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GregGal
12-06-2007, 11:20 PM
Hi fellas!
I've read a lot about the war in the Pacific, and I just can't understand one thing. In il2 as well as in real life, they say the Corsair is waaay better than the Hellcat, outperforms it in almost every aspect...still, the Navy used Hellcats instead of them. Ok, it was easier to operate them from carriers, but the problems of the Corsair were solved very soon, still they only installed them on carriers at the very end of the war. Why? Was it as terrible as a carrier based fighter, to choose something much worse? Or were the Hellcat not as bad as that at all?
I'm looking forward to read your opinions!

Thanks!

Greg

Waldo.Pepper
12-06-2007, 11:51 PM
Pilots are expensive. Losing them through accidents is a terrible way to wage a war. Hence the Hellcat was preferred. I think that sums the situation nicely.

ViktorViktor
12-07-2007, 01:08 AM
The Royal Navy flew both Hellcats and Corsairs as well.

Did they have the same attitude towards these planes (that is, that the Hellcat was hands-down the safer ride from a carrier) as the U.S. Navy ?
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

jasonbirder
12-07-2007, 01:33 AM
The Corsair was nicknamed the "Ensign Eliminator" and had a number of nasty handling features...flying real planes is alot tougher than flying planes in IL2!

GregGal
12-07-2007, 01:41 AM
I see your points. But some sources say there were no big performance differences, some say the Corsair was a LOT better as an aircraft...

ViktorViktor
12-07-2007, 02:01 AM
Another point is that the Navy/Marines were still flying F4Us in combat during the Korean War while there was nary a Hellcat to be seen by this time.

jasonbirder
12-07-2007, 02:11 AM
To give you an idea of Corsair losses in World War 2 :
Corsair losses in the World War II were as follows:
538 were destroyed by the Enemy
922 were destroyed in accidents!

Antoninus
12-07-2007, 02:18 AM
It's only important that the Hellcat clearly outperformed the Zero in most aspects, they didn't want to fight Corsairs with them. Since it was also easier to operate from aircraft carriers and had proved this capability before the Corsair had done so, it didn't seem to be a bad choice.

luftluuver
12-07-2007, 03:48 AM
It is also easier to keep 1 a/c type supplied with spare parts (logistics) than 2 a/c types. Especially when the ship is 1000s of miles away from port.

The F6F had better survivability to ground fire than did the F4U.

alert_1
12-07-2007, 03:54 AM
Hellac was good preformer againt Japanes firhters, real life was not as in IL2, Ki84 or J2M was quite rare to encounter.

stansdds
12-07-2007, 04:03 AM
The Corsair held a slight advantage over the Hellcat except when it came to carrier operations. The pilot sits much further to the rear of the airframe in the Corsair, making for a poor forward vision situation when operating from the deck or on approach to a carrier. The Corsair also tended to have worse low speed handling characteristics aside from the infamous bounce (solved by the time the F4U-1A entered service).

When the USN went to war in the Pacific, they had Hellcats, plenty of spare parts for Hellcats, and plenty of trained mechanics for Hellcats, so the first USN Corsair squadron (VF-17) was dropped off for land based duty along with USMC Corsair squadrons for the simple reason of logistics. By late 1944 the war was changing, the kamikaze had appeared and the USN needed more fighters and fighter pilots. It was going to take a while to convert USN dive bomber pilots to fighter aircraft, so USMC squadrons already qualified with their Corsairs were ordered aboard the carriers. Had it not been for this, the Corsair might not have ever seen a carrier deck, at least during the war in USN service. As these initial USMC units finished their tours aboard the carriers, the USN retained the Corsairs and put freshly trained USN pilots into the cockpits. USN finally found that the Corsair could outperform the Hellcat, especially in the interceptor role, was safe to operate from carriers and could also carry more external ordnance*. Thus did the Corsair replace the Hellcat as the USN primary carrier fighter.

* The F6F-5 and F4U-1D both had three centerline attachment points for drop tanks and bombs, but the Corsair could carry eight HVAR's as opposed to six on the Hellcat. The Corsair could also carry the newest missile, the Tiny Tim. The Hellcat could not safely launch the Tiny Tim due the center attachment points being too close to the aircraft's propeller.

horseback
12-07-2007, 04:19 AM
Barret Tillman wrote what I consider the definitive books on the wartime histories of both the Hellcat and the Corsair (Hellcat: The F6F in WWII, and Corsair: the F4U in WWII and Korea), and there are three major factors in the decision to favor the Hellcat over the Corsair for carrier ops, especially prior to 1945.

1. The Hellcat was far and away, the easiest fighter in the entire US inventory to fly and master quickly. It was extremely forgiving, at least as rugged as the P-47 (which didn't have to land on carriers), and as more than one wag has pointed out, faster than a (at least the -1/-1D series) Corsair three days out of the week, because you could fly the same Hellcat seven days a week, while a Corsair required three days of maintenance for every four days of operations.

