1. #1
    I've found the plane to learn with is the FM2. I've found it the best training plane for traps, and I recommend it to anyone having trouble with their carrier landings, as I did. In reading up on it I found this first hand account comparing the real life FM2, Corsair & Hellcat. It's a little long for a post, but I thought it very interesting.

    Robert Allison, VC-93, CVE USS Petroff Bay 1944-1945:
    Now that I had flown all three navy fighter planes I feel qualified in comparing them. The F4U was considered to be faster than the F6F but not by much if anything. Both were faster by far than the FM-2 but the FM-2 was considerably more maneuverable than either of the others. I believe, if given the choice of flying one of them in combat I would choose the
    F6F. But flying from a carrier I would prefer the FM-2. An example of how dependable an FM-2 was is a situation that occurred to Walt Glista on board the USS Shamrock Bay. His FM-2 was sitting on the catapult under full power waiting for the launch mechanism to be fired when the metal ring that holds the anchor on the tail end of the plane broke. The plane in this position is about 70 feet from the leading edge of the flight deck. Without the assistance of the catapult Glista flew that plane off the deck, and literally held it in the air. It's tail wheel was dragging in the water before gathering enough speed to climb. No other combat plane in the world could have accomplished that.

    On Guam there was a shortage of FMs so we had to do our flying in F6Fs and F4Us. I had quite a bit of experience in the F6F and none in the F4U so here was my chance to check out in this fancy, good looking, inverted gull winged plane that was considered one of the best fighter planes in the world. One morning Al Godfrey and I each checked out an F4U and after taking a few minutes to check out the cockpit and familiarize ourselves with the controls and instruments, we climbed in, started the engines and taxied to the end of the runway. We both pulled on to the runway with me on Godfrey's wing. Mistake number one. We should not have taken off in formation. The usual procedure for a formation take-off is for the lead pilot to hold his plane on the runway until the wing
    man is airborne. This we did but Al did not look back to see if I was airborne and did not speed up his plane. I was holding my plane back at a dangerously slow air speed and concentrating intently on holding my position on Al's plane when I glanced out the opposite side of my plane only to find that the right wing was only about six inches from the ground. Scared the hell out of me. I poured the throttle to my plane and left Al literally sitting on the runway. I have to say that I was shocked to feel the tremendous burst of power that two thousand horse power engine kicked forth.

    After we rendezvoused, we climbed to about 15,000 feet where we were pounced upon from above by a couple of F6Fs. A dog fight ensued and I found myself in a tail chase with one of the F6Fs. I also found, that an F4U was no match with the F6F in turns. I kept drawing my plane tighter and tighter, the next thing I knew the plane snapped on it's back and I found myself hurtling for the ocean in a spin. I rolled the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair plane upright and pulled hard back on the stick and in an instant I was on my back again in a high speed stall. This time I rolled out and very gently eased back on the stick . The plane came out of it's dive screaming. I don't think I ever traveled so fast, as a matter of fact I know I hadn't. Anyhow, that was the end of the dog fight. Al and I rendezvoused again and returned to the field. Since NAS Agana strip is located on a hill top about 500 feet above an army air force field, we were required to make right hand landing patterns. I followed Al in and as I leveled out over the end of the runway I held the plane about 15 feet in the air until it stalled. Like any other plane it should have settled down to the runway. It didn't! It stalled and the right wing dropped causing the plane to land on the right wheel, bounced, came down on the left wheel, bounced, came down on the right wheel. Finally I got the plane down
    and was home free. That was as much of the F4U as I wanted or needed.
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  2. #2
    Excellent post. Thank you. Great description of an F4U being someplace it shouldn't, in a turn fight.
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  3. #3
    berg417448's Avatar Senior Member
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    Aug 2004
    The guy should have learned how to fly the Corsair before trying to fight in it!
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  4. #4
    Kwiatos's Avatar Senior Member
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    May 2002
    Very good reading. I knew that some planes are totally screwed up in PF lol
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  5. #5
    Very important post!
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  6. #6
    Lets see - in the simm the corsair is really fast. If you over control it it flips over on its back or goes into a spin or both. The hellcat outturns it - the fm2 outturns both. The Corsair is faster than either and retains energy better. So....

    the above pilot report is by a guy flying the corsair for the first time after he was used to the fm2 wildcat - the best turning american plane - and the hellcat - which was built to fight the zero. It reminds me of similar accounts by pilots accustomed to one type - who hopped into another for a test drive and decided they didn't like it. I've seen very similar conclusions about the p38, p51, spitfire, 109, p47, 190, p40, p39, p63 etc. etc.
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  7. #7
    Psh, a pilot who flew the F4U for the first time and was clearly already a fan of the Cats, sounds biased to me. The guy is lucky it was an F4U sitting there for him to try out instead of a P-47 or -51 as his review would of been even worse if he wasn't dead. The things he did in the Sair could of killed them in these other aircraft that stalled MUCH sooner and violently. You can't say the Corsair was a bad dog fighter from a single flight by a pilot who never flew it before. The hellcat is about the only plane the Sairs' size it won't out manuver.
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  8. #8
    Yeah but wich other amarican figters did stall much sooner in tight turning than the F4U?


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  9. #9
    mortoma's Avatar Senior Member
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    Jan 2002
    Holy crappers!! This guy was no doubt a good fighter pilot, better than I could ever be. But it sounds like landing a plane is not his forte. I'd never try to flare any plane 15 above a runway and stall it in. That's too high in my mind. I try to get a stall horn with my gear about two feet above the runway when I fly, and I usually get the horn.
    But 15 feet??? No way, not on your life, not even a 747 Jumbo. Not like I can fly one of those but you know what I mean.
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  10. #10
    Interesting post.

    Thanks for the info.

    Confirms most ofthe stuff i have read in the last few years.

    If anyone has it i think aeroplane did a special on the P-47. One of the articles has a direct comparison by a Republic test pilot and a Grumman test pilot of the P-47 and the F6F, both of which were being tested at a similar time.

    I love if someone could post the article or a link to it if they can find it. I lost my copy 6 months back and haven't benn able to replace it.
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