The F4U

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Sgt. Saunders, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Sgt. Saunders

    Sgt. Saunders New Member

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    Here's one for you Corsair fans... why were the wing fuel cells removed in the later models of the F4U? I"m sure there was a reason for it, but I would think that an aircraft being groomed or intended for carrier service and thus bound for the pacific theater would not take a reduction of internal fuel capacity lightly.
     
  2. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Those wing fuel cells in the Corsair were unprotected and not self sealing. There was a C02 cartridge that was used to purge them before combat. With the wing tanks, there was an internal fuel load of 361 gallons which gave a yardstick range of 1500 miles. The later Corsairs carried 237 gallons internally with 300 gallons externally. I surmise that that the US thought that the range with internal and external fuel was adequate there fore the deletion of the unprotected tanks was logical. However, I have always believed that the 361 gallons of internal fuel in the early Corsairs plus 150 gallons in a drop tank would have served the 8th AF well if Corsairs had been used in place of P47s in 1943.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The early model Corsairs didn't have the high altitude performance figures the P47's had.
     
  4. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    They lacked the turbos of the P-47's. The Thunderbolts are believed to have been the best piston engined fighters above 25K.

    I got a question myself. If anyone's picked up a copy of 'Cockpits: An Illustrated History of WWII Aircraft Interiors' by Donald Nijboer, you will see that on the F4U page, theres a set of British FAA Corsairs. From the canopy it appears that they are F4U-1A's (Corsair Mk. I/II's) yet their wings are not clipped. very creudly painted on the side are their unit numbers: 225 and 199. The location and time are Squantum, Massachusetts, 1943. Are these actually FAA F4U-1A's, or are they modified F4U-1's?
     
  5. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I realise the P47 had better performance above 25000 ft than the Corsair but the Corsair was still an effective fighter at altitudes of 25000 to 30000 ft. In the Pacific on escort missions with a mixed escort of P40s, Wildcats and Corsairs the Corsair always flew the high cover. My point was that the additional 300 to 400 mile range advantage the F4U1 had over the early Thunderbolts would have been a nice thing to have for the 8th air force.
     
  6. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Though that may be true, you must remember that the P-40 and Wildcat had less than sterling performance above 17000' and so, naturally, the F4U, equipped with the R-2800-8(W) was a good choice for hi-alt PTO ops.
     
  7. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Actually the service ceiling of the F4F4 and the F4U1 was about the same, around 37000ft but the Corsair had a huge performance edge at any altitude over the Wildcat.
     
  8. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Quite true. Though I didn't say that the F4U had a superior ceiling.

    I too can't help to wonder, however, how the F4U would have fared if it saw a lot of combat in the ETO.
     
  9. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I believe the Corsair would have been a dominant ac in Europe. The P47 did a good job in acm in Europe in spite of being short ranged and below 25000 feet the P47 was an underdog to the Corsairs. The late model of the Corsair, F4U4, was at worst an even contender with the P51 with the only real advantage the P51 having was in range.
     
  10. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but the F4U-4 was effectively a generation past the P-51D, which everbody compare everything to. Had the AF pressed the upgrades to the P-51, which it had deemed unnecessary, the H could have come out as early as the F4U-4 and the H was considerably faster than the F4U-4 by an average of 15-20 mph over the entire flight spectrum. It couldn't climb quite as well but was still in the ball park.

    I think the F4U-1 would have been a good match for LW planes in 43. It did lack the high altitude performance you would want from an escort. You don't want the enemy to get above you and zoom through the formations. It had a good 5000 ft. ceiling disadvantage to the P-47D.
     
  11. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Dav, the F4U1 in 1943 would not have been fighting the P47, but rather the 109G with service ceiling of 37890 or 190A8 with service ceiling of 33800, neither superior to the Corsair. Recently have been rereading a book by Peter Townsend and he writes that the Hurricane in 1940 could stagger to 30000 ft but could barely stay in the air at that altitude. I realise that altitude capability increased as the war drug on but it would be interesting to know how much ACM actually took place above 25000 ft or so. There is a good story of a Corsair with 3 blade prop that intercepted a Dinah(I think) recon plane at 38000 ft and with guns frozen chewed off tail of enemy plane so the Corsair could operate at very high altitudes. F4U5 was in production shortly after the war ended and it could certainly compete with P51H. Also I don't believe that a speed difference of ten to twenty mph at a certain altitude is necessarily tactically decisive. Witness Hurricane success against 109s in BOB. The Hurri was slower than the Spit but could turn tighter and was reportedly a better gun platform(according to Townsend)
     
  12. Neto

    Neto Banned

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    the f4u haves manover to match with bf 109 and spit ??
     
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