2. The Hellcat was essentially a finished design when it was introduced to combat. Other than the P-38, the Corsair had the longest gestation period of the major US fighter designs, and it was not a fully mature combat plane until the introduction of the F4U-4 and postwar series of Corsairs. Chance-Vought's original concept needed a LOT of refinement before it was fully realized. While the Hellcat had a lot of minor refinements over its combat career, the Corsair had lots of major ones.

3. Grumman pumped out lots more fighters sooner, and had a logistics support system in place for them already. It took a long time for the Corsair's production teams to catch up with demand. In spite of a nearly seven month head start over the Hellcat in combat (and the help of two other manufacturers in Goodyear and Brewster), Hellcats were almost immediately more numerous, and continued to be throughout the war. Grumman was actually asked to slow down F6F production in the Spring of 1945.

In short, the Hellcat was generally more convenient in every meaningful way: easier to fly, more reliable, and more available. The Corsair had more 'stretch' and potential built into its design, but it took a longer time to reach that potential, and for most of the war, the Hellcat was only a teensy bit less capable.

cheers

horseback

Rammjaeger
12-07-2007, 04:23 AM
The Hellcat was also cheaper to produce.

TC_Stele
12-07-2007, 12:09 PM
Torque on the Corsair was a monster. Inexperienced pilots coming in for carrier landings would sometimes be too slow and had to power up. During these quick power ups the torque would roll the plane. The plane required a lot of experience.

Xiolablu3
12-07-2007, 01:18 PM
I dont think the Corsair was ever intended to use on a carrier until the RAF used them was it?

The RAF warmed to the Corsair faster than the US navy.

I remember something about the RAF finding a way to use them on carriers relatively safely.



'CORSAIR IN BRITISH & NEW ZEALAND SERVICE

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, but 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". It is unclear if the stateside squadron training scheme was retained for all British Corsair squadrons.

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. It appears the Corsairs did not encounter aerial opposition on these raids. A confrontation between a Corsair and the tough German Focke-Wulf FW-190 would have made for an interesting fight.

Even as British Corsairs were fighting the Germans, they were going into combat in the Indian Ocean against the Japanese, with the first operational sorties on 19 April. 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 but crashing into the sea. He was posthumously awarded the last Victoria Cross of World War II.

425 (some sources say 370) Corsairs were also provided to the Royal New Zealand Air Force, beginning in late 1943. 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 South Pacific, and they saw little combat. Most of the New Zealander Corsairs were scrapped after the war, as were the British Corsairs.'

Xiolablu3
12-07-2007, 01:24 PM
More intersting stuff :-


On 8 May 1944, the only British fighter -to- German fighter FAA F6F action took place. F6F's from 800 Squadron, off HMS Emperor, while escorting a flight of Barracudas off Norway was attacked by a mixed group of Me-109's and FW-190's. Two F6F's were lost, one, probably, to anti-aircraft fire (one source indicates that both F6Fs were lost in a mid-air collision, not to any German fire of any kind); the Hellcat pilots claimed two Me-109's and one FW-190. Available Luftwaffe loss listings show three Me-109Gs lost in this action. On the Luftwaffe side, claims were three F6Fs.


Fleet Air Arm F6F's usually intercepted torpedo carriers and other bombers, this occasion was the only RAF to Luftwaffe, fighter to fighter combat for the F6F in FAA service

KIMURA
12-07-2007, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
More intersting stuff :-


On 8 May 1944, the only British fighter -to- German fighter FAA F6F action took place. F6F's from 800 Squadron, off HMS Emperor, while escorting a flight of Barracudas off Norway was attacked by a mixed group of Me-109's and FW-190's. Two F6F's were lost, one, probably, to anti-aircraft fire (one source indicates that both F6Fs were lost in a mid-air collision, not to any German fire of any kind); the Hellcat pilots claimed two Me-109's and one FW-190. Available Luftwaffe loss listings show three Me-109Gs lost in this action. On the Luftwaffe side, claims were three F6Fs.


Fleet Air Arm F6F's usually intercepted torpedo carriers and other bombers, this occasion was the only RAF to Luftwaffe, fighter to fighter combat for the F6F in FAA service

Very strange to see different sides telling different stories about one and the same thing.
AFAIK later on that Fw190 claim was proven to be a wrong. But then the other strange thing.t Uffz. Hallstick claimed 2 FAA F6F Hellcat on 8.May 44 in that area. Both Hellcat kills made by Hallstick - 10./JG5 - were captured on gun footage # Film C.2027/I Anerk:6 and Film C.2027/I Anerk:7. Time 08:25 resp. 08:26.

IIRC the 1st Hellcat fell to Hallstick in an angled head on, the 2nd close one minute later.

luftluuver
12-07-2007, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by TC_Stele:
Torque on the Corsair was a monster. Inexperienced pilots coming in for carrier landings would sometimes be too slow and had to power up. During these quick power ups the torque would roll the plane. The plane required a lot of experience.
The F6F used the R2800 engine as well. All the high powered fighters would torque roll with heavy application of throttle.

