Goodyear F2G-2 BuNo 88463 NX5577N
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During World War II and again in the 1980s, engineers sought to increase the performance of the Vought F4U Corsair by installing a 4,360-cubic-inch, 28-cylinder engine in place of the standard 2,800-cubic-inch, 18-cylinder engine. The Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial engine generated nearly twice the horsepower of the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 that equipped the standard Corsair. The R-4360 is the most powerful reciprocating engine ever installed in a single engine airplane.
In order to combat the threat of Japanese kamikaze pilots in World War II, the R-4360 radial engine was mated to the Vought F4U Corsair to produce a specialized fighter with an extremely high rate of climb.
When the F2G went into production, it was referred to as Corsair, not Super Corsair.
Pratt & Whitney tested the compatability of the R4360 on F4U-1 Corsair, BuNo 02460. Goodyear modified two FG-1s, BuNo 13471 and BuNo 13472, to test the R4360 installation. Those Corsairs retained the FG-1 cockpit and turtle deck. Goodyear modified two FG-1s , BuNo 14091 and BuNo 14092, to evaluate the installation of a Republic P-47 teardrop canopy.
The production program for the R4360 equipped Corsair was assigned to the Goodyear Aircraft Company of Akron Ohio which manufactured the F4U under license as the FG. The new Corsair variant received the designation F2G.
The production F2G has a tear-drop canopy in place of the original Corsair cockpit and turtle deck. The vertical stabilizer of the F2G is 12 inches taller than on the standard Corsair and has an auxiliary rudder to counteract engine torque.
The rate of climb of the F2G was 7,000 feet per minute, twice the rate of climb of the standard Corsair and higher than the jet fighters of the time.
Only fifteen F2Gs were built: five pre-production XF2Gs (BuNos 14691 - 14695), five F2G-1s (BuNos 88454 - 88458), and five F2G-2s (BuNos 88459 - 88463). F2G-1s were intended to operate from land bases, not aircraft carriers. They had a manually operated wing fold mechanism and no tail hook. They were equipped with a fourteen-foot diameter propeller. F2G-2s were built with hydraulically powered wing fold mechanisms and tail hooks for carrier operations. Their propellers were thirteen feet in diameter.
Five F2Gs were converted to racing planes after the war: two pre-production XF2Gs (BuNos 14693 and 14694), two F2G-1s (BuNos 88457 and 88458), and one F2G-2 (88463).
Three F2Gs still survive; one F2G-1 in stock military configuration (BuNo 88454) and two of the racing F2Gs (BuNos 88458 and 88463).
Bob Odegaard has restored Cook Cleland's former racing mount, F2G-1 BuNo 88463 N5577N Race #74 to airworthy condition for Tom Ungurean of Ohio.
Cook Cleland won the 1947 Thompson Trophy in it at 396.131 miles per hour. In 1949 Dick Becker qualified it for the Thompson Trophy Race at 414 miles per hour, but stripped the propeller reduction gear and did not race. In 1950 it was acquired by Walter Soplata and stored with his aircraft collection in Newberry, Ohio.
Bob Odegaard began its restoration for static display at the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio in 2000, but funding dried up and it was purchased by Tom Ungurean. It has been restored in the blue and white colors that it wore at the 1949 Thompson Trophy Race. It was displayed at the EAA show in Oshkosh in July and at the Reno Air Races in September.
See the location where I photographed F2G-2 BuNo 88463 NX5577N in Google Earth.
Following its appearance at the Reno Air Races, Race 74 flew to Falcon Field in Tempe, Arizona and parked on the Commemorative Air Force ramp.
Race 74 is powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial engine and a four-bladed Hamilton Standard propeller.
The F2G design features a bubble canopy and cut-down rear deck for improved visibility over the standard FG or F4U. Dick Becker was the pilot of Race 74 at the 1948 and 1949 National Air Races.
Race 74 has the vertical stabilizer of a standard FG or F4U. It is not equipped with the extended vertical stabilizer and auxiliary rudder that were features of the F2G design. Compare it to the vertical stabilizer of Race 57 below.
This photo is available as prints as large as sixteen inches by twenty-four inches.
The wing tips of Race 74 have been clipped.
Cook Cleland owned four Goodyear F2Gs that he modified for competition in the National Air Races.
Tragically, Bob Odegaard and Race 74 were lost in a crash at Barnes County Municipal Airport in North Dakota on September 7, 2012 while preparing for the Wings and Wheels Airshow.
More F2G photographs are displayed on the Corsairs with Four Bank Radials Display.
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You can buy a 2018 calendar featuring my photographs of Corsairs with Four Bank Radials.
A dozen photos of four Corsairs equipped with Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major twenty-eight-cylinder, four-bank radial engines, three Goodyear F2Gs and the Super Corsair racing plane. F2G-1 N4324 remains in stock configuration. F2G-1 N5588N and F2G-2 NX5577N were converted for racing in the post-war Thompson Trophy Races. The Super Corsair racing plane N51318 was converted from a standard F4U in the 1980s. This calendar has been updated with photos from the first reunion of two of Cook Cleland's racing F2Gs in sixty-two years at the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force on December 27, 2011.
Put a copy of the Corsairs with Four Bank Radials: 2018 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.
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