Vought F4U-1 Corsair

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Reposting and revising from my original suggestion in old forums.

Vought F4U-1 Corsair (First Production Variant)

Naval Fighter

   Hello, I’d like to re-introduce and suggest a Vought F4U-1 Corsair with the original birdcage canopy for the US aviation tech tree. It is not the same as the F4U-1A we currently have in the game! What I am suggesting is the first production Corsair variant derived from an XF4U-1 prototype.

Key Characteristics

  • Initial F4U-1 Corsair variant
  • Framed “birdcage” style canopy
  • 6 x .50 cal HMGs
  • Improvised bomb rack to equip a single 1000 lb bomb
  • Similar performance to the F4U-1A


Design and Development

The development of the first F4U Corsair was initiated in February 1938 when the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics submitted one of the requests for a proposal for a high-speed, high-altitude fighter with some ambitious requirements.

Securing the contract, Vought proposed its design of a V-166B (Vought B) in April 1938, powered by the new Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engine. This engine would later be used in the Grumman F6F and Republic P-47. The USN accepted Vought’s proposal in May 1938.

The contract was given to the Vought to develop its V-111B, the fighter we know would become the legendary F4U Corsair. Then, the USN signed a contract for a prototype known as the XF4U-1 with serial number 1443. Satisfied with the mock-up inspection, the Vought began assembly of the XF4U-1 in February 1939.

The Vought’s XF4U-1 completed its first flight on 29 May 1940, but it made an emergency landing when the elevator trim tabs failed because of flutter. Early testing encountered a close miss and setback when the XF4U-1 ran out of fuel during its fifth test flight and executed another emergency landing on a golf course. It was severely damaged, but Vought repaired it.

The XF4U-1 completed another test flight on 1 October 1940. It achieved a top speed of 405 mph (650 kph) and had an excellent rate of climb. It became the first US fighter to fly faster than 400 mph in that time.

After the testing, it was concluded that some of the requirements by USN would have to be rewritten. The XF4U-1 had achieved dive test speeds of up to 550 mph (890 kph) but suffered damage to the control surfaces and access panels and an engine failure in one case. The spin recovery was impossible without using an anti-spin chute. These issues had delayed the design getting realized into production.

Improvements were made to the XF4U-1, including its handling and ailerons. They were effective; however, the low-speed handling characteristics were insufficient and tended to drop a wing when it stalled, making it dangerous for aircraft carrier landings. Nevertheless, the XF4U-1 brought satisfactory results to the USN, exceeding their expectations.

As the war over Europe was heating, the USN received intelligence reports indicating an armament of two .30 cal (7.62mm) synchronized engine cowling-mount machine guns and two .50 cal (12.7mm) machine guns in each wing was insufficient. This led to another redesign with the USN’s new production proposals, specifying heavier armament, so Vought resubmitted a new production proposal in April 1941. The USN accepted and awarded Vought a contract for the 584 F4U-1 fighters in production.


The production F4U-1s received significant modifications from the XF4U-1. They were now mounted with six wing-mounted .50 cal (12.7mm) M2 Browning machine guns, increasing their firepower. They were installed with an R-2800-8W engine that provides 2,000 horsepower on take-off instead of the XR-2800-4 from the XF4U-1. The wings had other changes; the wing structure was changed to save weight and improve the roll rate, and a small spoiler was added on the edge of the starboard wing to reduce the accelerated stalls and ensure stall warnings. The tail landing gear and arresting hook were redesigned. The armor was installed around the cockpit; the bulletproof glass was added under the windscreen. The self-sealing fuel tanks were installed, improving survivability.

The first production F4U-1, serial number 02153, accomplished its first flight on June 24-25, 1942. This F4U-1 was the only production variant with a birdcage or framed canopy. It was also the first USN aircraft to incorporate fully enclosed landing gear in its retracted states.

Entry of USN and USMC Service (1942-1943)

The US Navy received its first production F4U-1 Corsair on July 31, 1942. Almost all F4U-1s were delivered in the two-tone paint scheme of non-specular Blue-Gray on the upper and vertical surfaces and non-specular Light Gray on the bottom surfaces. Few of these aircraft at the end of the production run was delivered in the tricolor paint scheme of Sea Blue, Intermediate Blue, and white, all non-specular.

Due to the high demands by the USN and US Marine Corps, the two other manufacturers were brought into the Corsair program to produce the F4U-1s to assist the parent company, Chance Vought. F3A-1s were manufactured by Brewster Aeronautical, and FG-1s were manufactured by Goodyear Aircraft. These F4U-1, F3A-1, and FG-1 were identically the same but under different manufacturers.