VW-IceFire
12-07-2007, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
I dont think the Corsair was ever intended to use on a carrier until the RAF used them was it?

The RAF warmed to the Corsair faster than the US navy.

I remember something about the RAF finding a way to use them on carriers relatively safely.
Yep it was procured by the US Navy from Vought as a next generation fighter. If I remember correctly it was actually part of the procurement for a replacement for the Wildcat (not the Hellcat). What happened was that the Corsair took a bit longer to develop and both Hellcat and Corsair programs continued...being that there was a war on and they could afford/needed to do such a thing.

This strategy paid off big time as the Corsair was immediately useful for USMC squadrons while the bugs were worked out and the Hellcat was used to replace the Wildcat for Navy squadrons. But it was definitely procured as a Navy fighter.

During development the design changes to make it a better performer I think ultimately contributed to its bad carrier handling but once techniques were worked out to land safely and the design of the aircraft was modified sufficiently it turned into a first rate carrier fighter. The Fleet Air Arm deserves some or most of the credit for figuring out the best way to land a Corsair (come in at an angle) despite the long nose.

Antoninus
12-08-2007, 02:26 AM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
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.

Actually the first Corsairs that flew combat missions from Carriers were F4U-2 nightfighters. In the first months of 1944 two 4 plane detachments from VF(N)-101 were stationed aboard USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise. The first combat occurred on 19th February 1944 when 1 Corsair from Enterprise intercepted and damaged a Betty during the raids against Truk.

http://www.vought.com/heritage/photo/assets/images/db_images/db_1065_15.jpg

R_Target
12-08-2007, 10:09 AM
First Corsair carrier landings in combat were VF-17 in November 1943 off of Rabaul. The planes landed on Bunker Hill and Essex, refueled and re-armed, and resumed CAP.

PhantomKira
12-08-2007, 10:37 AM
and the help of two other manufacturers in Goodyear and Brewster

I'm going to have to take exeption to the idea that Brewster's manufacturing of Corsairs actually helped Chance-Vought or the war effort at all.

I'm drawing two things from memory.

1. Brewster was the only aircraft manufacturer to be shut down by the government during WW2. This was done, if I recall correctly, in early 1942, right when the need for aircraft was greatest. That speaks volumes as to how poor quality any aircraft built by Brewster was.

2. I've read accounts of Corsair pilots who made every effort not to draw a Brewster built Corsair, including checking Bureau Numbers to see who it was built by. If they did, they knew they were in trouble, because despite being supposedly built to the same standards, the Brewster built aircraft just didn't preform well, and weren't reliable.

Antoninus
12-08-2007, 11:58 AM
They even seriously suspected that the Brewster plant was infiltrated by German agents.

stansdds
12-08-2007, 12:06 PM
Brewster was shut down in June of 1944, just as they were about to build (or may have actually built a very few) F3A-1D's. There were many myths about Brewster, from Nazi infiltration to wings that came off during flight. According to Navy acceptance records, the Brewsters were found to be of excellent quality and the British found no problems with them. Brewster's removal from production was probably more political than anything else, although Brewster seemed perpetually slow in delivering finished units.

fabianfred
12-09-2007, 03:47 AM
I certainly admit that my carrier landings done in PF were at first successful with the SBD's...then the F6F's.... then the corsairs last of all... although I have to land them straight on and cannot succeed with the left-turn in style that the British introduced..
I'm now trying the TBF's which are also a bit easy to stall at full flaps

Bremspropeller
12-09-2007, 01:08 PM
I'd take a Corsair over a Hellcat any day the week.

I like honest a/c.

Xiolablu3
12-09-2007, 02:45 PM
Cool, I prefer the Hellcat in the game, amazing view, great guns, good turner, good diver. The Corsair feels a little 'clumsy' to me, a bit like the Tempest, with its massive engine in front of you, but the Tempest has heavier firepower so I forgive it.

Off Topic, but interesting :-

There is a 'must play' map by Icefire on Ukdedicated2 server called Tirpitz2 (sequel to Icefires 'Tirpitz') which involves these planes.

Hellcat/Corsair/Seafire LF/Various Dive bombers vs FW190A6/Me109G6/Machii/Me110/Stuka.

Its one of those unusual planesets that works really well. Flying for either side is great fun and its amazingly well balanced.

Makes a real nice change from the 'usual' good planesets, such as the La5/Yak9 vs 109G2/A5, SPitfire Vc vs 109F4, 190D9/109G10 vs Spit IX/Tempest/Mustang etc etc...

When creating a map, its an easy option to choose one of the great matchups, such as those I listed above, or 'Hellcat vs Zero' for example. However the Tirpitz2 map has a planeset thats different , yet works amazingly well...

Respect....


ANother I love invloving the Corsair is :-

Seafire LF, Corsaair 1943, Beafighter, Wildcat/Martlet vs A6M3, Ki43, Ki61, Betty.

Seafire vs A6M3 makes a reall good fight, Zero has a slight edge in performance, and the Seafire has armour so can stand a few hits. Great matchup played from either side.