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Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Fri May 06, 2022 8:17 pm
by FD2
Royal Navy

Enhancement for carrier suitability
Corsair_Mk1_Quonset_Point_1943.jpg (157.5 KiB) Viewed 210 times
FAA Corsair Is at NAS Quonset Point, 1943.

In the early days of World War II, Royal Navy fighter requirements had been based on cumbersome two-seat designs, such as the fighter/dive-bomber Blackburn Skua (and its turreted derivative the Blackburn Roc) and the fighter/reconnaissance Fairey Fulmar, since it was expected that they would encounter only long-range bombers or flying boats and that navigation over featureless seas required the assistance of a radio operator/navigator.[N 3]The Royal Navy hurriedly adopted higher-performance single-seat aircraft such as the Hawker Sea Hurricane and the less robust Supermarine Seafire alongside, but neither aircraft had sufficient range to operate at a distance from a carrier task force. The Corsair was welcomed as a more robust and versatile alternative.[69]

In November 1943, the Royal Navy received its first batch of 95 Vought F4U-1s, which were given the designation "Corsair [Mark] I". The first squadrons were assembled and trained on the U.S. East Coast and then shipped across the Atlantic. The Royal Navy put the Corsair into carrier operations immediately. They found its landing characteristics dangerous, suffering a number of fatal crashes, but considered the Corsair to be the best option they had.

In Royal Navy service, because of the limited hangar deck height in several classes of British carrier, many Corsairs had their outer wings "clipped" by 8 in (200 mm) to clear the deckhead.[70] The change in span brought about the added benefit of improving the sink rate, reducing the F4U's propensity to "float" in the final stages of landing.[70] Despite the clipped wings and the shorter decks of British carriers, Royal Navy aviators found landing accidents less of a problem than they had been to U.S. Navy aviators, thanks to the curved approach they used: British units solved the landing visibility problem by approaching the carrier in a medium left-hand turn, which allowed the pilot to keep the carrier's deck in view over the anhedral in the left wing root. This technique was later adopted by U.S. Navy and Marine fliers for carrier use of the Corsair.[71]

The Royal Navy developed a number of modifications to the Corsair that made carrier landings more practical. Among these were a bulged canopy (similar to the Malcolm Hood), raising the pilot's seat 7 in (180 mm),[72] and wiring shut the cowl flaps across the top of the engine compartment, diverting oil and hydraulic fluid spray around the sides of the fuselage.[25]

The Royal Navy initially received 95 "birdcage" F4U-1s from Vought which were designated Corsair Mk I in Fleet Air Arm service.[73] Next from Vought came 510 "blown-canopy" F4U-1A/-1Ds, which were designated Corsair Mk II (the final 150 equivalent to the F4U-1D, but not separately designated in British use).[74] 430 Brewster Corsairs (334 F3A-1 and 96 F3A-1D), more than half of Brewster's total production, were delivered to Britain as the Corsair Mk III.[75] 857 Goodyear Corsairs (400 FG-1/-1A and 457 FG-1D) were delivered and designated Corsair Mk IV.[76] The Mk IIs and Mk IVs were the only versions to be used in combat.[77]

The Royal Navy cleared the F4U for carrier operations well before the U.S. Navy and showed that the Corsair Mk II could be operated with reasonable success even from escort carriers. It was not without problems; one was excessive wear of the arrester wires, due both to the weight of the Corsair and the understandable tendency of the pilots to stay well above the stalling speed. A total of 2,012 Corsairs were supplied to the United Kingdom.[78]

Fleet Air Arm (FAA) units were created and equipped in the United States, at Quonset Point or Brunswick and then shipped to war theaters aboard escort carriers. The first FAA Corsair unit was 1830 NAS, created on the first of June 1943, and soon operating from HMS Illustrious. At the end of the war, 18 FAA squadrons were operating the Corsair. British Corsairs served both in Europe and in the Pacific. The first, and also most important, European operations were the series of attacks (Operation Tungsten) in April, July, and August 1944 on the German battleship Tirpitz, for which Corsairs from HMS Victorious and HMS Formidable provided fighter cover.[79] It appears the Corsairs did not encounter aerial opposition on these raids.[citation needed]

