, Connecticut, the firm already had built a family of sturdy observation biplanes (the UO series), floatplanes (OS2Us), and scout-bombers (SBUs and SB2Us). However, the company's previous fighter designs for the Navy (FU, XF2U, XF3U) and Army (V-141/143) had gone nowhere. In fact, the Navy fighters proved dead ends or evolved into other types, while the Army entries were based on Northrop designs. The BuAer letter led to Vought's V-166B. (The V-166A, designed around the P&W R-1830, was never built.) A contract was signed on 11 June, 1938, providing for construction of the XF4U-1, with mockup inspected by BuAer representatives eight months later, in February 1939. First flight came on 29 May 1940, less than two years after the contract date.