Quick Facts

Goodyear FG-1D Corsair

The Bent Winged Bird 


Part of the Air Zoo Collection 

Flight Innovation Center, East Wing

Chance Vought Aircraft designed the Corsair for carrier operations in 1938 and flew the prototype in 1940. Known as the “Sweetheart of Okinawa” to the U.S. Marine Corps, the F4U Corsair proved troublesome in handling. The aircraft’s unique design limited F4Us to land-based operations in the Pacific. However, Britain’s Royal Navy overcame the handling issues and first introduced the fighter to carrier service.  

Slow into production due to design revisions, Chance Vought named Brewster Aeronautical Corporation (F3A) and Goodyear Aircraft Corporation (FG-1) as associate contractors in 1941. The first F4U rolled off Vought production lines in 1942. Although not introduced into combat until 1943, the Corsair’s performance was quickly praised as a fighter for its ruggedness and speed. 

The Air Zoo’s Corsair 

After acquiring the Goodyear FG-1D Corsair in 1976, the process of breathing new life into the Corsair was an intensive learning experience for the Air Zoo’s small but capable staff. Being the Air Zoo’s first, full-blown restoration of a major WWII fighter, every aspect of the project presented a new adventure.  One such adventure was learning how to start the engine without causing a fire. Due to the design of the dash eight series Pratt & Whitney engines, a combination of raw fuel and hot exhaust would ignite in a fireball if special caution wasn’t taken during the start-up.  





Fun Facts  

Battle over Korea 

On September 10, 1952, Captain Jesse G. Folmar, part of Marine Fighter Squadron 312, was sent on a ground support mission over the Taedong River, Korea. While in the air, Jesse and his wingman, Lieutenant Walter Daniels, were ambushed by two MiG-15s. Making evasive maneuvers, the two pilots tangled with the fast jets. Eventually Folmar had the MiG in his sights. Taking the chance, he fired at the MiG-15 and confirmed the victory. As Folmar turned for home more MiG-15s joined the dogfight, quickly outclassing the Corsair. Shot down and soon rescued, Cpt. Folmar is the only pilot credited with shooting down a MiG-15 with a propeller aircraft. His actions would be awarded with the Silver Star.