From April 1944, Corsairs from the British Pacific Fleet took part in several major air raids in South East Asia beginning with Operation Cockpit, an attack on Japanese targets at Sabang island, in the Dutch East Indies.[citation needed]

In July and August 1945, Corsair naval squadrons 1834, 1836, 1841, and 1842 took part in a series of strikes on the Japanese mainland, near Tokyo. These squadrons operated from Victorious and Formidable.[80] On 9 August 1945, days before the end of the war, Corsairs from Formidable attacked Shiogama harbor on the northeast coast of Japan. Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve pilot, Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray, of 1841 Squadron was hit by flak but pressed home his attack on the Japanese destroyer escort Amakusa, sinking it with a 1,000 lb (450 kg) bomb but crashing into the sea. He was posthumously awarded Canada's last Victoria Cross, becoming the second fighter pilot of the war to earn a Victoria Cross as well as the final Canadian casualty of World War II.[81] [N 4]

FAA Corsairs originally fought in a camouflage scheme with a Dark Slate Grey/Extra Dark Sea Grey disruptive pattern on top and Sky undersides, but were later painted overall dark blue.[citation needed] As it had become imperative for all Allied aircraft in the Pacific Theater of World War II to abandon all use of any "red devices" in their national insignia — to prevent any chance of misidentification with Japanese military aircraft, all of which bore the circular, all-red Hinomaru insignia (nicknamed a "meatball" by Allied aircrew[citation needed]) that is still in use to this day, the United States removed all areas of red color (specifically removing the red center to the roundel) and removed any sort of national fin/rudder markings, which at that time had seven horizontal red stripes, from the American national aircraft insignia scheme by 6 May 1942. The British did likewise, starting with a simple paintover with white paint, of their "Type C" roundel's red center, at about the time the U.S. Navy removed the red-center from their roundel. Later, a shade of slate gray center color replaced the white color on the earlier roundel. When the Americans starting using the added white bars to either side of their blue/white star roundel on 28 June 1943; SEAC British Corsairs, most all of which still used the earlier blue/white Type C roundel with the red center removed, added similar white bars to either side of their blue-white roundels to emulate the Americans.[citation needed]

In all, out of 18 carrier-based squadrons, eight saw combat, flying intensive ground attack/interdiction operations and claiming 47.5 aircraft shot down.[82]

At the end of World War II, under the terms of the Lend-Lease agreement, the aircraft had to be paid for or to be returned to the U.S. As the UK did not have the means to pay for them, the Royal Navy Corsairs were pushed overboard into the sea in Moreton Bay off Brisbane, Australia

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Fri May 06, 2022 8:22 pm
by FD2
Royal New Zealand Air Force

Equipped with obsolete Curtiss P-40s, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) squadrons in the South Pacific performed impressively, in particular in the air-to-air role. The American government accordingly decided to give New Zealand early access to the Corsair, especially as it was not initially being used from carriers. Some 424 Corsairs equipped 13 RNZAF squadrons, including No. 14 Squadron RNZAF and No. 15 Squadron RNZAF, replacing Douglas SBD Dauntlesses as well as P-40s.[84] Most of the F4U-1s[N 5] were assembled by Unit 60 with a further batch assembled and flown at RNZAF Hobsonville. In total there were 336 F4U-1s and 41 F4U-1Ds used by the RNZAF during the Second World War. Sixty FG-1Ds arrived late in the war.[85]

