Vought F4U is perhaps one of the most recognizable WWII Pacific
fighters because of the gull wing design. The gull wing design came
from the necessity of having a 13 foot diameter propeller on the front
of the airplane to take advantage of the large engine's horsepower.
Having gull wings led to shorter landing gear struts. It was figured
that longer landing gear legs would make the landings on carriers more
bouncy. Longer legs would mean more weight as they would have to be
strong to be able to handle carrier landings. Despite this, early
Corsairs were land based because of the length of the nose coupled with
the cockpit placement led to very poor forward and downward visibility.
The British were the ones to come up with the approach to the carriers
that led to their usage from carriers by both Britain and the United
Corsair was made famous by the "Black Sheep Squadron" led by Major Greg
"Pappy" Boyington. It should be noted that the propaganda machines of
the United States started the story of Major Boyington being called
"Pappy". He was actually called "Gramps" by his men because of his
advanced age. He was 30 while most of his men were in their 20s.
manufactured this Corsair, an FG-1D Corsair (N11Y). It has been around
the Southern California Air Show circuit for a number of years and is
always a joy to see.
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