Vought (Blackburn) Corsair V

What If Aircraft

 by David Drake

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Vought (Blackburn) Corsair V TF956 JR-113, 738 Sqn Fleet Air Airm, 1946

Blackburn Aircraft Ltd enjoyed a long association with Royal Naval aviation.  During World War 2 it enjoyed the distinction of building many of the Fleet Air Arms Swordfish aircraft, and was also contracted to modify US-built Vought F4U Corsairs to RN standards.  On the basis of this experience, and in the light of continuing delays to the Firebrand shipborne torpedo fighter, an Anglicised version of the F4U-4 was developed as the Navys next carrier fighter. 

The type was distinguished from its US forebear by a number of features arising from combat experience, principally the cut-down rear fuselage and bubble canopy, which in turn required an enlargened fin (Blackburn were unaware of similar enhancements being undertaken by Goodyear as they developed the F2G).  The main difference was the introduction of the Centaurus engine.

Although the airframe improvements were welcome by the crews, and the Centaurus provided extra power, the type was destined to be overshadowed by the superior Hawker Sea Fury, and saw only limited service with second line units until its retirement from service in 1950.

(Donor kits: Matchbox F4U-4 Corsair, scratchbuilt canopy, Almark sheet S8)

David 

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Photos and text by David Drake