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FAA Corsair - what's the difference ?


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not sure if this is in the right area of the forum to post this but it's great timing on the research posts for me as I was planning on purchasing and building a 1/32 FAA Corsair but have zero knowledge of this plane. I think in order to build a British aircraft from the current crop of modern kits the wing tips need trimming but other than that I'm clueless. What's the best kit to use as a starting point ? I've been looking at building a Corsair IV in dark blue with Far East roundels.  Were there significant differences between Brit and US aircraft ?


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 The British Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (FAA) warmed to the Corsair much faster than the US Navy. In November 1943, the FAA received under Lend-Lease the first of 95 Vought F4U-1s, which were given the designation of "Corsair I". The first squadrons were assembled and trained in the US, either at Brunswick, Maine, or Quonset, Rhode Island, and then shipped across the Atlantic. The Royal Navy put the Corsair into carrier operations immediately, well ahead of the US Navy, though it wasn't like the British worked miracles with the F4U: they found its landing characteristics just as beastly, suffering a number of fatal crashes, but bit the bullet and did it anyway.

This initial British batch was followed by 510 Vought F4U-1As under the designation of "Corsair II"; 430 Brewster F3A-1Ds under the designation of "Corsair III"; and finally 977 Goodyear FG-1Ds under the designation of "Corsair IV" -- for a total of 2,012 FAA Corsairs. It is unclear if the stateside squadron training scheme was retained for all British Corsair squadrons.

Royal Navy Corsair Is


All but initial deliveries of FAA Corsairs had 20 centimeters (8 inches) clipped from the wingtips to permit storage in British carrier hangar decks, with the clipped wings also apparently improving the roll rate. Some sources suggest that at least some of the clipped-wing Corsairs supplied to Britain had the US designation of "F4U-1B". Many FAA Corsairs were fitted with rails for launching British 7.62-centimeter (3-inch) unguided "Rocket Projectiles (RPs)". At its peak, the Corsair equipped 19 FAA squadrons.

FAA Corsairs originally fought in a camouflage scheme, with a light-green / dark-green disruptive pattern on top and a white belly, but were later painted overall blue. Those operating in the Pacific theater acquired a specialized British insignia -- a modified blue-white roundel with white "bars" to make it look more like a US than a Japanese insignia to prevent friendly-fire incidents.

FAA Corsairs performed their first combat action on 3 April 1944, with Number 1834 Squadron flying from the HMS VICTORIOUS to help provide cover for a strike on the German super-battleship TIRPITZ in a Norwegian fjord. This was apparently the first combat operation of the Corsair off of an aircraft carrier. Further attacks on the TIRPITZ were performed in July and August 1944, with Corsairs from the HMS FORMIDABLE participating. The Corsairs did not encounter aerial opposition on these raids, and in fact the F4U would never have it out with German Luftwaffe aircraft. A confrontation between a Corsair and the tough German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 would have made for an interesting contest.

After the Norwegian operations, British Corsairs switched operations to the Indian Ocean to fight the Japanese, with the first operational sorties on 19 April 1945. Royal Navy carriers would be participants in the final battle for the Japanese home islands. On 9 August 1945, days before the end of the war, Corsairs from HMS FORMIDABLE were attacking Shiogama harbor on the northeast coast of Japan. A Canadian pilot, Lieutenant Robert H. Gray, was hit by flak but pressed home his attack on a Japanese destroyer, sinking it with a 450-kilogram (1,000-pound) bomb, and then crashing into the sea. He was posthumously awarded the last Victoria Cross of World War II.

At least 424 Corsairs were also provided to the Royal New Zealand Air Force, beginning in late 1943, with a little more than half of them F4U-1As and the rest F4U-1Ds / FG-1Ds. By the time the New Zealanders had worked up to operational Corsair squadrons in 1944, there was little for them to shoot at in the air and they scored no kills, but they kept busy in the attack role, with a fair number of them shot down or lost in accidents. Most of the New Zealander Corsairs were scrapped after the war, as were the British Corsairs.


