Corsairs with Four-bank Radials


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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 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.

In 1982 a standard F4U Corsair was modified with an R-4360, clipped wings, and a cut down cockpit canopy to compete at the Reno Air Races as the Super Corsair. It won the 1985 Gold Unlimited Race at Reno, setting a new race record.

Goodyear F2G

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 lacked a wing fold mechanism and 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).

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324

F2G-1, BuNo 88454 was the first production F2G. It carries Goodyear construction number 6163. It was tested at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Naval Air Station Norfolk from 1945 to 1948. The Navy placed it in a storage container and left it there for eighteen years. In 1966, it was transferred to the Bradley Air Museum at Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Walter Olrich of Norfolk, Virginia registered it as N4324 in 1972, intending to race it as Race #50. The Navy objected and retrieved the F2G-1. It was displayed at the United States Marine Corps Museum at Quantico Virginia in 1974. Doug Champlin and Windward Aviation of Oklahoma acquired it in 1974. It was displayed at the USS Intrepid Museum in New York in 1976. Champlin moved it to the Champlin Fighter Museum in Mesa, Arizona in 1978.

Champlin Fighter Museum, Mesa, Arizona, Various dates

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, December 31, 1981 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on December 31, 1981.

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, November 29, 1992 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on November 29, 1992.

FG-1D N700G, Champlin Fighter Museum, December 31, 1981 For comparison, Goodyear FG-1D N700G at the Champlin Fighter Museum on December 31, 1981.

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, December 31, 1981 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on December 31, 1981

FG-1D N700G, Champlin Fighter Museum, December 31, 1981 For comparison, Goodyear FG-1D N700G at the Champlin Fighter Museum on December 31, 1981.

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, March 25, 1985 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on March 25, 1985.

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, March 25, 1985 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on March 25, 1985.

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, November 29, 1992 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on November 29, 1992.

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, November 29, 1992 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on November 29, 1992.

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, September 30, 1999 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on September 30, 1999.

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, September 30, 1999 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on September 30, 1999.

F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324, Champlin Fighter Museum, March 2, 2002 F2G-1 BuNo 88454 N4324 at the Champlin Fighter Museum on March 2, 2002.

In November 2003, F2G-1 BuNo 88454 moved to the Seattle Museum of Flight.

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 was the fifth F2G-1. It carries Goodyear construction number 6167. It was tested at Port Columbus, Ohio and Naval Air Station Patuxent River from October 1945 to July 1946. The Navy retired it in January 1948. Cook Cleland bought it for spare parts, but then registered it as NX5588N. That was the same registration worn by Cleland's F2G-1 BuNo 88457, which crashed at the 1947 Thompson Trophy Race. NX5588N raced as Race #57 in the 1949 Thompson and Tinnerman Trophy Races at Cleveland, Ohio.

Ben McKillen Jr. piloted Race #57 to third place in the 1949 Thompson Trophy Race at a speed of 387.589 miles per hour, behind Cook Cleland in F2G-1 N5590N Race #94 (397.071 miles per hour) and Ron Puckett in F2G-1 N91092 Race #18 (393.527 miles per hour). McKillen won the 1949 Tinnerman Trophy Race in Race #57 at a speed of 386.069 miles per hour.

From 1950 to 1996, NX5588N passed through the hands of several owners, deteriorating progressively over years of outdoor storage. Robert J. Odegaard of Kindred, North Dakota acquired it on March 2, 1996. He performed a meticulous restoration of its appearance at the 1949 air races and returned it to airworthy condition in 1999.

Champlin Fighter Museum, Mesa, Arizona, September 30, 1999

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Champlin Fighter Museum, September 30, 1999 Bob Odegaard's Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N in the restoration hangar at the Champlin Fighter Museum on September 30, 1999.

Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 Bob Odegaard's Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005.

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 The wings of Race #57 were not clipped and are the full span as built.

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 BuNo 88458 NX5588N, Santa Monica Airport, December 17, 2005 F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 Corsair, BuNo 88458 N5588N at the Santa Monica Airport on December 17, 2005

F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Vought F4U-1A Corsair, NX83782 and Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Vought F4U-1A Corsair, NX83782 and Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N and North American P-51A-10NA Mustang, NX4235Y Mrs Virginia at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

Vought F4U-1A Corsair, NX83782 and Goodyear F2G-1 Corsair, N5588N at Chino on May 21, 2006.

GreMir models 1/32-scale Goodyear F2G Race 57 You can order a 1/32-scale card model of Goodyear F2G Race 57 from GreMir models for $16.00.

Link to a history of F2G-1, N5588N on the web site of the Society of Air Racing Historians.

