F-4U Corsair in Color (Fighting Color Series 6503)
By Jim Sullivan
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1981 34 Pages
PDF 22 MB
The specifications for the XF4U-1 Corsair as outlined on April 26, 1940 by Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft required a single engine, single seat landplane fighter that could be used aboard aircraft carriers. Specifically, it should be able to take-off from the deck of an aircraft carrier with or without the aid of a catapult and land on the carrier deck with arresting gear or land on an ordinary landing field.
The XF4U-1 was powered by a Pratt and Whitney R-2800-4 two-stage engine rated at 1,850hp for take-off. In a 15 knot wind it could get airborne in 338 feet and climb to 15,000 feet in 5.8 minutes.
The XF4U-1 was the subject of an early 40's newspaper article which called it a "Super Stuka" stating that "...tactically it is a flying destroyer, able to dive right through a hail of machine gun bullets and sink an enemy cruiser with either a torpedo or bombs." More exact details of the testing of the Corsair followed quoting from the actual experiences of a Navy test pilot, James B. Taylor, Jr. who was challenged to show the effects of pull out from a 10-G dive..."Taylor calmly climbed to 20,000 feet...when he reached diving altitude...he checked the time...closing the throttle he rolled the ship over on its back and headed for the target on the ground...Taylor recognized the familiar stiffness paralyzing the controls as the speed passed 500mph...the altimeter unwound backward like the hand of a clock whose works had gone haywire. Suddenly he began to see details on the ground...he took another look at his instruments and yanked back on the stick." As pull out occurred, Taylor..."began to experience...discomfort, flesh sagged from his face, eyeballs bulged, breath sighed from his lungs...the Corsair changed directions, then rocketed skyward on its own momentum...Taylor then spiraled down for a perfect landing...when the engineers removed the ac-celerometer they were incredulous to discover a reading of 13-Gs." the 165 lb. pilot at the moment of pull out had withstood a force of about 2,000 lbs.