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JT-217: 1834 Sqn, 1943. No code given
JT-224: 1834 Sqn, 8. 2. 44.. No code given
JT-248: 1834 or 1836 Sqn, 2. 44.. No code given
JT-256: 1834 Sqn, 10. 43.. No code given
JT-264: 1834 Sqn, 7. 10. 43.. No code given
JT-310: 1834 or 1836 Sqn, 3. 44.. 1841 Sqn, 28. 4. 44.. No code given. (Tirpitz)
JT-311: 1834 Sqn, 4. 1. 45. Code "T7B"
JT-324: 1834 Sqn, 25. 9. 44.. No code given
JT-325: 1841 Sqn, 3. 44.. Code "7H"
JT-338: 1841 Sqn, 3. 44.. No code given
JT-340: 1834 Sqn, 24. 8. 44.. No code given
JT-348: 1834 Sqn, 10. 44.. Code "7P"
JT-353: 1841 Sqn, 15. 5. 44.. No code given
JT-361: 1834 Sqn, 7. 44. - 11. 44.. No code given
JT-368: 1834 Sqn, 1944 No code given
JT-370: 1834 Sqn, 10. 6. 44.. No code given
JT-373: 1834 Sqn, 10. 3. 44.. No code given
JT-378: 1834 Sqn, 21. 3. 44.. No code given
JT-379: 1834 or 1836 Sqn, 3. 44.. No code given
JT-383: 1834 Sqn, 26. 3. 44. - 11. 44. Code "7D"
JT-384: 1834 Sqn, 27. 2. 44. - 5. 44. Code "7A"
JT-386: 1834 Sqn, from 26. 3. 44. No code given
JT-389: 1834 Sqn, from 27. 2. 44. Code "7B"
JT-391: 1834 Sqn, 31. 7. 44. No code given
JT-394: 1834 Sqn, 11. 44. No code given
JT-399: 1834 Sqn, 17. 10. 44. No code given
JT-402: 1834 Sqn, 14. 4. 44. No code given
JT-403: 1834 Sqn, 19. 10. 44. Code "7N"
JT-414: 1834 Sqn, 4. 44. - 5. 45. Code "3"
JT-423: 1834 Sqn, from 3. 3. 44. Code "7H"
JT-424: 1834 Sqn, from 4. 3. 44. Code "7F"
JT-425: 1841 Sqn, 8. 2. 44. No code given
JT-426: 1834 Sqn, 3. 45. - 5. 45. Code "112/P"
JT-431: 1834 Sqn, 15. 9. 44. No code given
JT-435: 1834 Sqn, 9. 11. 44. No code given
JT-451: 1834 Sqn, 4. 45. Code "112"
JT-452: 1834 Sqn, 11. 44. No code given
JT-471: 1834 Sqn, 2. 10. 44. No code given
JT-479: 1834 Sqn, 10. 10. 44. No code given
JT-481: 1834 Sqn, 10. 44. No code given
JT-505: 1834 Sqn, 11. 44. No code given
JT-507: 1834 Sqn, 11. 44. No code given
JT-523: 1834 Sqn, 1944/5. No code given
JT-524: 1834 Sqn, 10. 44. Code "7R"
JT-529: 1834 Sqn, 4. 45. No code given
JT-531: 1834 Sqn, 11. 8. 44. Code "122"
JT-533: 1834 Sqn, 2. 45. Code "120/P"
JT-534: 1834 Sqn, 9. 9. 44. No code given
JT-539: 1834 Sqn, 11. 44. No code given
JT-558: 1834 Sqn, 11. 44. - 5. 45. No code given
JT-561: 1834 Sqn, 5. 45. No code given
JT-565: 1834 Sqn, 12. 44.. Code "7S" with "P" on the fin
JT-568: 1834 Sqn, 23. 8. 45. Code "124"
JT-572: 1834 Sqn, 29. 1. 45. No code given
JT-573: 1834 Sqn, 19. 12. 44. No code given
JT-575: 1834 Sqn, 11. 44. Codes "7K" "T7K"
JT-580: 1834 Sqn, 12. 5. 45. No code given
JT-582: 1834 Sqn, 1. 45. Codes "T7C" "113/P"
JT-590: 1834 Sqn, 23. 8. 45. Code "128"
JT-607: 1834 Sqn, 7. 45. No code given
JT-616: 1834 Sqn, 1. 45. - 5. 45. Codes "T7X" "122/Q"
JT-619: 1834 Sqn, No date. No code given
JT-620: 1834 Sqn, 21. 11. 44. No code given
JT-622: 1834 Sqn, 11. 1. 45. Codes "T7Z" "125/P
JT-624: 1841 Sqn, 20. 1. 45. Code "7C"
JT-626: 1834 Sqn, 1. 45. Code "118/P"
JT-629: 1834 Sqn, 11. 44. No code given
JT-630: 1834 Sqn, 1. 45. Code "T7H"
JT-632: 1834 Sqn, 3. 45. Code "116/X"
JT-633: 1834 Sqn, 3. 45. - 5. 45. Codes "120/P" "119/X"
JT-634: 1834 Sqn, No date. Code "137/P"
JT-635: 1834 Sqn, 12. 44. No code given
JT-636: 1834 Sqn, 1. 45. Code "T7J"
JT-637: 1834 Sqn, 4. 45. Code "126/P"
JT-638: 1834 Sqn, 4. 45. No code given
JT-639: 1834 Sqn, 5. 45. Code "115/P"
JT-645: 1834 Sqn, 4. 45 - 5. 45. Code "125/P"
JT-646: 1834 Sqn, 3. 45. - 5. 45. Code "116/P"
JT-648: 1834 Sqn, 1. 45. Codes "7R" "T7R"
JT-650: 1841 Sqn, 13. 9. 44. Codes "D" "7D"
JT-651: 1834 Sqn, 9. 44. No code given
JT-654: 1834 Sqn, 2. 45. Code "117/P"
JT-662: 1834 Sqn, 7. 44. - 1. 45. No code given
JT-663: 1834 Sqn, 1. 45. Code "T7Y"
JT-665: 1834 Sqn, 9. 44. Code "7S"
JT-673: 1834 Sqn, 5. 45. Code "116/P"
JT-679: 1834 Sqn, 29. 1. 45. Codes "T7A" "111/P"
JT-680: 1834 Sqn, 28. 9. 44. - 11. 44. No code given
JT-682: 1834/1836 Sqns, 7. 45. No code given
JT-684: 1834 Sqn, 5. 45. Codes "7P" "123"
JT-687: 1841 Sqn, 19. 9. 44. Code "7J"
JT-696: 1834 Sqn, 29. 1. 45. Codes "T7M" "128/P"
JT-697: 1834 Sqn, 1. 45. Code "T7P"
JT-701: 1834 Sqn, 12. 44. No code given. This is listed as a Mk.III