F2G-1 BuNo 88463 N5577N Race #74 Bob Odegaard is restoring Cook Cleland's former racing mount, F2G-1 BuNo 88463 N5577N Race #74 for the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

F4U Super Corsair

The R4360 equipped Super Corsair racing plane was not a Goodyear F2G. In 1982 a standard F4U Corsair was modified with an R4360, clipped wings, and a cut down cockpit canopy to compete at the Reno Air Races.

The origins of Super Corsair's airframe have been lost. The unidentifed F4U-1D served as a movie prop for a number of years before being added to the collection of the Air Museum in Ontario, California in 1959. Its fuselage was displayed at the museum through the 1960s.

James Maloney and the Planes of Fame Air Museum of Chino, California registered the Super Corsair as NX31518 in 1982 and raced it as Race #1. Steve Hinton and Fighter Rebuilders acquired it in 1984. Hinton won the 1985 Gold Unlimited Race at Reno in Race #1 at a speed of 438.186 miles per hour, establishing a new race speed record.

Naval Air Station Point Mugu, October 16, 1982

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, October 16, 1982 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at Naval Air Station Point Mugu on October 16, 1982.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, October 16, 1982 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at Naval Air Station Point Mugu on October 16, 1982.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, October 16, 1982 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at Naval Air Station Point Mugu on October 16, 1982.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, October 16, 1982 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at Naval Air Station Point Mugu on October 16, 1982.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, October 16, 1982 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at Naval Air Station Point Mugu on October 16, 1982.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, October 16, 1982 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at Naval Air Station Point Mugu on October 16, 1982.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, October 16, 1982 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at Naval Air Station Point Mugu on October 16, 1982.

Edwards Air Force Base, October 30, 1983

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Edwards Air Force Base, October 30, 1983 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at Edwards Air Force Base on October 30, 1983.

Chino Airport, May 20, 1984

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Chino Airport, May 20, 1984 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at the Chino Airport on May 20, 1984.

Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at the Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991 The R-4360 radial engine has 28 cylinders in four banks of seven. Each cylinder is equipped with 2 spark plugs, for a total of 56 spark plugs.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at the Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991 Dreadnought, to the right of the Super Corsair is a Sea Fury that has also been equipped with an R4360.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at the Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991 John Maloney takes off in F4U Super Corsair N31518 at the beginning of Heat 3-A at the Reno Air Races on September 14, 1991.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991 John Maloney in F4U Super Corsair N31518 chases down Bob Yancy in Yak-11 N5943 Perestroika Race #101 in Heat 3-A. Perestroika came in eighth at 397.558 miles per hour.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 14, 1991 F4U Super Corsair N31518 came in seventh in Heat 3-A at 397.694 miles per hour.

Reno Air Races, September 15, 1991

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 15, 1991 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at the Reno Air Races, September 15, 1991.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 15, 1991 John Maloney taxies F4U Super Corsair N31518 out for the Gold Unlimited Race at the Reno Air Races on September 15, 1991.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 15, 1991 F4U Super Corsair N31518 completed only seven laps of the Gold Unlimited Race, averaging 406.420 miles per hour.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 15, 1991 Steve Hinton leans against the wing of F4U Super Corsair N31518 following the Gold Unlimited Race.

Reno Air Races, September 19, 1992

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 19, 1992 Kevin Eldridge pilots F4U Super Corsair N31518 in Heat 3-A at the Reno Air Races on September 19, 1992.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 19, 1992 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at the Reno Air Races, September 19, 1992.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 19, 1992 F4U Super Corsair N31518 came in seventh in Heat 3-A at 411.291 miles per hour.

Reno Air Races, September 20, 1992

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 20, 1992 F4U Super Corsair N31518 at the Reno Air Races, September 20, 1992.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 20, 1992 Kevin Eldridge taxies F4U Super Corsair N31518 out for the Gold Unlimited Race at the Reno Air Races on September 20, 1992.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Reno Air Races, September 20, 1992 F4U Super Corsair N31518 finished in sixth place in the Gold Unlimited Race at 420.800 miles per hour by virtue of the fact that three out of nine participants did not finish the race.

Chino, October 17, 1993

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Chino, October 17, 1993 F4U Super Corsair N31518 on display at the Planes of Fame Museum at Chino on October 17, 1993.

F4U Super Corsair N31518, Chino, October 17, 1993 F4U Super Corsair N31518 on display at the Planes of Fame Museum at Chino on October 17, 1993.

The Super Corsair caught fire and crashed at the Phoenix 500 Unlimited Air Race on March 19, 1994. Pilot Kevin Eldridge struck the left horizontal stabilizer and was seriously injured as he exited the flaming airplane.


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