This week, let’s go to back to Seattle’s Museum of Flight for a peek at another odd slice of WWII aeronautical history:
From the placard:
Big, robust, and fast, the Goodyear F2G Corsair was often called the “Super Corsair.” Its makers mated the Corsair airframe with the huge Pratt & Whitney R-4360 engine. Aeronautical engineers knew that increasing a given airframe’s power would greatly improve its climb rate, but not necessarily its level-flight speed. Consequently the F2G flew only slightly faster than its predecessor at sea level. But it outclimbed the F4U-4 Corsair by a full 15 percent.
The Japanese kamikaze threat was well known to war planners, who ordered some 418 F2Gs in anticipation of the scheduled November 1945 invasion of Japan, but only five F2G-1s and five folding-wing “dash twos” were manufactured.
Ironically, the F2G Corsair fighter made its name in the peacetime world of air racing. Cook Cleland obtained four surplus F2Gs after the war. He won the 1947 Thompson Trophy race at 396 mph; his teammate came in second. Two years later, the Super Corsairs scored a clean sweep, taking the top three spots.