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Good info on FAA Corsairs, though the only thing I wish to add is that VF-17 paved the way for Corsair usage in the USN and were on their way to the Pacific aboard CV-17, USS Bunker Hill, totally Carrier Qualified, but became a land based squadron due to spare parts logistics in the fleet to maintain Corsairs at that time.

Since they didn't want to give up their tried and proved Corsairs they were switched to a land based squadron. VF-17, working very Closely with Voght tamed the Corsair and is what brought about the changes to begin the raised Cockpit, by almost 7", the changes in canopy to the bubble Canopy and the wooden anti stall wedge on the Starboard wing leading edge, F4U-1"A".

Things have been written about, over and over again, about the Corsair not being a good Aircraft Carrier handling aircraft, but it's not true! Yes, she needed a different type of approach, which VF-17 mastered, but it was the logistics and parts support which had to catch up to make her a USN Aircraft Carrier aircraft in the USN. The Marines had the spares so VF-17 went on to become a land based squadron, flying their LOVED Corsairs!


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Visually the biggest changes are the clipped wing tips. There's two different versions of them. I'll find the drawings of them and post those shortly.

Another change was the FAA had three small vents installed on the fuselage. They found that CO would accumulate in the rear fuselage so these were installed to vent it. There's one on either side of the fuselage and a third underneath. 

The FAA also fitted a Sutton harness to the plane in place of the US belts. 

The Tamiya Corsair would probably be the best starting point. They had in fact planned an FAA release as some point. The dimples for the fuselage vents are moulded into the fuselage sides but the vents themselves aren't included. The Sutton harness is on the PE fret if you don't mind PE.  The only thing not in the box is the clipped wing tips but it's an easy mod. 

Eaglecals makes several decal sheets for FAA Corsairs and Fundekals offered one at some point too. 

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Great information here!  Awesome!

I’m no huge Corsair fanboy, as blue and grey are morning to me, BUT, the FAA birds interest me greatly.   I assume the FAA and the RNZAF scrapped all theirs to avoid having to buy them all postwar?

What a waste! 

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