Design, Development & Operational HistoryEdit
The single-engine Chance Vought F4U Corsair was designed in 1938 for a U.S. Navy single-seater carrier-based fighter competition. The prototype showed excellent performance characteristics but was in need of substantial improvement. Even after the completion and launch of the F4U-1, a number of problems were discovered which prevented the aircraft from being used as a carrier-based fighter, and the Navy was forced to use the first F4U-1's for Marine Corps ground-based operations.
In the middle of 1943, the F4U-1A variant made its debut. To improve visibility, which was especially important when landing on an aircraft carrier, the cockpit canopy was modified to a convex shape, and the pilot’s chair was raised 17.8 cm. Dive speed problems were solved with a stall strip just outboard of the gun ports on the starboard wing’s leading edge.
The F4U-1A was produced not only at the Chance Vought factory, where the aircraft was designed, but also at the Brewster and Goodyear factories (with the designations F3A-1A and FG-1A, respectively). The latter model differed in that its wings were not folding. The Chance Vought factory produced a total of 2126 F4U-1A's.