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These Facts Will Let You Dazzle Your Friends With Your Knowledge
1. At One Point Corsairs Fought Corsairs
In July 1969, a week long war erupted between Honduras and El Salvador and was later dubbed the Football War. Both countries faced off in the air using Corsairs which they purchased after World War II. Another interesting fact is that this became the last propeller-driven air battle in the world.
2. Corsairs Are Known By A Lot Of Different Names
One of the most famous nicknames these warbirds are known as is the Whistling Death, as they scream when they dive. However, pilots also called them the U Bird, The Hog, The Bent Wing Bird, Sweetheart of Okinawa and The Ensign Eliminator.
3. Their Wings Are Bent For A Reason
To get as much power out of their massive Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines, the Corsairs needed a bigger propeller. This addition required for their noses to be raised resulting in the need for longer landing gear. This made the landing gear weaker and not appropriate for carrier landings. The inverted gull wing design allowed for the gears to remain short and sturdy while still making space for the massive propeller.
4. Their Massive Engine Earned Them The Nickname Hog Nose
Corsairs were designed with the 2,000 horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine in mind, which was the biggest engine at the time of production. To accommodate it, the Corsairs were designed with a much longer nose than pilots have seen before, hence earning that name Hog Nose.
5. Corsairs Were Part Of A Very Popular T.V. Show
The T.V. show Baa Baa Black Sheep, later called Black Sheep Squadron, was a series that aired from 1976 to 1978. It was a show based loosely on a real World War II squadron by the same name that fought in the Pacific Theater. Most notably, it emulated Greg “Pappy” Boyington, a great pilot, war hero and quite a character to be around.
6. There Are Two Famous People Associated With Corsairs
As mentioned above, Greg “Pappy” Boyington was a hell of a Corsair pilot who fought in the Pacific Theater and became an ace. Additionally, Charles Lindbergh, who was famous for his non-stop flight from New York to Paris, was the man responsible for the many design modifications that improved the Corsairs into the fighters they became.
7. F4U Versus FG Versus F3A Designations
Almost an instant success, Chance Vought, which designed and produced the Corsair, was overwhelmed with production orders and had to outsource the work. Goodyear built Corsairs were designated FG while Brewster built Corsairs were marked F3A. Corsairs built by Chance Vought were the original F4Us.
8. Designed For The Navy, But Used Mostly By The Marine Corps
Chance Vought designed Corsairs specifically for the United States Navy, but their design initially did not pass carrier landing qualifications. They were then transferred to the Marine Corps where they performed tremendously well. The landing issues were solved later in the war, but just a limited amount of those variants were produced.
9. Corsairs Fought In More Than One War
Chance Vought introduced the Corsair in the middle of World War II in 1942. Earning an impressive 11:1 kill ratio, these warbirds remained competitive for quite some time. They were still used in the Korean War by the U.S. and some were later transferred to France. There, they flew missions during the First Indochina War, the Suez Crisis, the Algerian War and the Football War, which was a conflict between Honduras and El Salvador. The last Corsair was retired from service in 1979 in Honduras.
10.There Were A Total Of 10 Super Corsairs Manufactured
Super Corsairs, designated F2G, were built by Goodyear in 1945. They were powered by an even larger Pratt & Whitney R -4360 engine which produced 3,000 horsepower. After testing however, the F8F Bearcats were comparable in performance making further development redundant. There is one airworthy Super Corsair left as of this writing and has been often used for air racing.