The first deliveries of lend-lease Corsairs began in March 1944 with the arrival of 30 F4U-1s at the RNZAF Base Depot Workshops (Unit 60) on the island of Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. From April, these workshops became responsible for assembling all Corsairs for the RNZAF units operating the aircraft in the South West Pacific; and a Test and Despatch flight was set up to test the aircraft after assembly. By June 1944, 100 Corsairs had been assembled and test flown.[84] The first squadrons to use the Corsair were 20 and 21 Squadrons on Espiritu Santo, operational in May 1944. The organization of the RNZAF in the Pacific and New Zealand meant that only the pilots and a small staff belonged to each squadron (the maximum strength on a squadron was 27 pilots): squadrons were assigned to several Servicing Units (SUs, composed of 5–6 officers, 57 NCOs, 212 airmen) which carried out aircraft maintenance and operated from fixed locations:[86] hence F4U-1 NZ5313 was first used by 20 Squadron/1 SU on Guadalcanal in May 1944; 20 Squadron was then relocated to 2 SU on Bougainville in November.[87] In all there were ten front line SUs plus another three based in New Zealand. Because each of the SUs painted its aircraft with distinctive markings[88] and the aircraft themselves could be repainted in several different color schemes, the RNZAF Corsairs were far less uniform in appearance than their American and FAA contemporaries.[89] By late 1944, the F4U had equipped all ten Pacific-based fighter squadrons of the RNZAF.[85]

By the time the Corsairs arrived, there were very few Japanese aircraft left in New Zealand's allocated sectors of the Southern Pacific, and despite the RNZAF squadrons extending their operations to more northern islands, they were primarily used for close support of American, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers fighting the Japanese. At the end of 1945, all Corsair squadrons but one (No. 14) were disbanded. That last squadron was based in Japan, until the Corsair was retired from service in 1947.[90]

No. 14 Squadron was given new FG-1Ds and in March 1946 transferred to Iwakuni, Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force.[91] Only one airworthy example of the 437 aircraft procured survives: FG-1D NZ5648/ZK-COR, owned by the Old Stick and Rudder Company at Masterton, New Zealand.

RNZAF Corsairs with a Royal Australian Air Force CAC Boomerang on Bougainville, 1945.

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 8:26 am
by Hydromet
FD2, 55 years ago I was on a working holiday in NZ, and had a job at a bike shop in Auckland. The owner flew Corsairs with 21 Sqn, and did two tours to Bougainville. He was about to return from leave for his third when the war ended.
He was a wonderful person, good to work for and took me flying around Auckland, Hamilton etc.

Some of his photos are http://www.warbirdinformationexchange.o ... hp?t=31907.

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 10:22 pm
by FD2
Thanks Hydromet - I'll check out the website.

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Fri May 27, 2022 12:08 pm
by TheGreenGoblin
This week's Navy Wing's magazine proffers this story...

Forty years ago this week I was called on by my country to put into practice the many years of training, rehearsals and exercises I had taken part in over the previous 18 years of service with the Royal Navy. I was given 72 hours notice together with a team of 12 other aircraft maintainers’, who only vaguely new each other, to travel 8000 miles to the South Atlantic. We normally only operated one helicopter from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Ship Regent but went up to a war compliment of two Wessex 5 helicopters for Operation Corporate. We weren’t alone: 1,300 men went from RNAS Yeovilton accompanied by 25,000 men from the other Armed Forces and civilian Merchant Navy.

Looking back on it we visited places in the South Atlantic and the Antarctic that tourists pay a fortune to visit these days: the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Thule in the South Sandwich Group of Islands. I have attached a few photos of the main places of interest.. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE- ... experience.

Hawker Sea Fury T Mk 20 AAIB Report In

Posted: Fri May 27, 2022 5:59 pm
by TheGreenGoblin
AAIB Report

The aircraft, G-RNHF (serial ES3615) owned by the Navy Wings Collection, crashed while returning to RNAS Yeovilton following a low engine oil pressure indication on April 28, last year.

According to investigators, both pilots escaped without serious injury.

