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A family friend who's cattle property I worked on when a kid flew Corsairs in WW2, very impressive plane.


The F4U Corsair was called the Widow Maker by the US Navy.


"The Corsair appeared to be a superb fighting machine, but it was overengineered and thus hard to maintain. At the start of a typical day's ops, only about half of our full complement was safe to fly. By "secure," half of those could be expected to be "down."



"The landing flaps had a protective device to prevent extension at airspeeds high enough to cause over-stressing. This was a dandy feature except that the flaps could and often did retract fully and without warning during the final stages of a landing approach. Of course, this resulted in a horrendous loss of lift and a rapid sinking. The pilot, ever alert for such mishaps, had to slam on full power to evade disaster. After too many narrow escapes, we got the "flap blowup" removed, it being our decision to risk tearing off a flap as against losing lift in this terrifying, dangerous manner.


"The Corsair's storage battery, which was located in the cockpit, had an unhealthy habit of boiling over. In one case, a battery exploded while the airplane was in flight. We later determined that it had been excessively over- charged, but the incident gave us one more in a long line of potential life-threatening problems to bear in mind while we were trying to fly - and eventually, fight - our irasible Hogs."



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