In June 1941, the Navy issued the first production contract for the somewhat revised F4U-1 model and the basic design continued in production until January 1953, at which time over 12,800 Corsairs of all models had been built.
One of the basically stock Corsairs still active is F4U-1 Bu. No. 17799 (civil registration NX83782), which belongs to Planes of Fame Air Museum at Chino Airport in Southern California. It first arrived at San Diego, California in August 1943 and was assigned to a Navy fighter squadron (VF84) in the same year.
In January 1944, the aircraft was reassigned to VBF-14 (a fighter-bomber unit) until being transferred to VBF-98 in February 1945. This aircraft actually saw combat service in the Pacific with VBF-14 and/or VBF-98. The Corsair was dubbed the "Whistling Death" by the Japanese because of the noise that it made in high-speed flight. Between April and June 1945, Planes of Fame's Corsair served with a carrier air support unit (CASU-33) before being withdrawn from active service on August 31, 1945.
The Museum's F4U-1A was manufactured in Stratford, Connecticut and delivered on August 31, 1943. The Museum’s F4U-1A is a WWII Combat Veteran. During Operation Cartwheel in the South Pacific, it was shared among several USMC squadrons – VMF 217, and most likely VMF-213, VMF-214, VMF-215, VMF-216, and others. Summer 1944, it was with VMF-441 in the Central Pacific. It returned stateside and was eventually a prop at MGM Studios. The Museum acquired it in 1970 and restored it in 1975. It is one of the oldest Corsairs still flying. Since restoration, the Corsair has taken part in numerous airshows and flown in a variety of Hollywood productions including the Baa Baa Blacksheep television series, Airwolf, Space, an IMAX film and an ABC Wide world of flying video.
Manufacturer: Chance Vought Aircraft
Model: F4U-1A Corsair
Registration Number: N83782
Serial Number: 17799
Max T/O Weight: 14,000 lb.
Span: 41 ft. 0 in.
Length: 33 ft. 4 in.
Height: 16 ft. 1 in.
Maximum Speed: 417 mph
Cruise Speed: 182 mph
Rate of Climb: 2,200 ft/min
Power Plant: 1-2,000hp Pratt&Whitney R2800-8 Double Wasp 18-cylinder radial
Range: 1,015 miles
Service Ceiling: 36,900 ft.
Armament: Six 0.50-cal machine guns & provisions for bombs & rockets