Flight history
The Bristol Centaurus XVIII-powered aircraft was prepared for a training flight for the front sea pilot with a pilot not rated on the Sea Fury in the rear seat for familiarisation.

After strapping in, the pilot completed the pre-start process, and the engine was started using electrical external power.

After completing power checks for the engine, the pilot began taxiing the aircraft to runway 04 at RNAS Yeovilton around 1300hrs. After completing the pre-take-off checks and a final briefing, the aircraft approached the final hold position.

At this point with the rpm around 600, the pilot noticed that the oil pressure was about 60 psi, which was outside the normal operating limits.

Confirming with the passenger that rear gauge was reading the same, the pilot increased the power to 1,200 rpm and the oil pressure immediately recovered.

The aircraft took off at 1309hrs and turned northwest during the climb out. Seeing some weather on their track, the pilot turned the aircraft to the east towards clearer skies.

As the piston-powered type was heading out of the area of operation, the pilot noted that the oil pressure was low. He immediately informed air traffic control (ATC), making a PAN PAN call and turned back towards the airfield.

An attempt was made to position the aircraft for a landing on runway 04 but having lowered the gear and flaps to increase rate of descent, the engine failed completely, generating several “violent thumps” through the airframe before seizing entirely, leaving the propeller stationary.

The pilot was unable to feather the propeller and the increase in drag meant that it was not possible to reach the airfield.

A MAYDAY call was made to ATC and the aircraft struck the ground around 0.6nm from the threshold of runway 04. It broke into several pieces but both occupants were able to exit without assistance.

Accident analysis
According to the AAIB, it is possible that the low oil pressure indication at 600 rpm may have been the first indication of a problem with the engine.

A landing on runway 08 was considered by the pilot, but the crosswind presented a greater hazard to the aircraft and crew than the longer route to position for runway 04, according to investigators.

“It is possible that, had the pilot decided to land on runway 08, the engine might have still been running at touchdown, but it is far from certain,” the report reads.

The AAIB says there is no way to predict what caused the final failure and whether the cause may have occurred sooner had the aircraft throttle position been altered earlier in manoeuvring to runway 08.

Investigators concluded: “Whilst the shorter pattern might have been considered a better option given the known outcome, the pilot was concerned about the crosswind when he had so little recent experience of the aircraft. The decision to proceed to runway 04 was a reasonable one given that although the oil pressure was low there were no other indications of engine difficulties together with the pilot’s lack of recent flying on type.”

The time between engine failure and the aircraft hitting the ground was around ten seconds.

The fact that both occupants were wearing helmets “almost certainly saved them from any serious injuries”, the report said.

Investigators' conclusion
The AAIB concluded that the aircraft’s engine failed shortly after take-off on the second flight following a long period of storage. During the examination of the powerplant, investigators identified that the rear crankpin bearing had overheated, leading to the fracture of the rear master rod and destruction of the rear cylinder row components.

Due to severe engine damage, the investigators were unable to identify why the rear crankpin bearing overheated.

It’s been reported that G-RNHF was officially written off by Navy Wings’ insurance company in June last year.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) aircraft registration database, ownership of Hotel Foxtrot was transferred to the Duxford-based Fighter Collection on November 11, 2021, and the aircraft was re-registered as G-BCOW; its original civilian identifier. ... fury-crash

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 10:57 am
by TheGreenGoblin
It is Friday so it is Navy Wings news day again.

We are told that
the Swordfish pegasus engine that has been expertly rebuilt by Retro Track and Air, has arrived back home to the Navy Wings Heritage hangar this morning.

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:17 pm
by CharlieOneSix
Extract from Trustees statement today:

Navy Wings Trustees have reached the difficult decision to cease work on Sea Vixen FAW2 XP924. The Sea Vixen suffered a hydraulic failure in May 2017 resulting in a controlled wheels up landing at RNAS Yeovilton. Despite the charity’s best efforts to attract interest over the last five years, including appeals for a 'white knight' to fund the restoration of the Sea Vixen, we were unable to raise the considerable funds required to restore her back to flight.

