F4U-1A Lucybelle Nose Art
Dimensions: 28″ x 18"
Boyington actually never flew this F4U Corsair in combat although he was generally identified with It being his World War II fighter aircraft.
He had become so popular in the US that this aircraft was specially prepared for a photo shoot to boost his victories strictly for publicity.
The F4U could fly over 400 miles per hour in straight and level flight. The F4U-1A was the first World War II aircraft to achieve this outstanding performance.
It dominated the sky's over Japan and outmaneuvered the "Zero" in every respect. It was able to produce an incredible kill ratio of 11 to 1.
The Japanese feared the F4U and nicknamed it "Whistling Death". The F4U-1A had tremendous striking power with a large bomb-carrying capacity.
This aircraft was mass produced outnumbered any other fighter aircraft during World War II. It was the last and the finest propeller-driven fighter aircraft ever produced!
In 1938 it was very evident that a war in Europe was inevitable. The U.S. Navy realized that its carrier-based fighter aircraft was inferior in quality to that of the land-based Army equivalents. That year three fighter projects were started by the Navy Department to remedy this inadequacy. Bell Aircraft proposed a carrier version of the P-39 and Grumman built the NF5F-1, and Vough built the prototype of the Corsair called the XF4U-1. In-flight testing the Corsair proved to be far superior.
As was the practice at the time, the airframes were designed around the existing engines, and the Corsair F4U-1A was built around the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp Radial. The same engine found in the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. Big engines require big propellers, which require a high ground clearance, which in turn necessitate heavy and complicated landing gear mechanisms. This problem was partially solved in the P-47 by utilizing and hydraulic telescoping landing gear. A novel approach was used in the Corsair by employing an inverted gull-wing configuration which allowed a shorter and lighter landing gear and less complicated retraction mechanism. The technical aeronautical description for this wing configuration is the "cranked wing" and a common example prior to the Corsair was the Stuka Bomber.