I was astouned to hear there is a man with a mission here in NZ to restore F4U-1D NZ5245 to fly. Has the rear fuselage and is getting on with it. The words "she's a big job" come to mind! Dave I understand you found a photo of this very Corsair in a pilots logbook. www.facebook.com/groups/869155764394810/
Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 3, 2023 21:25:30 GMT 12
I have been following Mike's Corsair project for a while, and have visited his workshop, back when it was still secret. It will be a MASSIVE mission but Mike is very keen, has the skills and is young enough to have the years in him to make it happen.
A lot of original parts and structure that forms the basis of the restoration came from my late Uncle's farm. I thought all the Corsair stuff Uncle John had back in the day had gone to the Wigram Museum in the 1990's, but it turns out there was still a lot left there and thankfully my cousin Colin kept it safe up till the point he donated it to Mike's project.
This is my take on the -1A designation after a bit of research and being privy to an in depth discussion between Chuck Wahl and Chris Fahey, 2 big names in F4U history.
It was never "official". As in the government through the bureau of aeronautics never issued a contract, data plates or pilots notes etc with the -1A designation. They were simply designated -1. The RNZAF most likely never used or never heard of the -1A designation during the war.
However through Dana Bell's research for his recent books he discovered that the government did allow the -1A designation to be used internally by Vought during WW2. The -1A designation is all over Vought drawings and blue prints from 1943, all available on Aircorp Aviations excellent library. I also have NACA and US Navy test reports dated late 1943 using the -1A designation.
So my opinion is that it was never "official". But it was used. Clear as mud!
I have no primary sources either way about RNZAF knowledge or use of it but it is unlikely.
Either way, right or wrong, 99% of books etc use -1A and the use of it gives clear distinction between it and the birdcage -1. Although in the RNZAF's case we never had birdcage examples to confuse the issue.