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Whistling Death: F4U Corsair Is Proof You Can Recover From Setbacks

This was the second to last built at the Stratford, CT plant (prior to Vought-Sikorsky moving to Dallas, TX). It was flown frequently by the late Gerald Beck of Wahpeton, North Dakota (Mr. Beck died in summer 2007, current ownership is not known). The plane, formerly a Honduran fighter (FAH 610), was salvaged from the country by Earl Ware in 1981 and later sold to Mr. Beck who restored if over approximately a decade's time.

If you fail at first, try, try again. – F4U Corsair

F4U-1 Corsair was a beefy, powerful fighter that played a significant role in both WWII and the Korean War. The original intent for the aircraft was that it would be used by the United States Navy as a carrier aircraft. Unfortunately, that vision was never realized due to several different issues that plagued the aircraft. The issues were significant and affected a number of aspects of the aircraft. Issues with the landing gear, stability, drag, and precision control on approaches all plagued what was supposed to be an amazing carrier fighter. The aircraft performed so poorly that the Navy could not utilize it. The project was almost canceled but the Corsair received a new chance at life with the Marine Corps who decided to make use of them as ground deployed aircraft.

With one of the largest Pratt & Whitney engines available at the time and a rather large prop, the Corsair did prove to be a useful addition to the Marines. Over time, the issues with the Corsair were corrected. The Navy eventually adopted the aircraft, the Royal Navy, and the New Zealand Royal Air Force followed.  The fighter evolved into an indispensable tool for both the Navy and the Marines.  The aircraft ended the war with an impressive 11:1 kill ratio.  Proof that early setbacks in both life, war, and airplane design can be overcome.

This documentary-style video gives a unique look at those who flew the Corsair and the incredible versatility of this classic aircraft. There are still several actively flying F4U-1s around the United States.

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