As the charity is funded by public donations, Trustees must always be mindful of achieving the most cost-effective outcomes from the funds that are generously donated by our supporters. With that in mind, the decision has been taken to offer the Sea Vixen to a museum or private collection. However, if someone was to come forward in the next month with a plan to purchase the aircraft and restore her back to flight, we would listen to any proposals seriously.

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:30 pm

The Sea Vixen (DH110) is one of my favourite aircraft - as a teenager I built a Keil Kraft Jetex-powered flying-scale model, and I visit the de Havilland museum (near where my son lives) at London Colney (well worth a visit IMO) where they have a Sea Vixen on display that visitors can sit in the cockpit (in addition to Mosquitos and other de Havilland models. ... xen-faw-2/

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:34 pm
by PHXPhlyer
Found this while reading up on the Sea Vixen. :-o

However, tragedy struck while the DH 110 was demonstrated at the Farnborough Airshow on 6 September 1952.[9] Following a demonstration of its ability to break the sound barrier during a low level flight, the aircraft disintegrated and debris landed in the midst of spectators killing 31 people, including the crew of two, the test pilot John Derry and his flight-test observer, Tony Richards.[9][10]

Subsequent investigation of the accident traced the failure to faulty design of the wing leading edge section ahead of the main spar. The design had been satisfactory for the earlier Vampire and Venom but not for the higher stresses induced by the rolling pull-out manoeuvre at 650 mph flown by the DH110 prototype at Farnborough. The leading edge skin, without the extra reinforcing structure that would be added later, buckled, which resulted in the outer portions of the swept-back wings being torn off (similar display routines had been flown on preceding days by the other prototype DH110 which had an aerodynamic fence providing external stiffening for the skin located precisely over the area where the buckling originated.[11]). The subsequent shift in the DH 110's centre of pressure caused the aircraft to pitch up, the cockpit and tail sections breaking away and the engines being torn from the airframe by the g loading.[12] One of the engines hit an area crowded with spectators at the end of the runway, causing the majority of the deaths. Other spectators were injured by debris from the cockpit landing close to the main spectator enclosures alongside the runway. This incident led to a restructuring of safety regulations for air shows in the UK, and no member of the public died as a result of a British airshow flight for more than 62 years, until the crash of a Hawker Hunter warplane killed 11 people during the Shoreham Air Show on 22 August 2015.[9]


Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:41 pm
PHXPhlyer wrote:
Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:34 pm
tragedy struck while the DH 110 was demonstrated at the Farnborough Airshow on 6 September 1952. Following a demonstration of its ability to break the sound barrier during a low level flight, the aircraft disintegrated and debris landed in the midst of spectators killing 31 people, including the crew of two, the test pilot John Derry and his flight-test observer, Tony Richards.
I remember it well!

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2022 10:02 pm
by CharlieOneSix
I thought it would broaden my experience of how the other half lives on a carrier flight deck so on one occasion under the guidance of the Flight Deck Officer I shadowed him during a nightime launch and recovery of Sea Vixens. It was absolutely terrifying! I truly believed him when he said that whilst landing and taking off fixed wing aircraft at night a carrier flight deck was one of the most dangerous places on earth.

A sobering fact - 145 Sea Vixens were built and in service for 13 years 1959-1972. 55 major accidents, 51 aircrew killed. Airframe loss rate 37.93%. Fatality rate 54.54%. (Source:

Sea Vixen operations - HMS Hermes 1960 (no sound)

In 1986, four years after its major contribution to the Falklands war, HMS Hermes was sold to the Indian Navy and became INS Viraat. She is sadly now being broken up in India after a total of 57 years service....

Re: Another Navy Wings article...

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:30 am
by FD2
A sad sight C16.

A more leisurely arrival between fixed wing commissions. Th flight deck is cluttered with bootneck stuff.

814 embarkation 1.jpg