VF-12 and VF-17 were the first USN squadrons to acquire the Corsairs for the carrier qualification trials, and these Corsairs were declared unfit for duty aboard the fleet aircraft carriers due to poor visibility, bouncing landing gears (because of flawed design in undercarriage oleo struts), and low-speed stall; however, they were ready for combat at the end of 1942. They were reassigned to the USMC squadrons based in the Solomon Islands. VMF-124. VMF-214, VMF-215, and VMF-222 were the first units to receive them.

These Marines who had been flying the older Grumman F4F were transitioned into the F4U-1 Corsairs, and they saw their first combat engagement on February 14, 1943. While these Marine pilots had their first experience using F4U-1s, they quickly learned to fly the Corsairs and utilize its superior advantages over the Japanese fighters. Second Lieutenant Kenneth A. Walsh became the first Corsair ace in May 1943 with a total of 21 kills and received the Medal of Honor for his action.

Most of the F4U-1s were remaining in the USMC squadrons, primarily serving on land bases in the South Pacific. The Marine ground crew made several modifications to the F4U-1s, including a bomb rack to carry a 1000 lb bomb on the centerline or a 150-gallon drop tank. Other modifications and enhancements were also made by Vought as lessons to address the F4U-1 Corsair’s flaws, such as improving the undercarriage oleo struts. These improvements would be later incorporated together under a new variant: the F4U-1A. The remaining F4U-1s were either retrofitted or phased out & replaced by the newer F4U-1As. These F4U-1As became the primary fighter for the USMC from the middle of 1943 through the end of 1944.


Vought F4U-1 Corsair

Source: the-blueprints.com

  • General Characteristics

    • Crew: 1 (Pilot)
    • Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp R-2800-8
      → 2,000 hp under standard combat power
    • Length: 33’4" feet and inches
    • Height: 16’1" feet and inches
    • Span: 41 feet
    • Empty Weight: 8,892 lb (4,074 kg)
    • Gross Weight: 12, 256 lb (5,815 kg)
    • Internal Fuel: 237 US gal
  • Performance

    • Speed at Sea Level: 326 mph (525 kph)
    • Speed at 22,900 feet: 388 mph at 22,900 feet (624 kph at 6,980 meters)
    • Rate of Climb: 2,890 feet per minute
    • Service Ceiling: 36,200 feet (11,034 meters)
    • Range: 1,015 miles (1,633 km)
  • Armament

    • 6 x .50 cal HMGs (2,350 Rounds)
    • 1 x 1,000 lb bomb
    • 2 x 62 US gal wing tanks
    • 1 x 175 US gal drop tanks


F4U-1 Livery

   There is a decent amount of different paint schemes for the F4U-1 that can be added to the game as unlock able skins.

Two-Tone Scheme

Two-Tone Scheme as Default Skin



Source: www.jetcollector.com

Tricolor Scheme




Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Conclusion | Why it should be in the game

   My purpose for this suggestion is to expand WW2 aircraft content for War Thunder. This particular F4U-1 Corsair would make a welcoming addition to the F4U Corsair family in the game, and it could go to the tech tree foldered with F4U-1A. The F4U-1 has a unique appearance and is similar to the F4U-1A in terms of performance but slightly worse because of poor visibility and a tendency to bounce on landing.



  • Pilot’s Handbook for Navy Model F4U-1, F4U-1C, F4U-1D, F3A-1, FG-1, FG-1D Airplanes. Issued 15 October 1945. Revised 1 June 1946 and 1 December 1952.


Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestion! 😃


It’s not like it’s really needed, but I am always okay with adding as many new vehicles as possible. +1


+1 especially as a premium, since there are already 2 essentially identical vehicles to this in the tech tree folder, and the US doesn’t really have a rank II premium cas


Fine with me, that is a good idea 🙂

+1 love the addition of more WW2 props

I think the F4U-1a as built by either Goodyear (FG) or Brewster (F3A) could make a better premium. The former would be identical save for the name-change, but the later would have slightly weaker performance due to Brewster’s poor manufacturing quality.


Yes!! Corsairs are just like mustangs. You can never have too many!!! +100! :)

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Give more propeller aircraft make propeller air realistic have more vehicles,glad to see that.

Be real cool if the UK got this one as the Corsair Mk I, either as TT or Premium/event

An Early Corsair? Yes please, take my +1!

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