|This page is about the American fighter F4U-1A. For other versions, see F4U (Family).
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The F4U-1A Corsair is a rank II American naval fighter with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB/RB) and 3.3 (SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.
This is the first plane available in the F4U Corsair family of the naval aircraft line and it will give a pilot a good idea of the flight characteristics pertinent to this family of aircraft. Sporting a very distinctive silhouette due to its inverted gull wings, it's never hard to pick a Corsair out of a crowd. However, the inverted gull wings are a "double-edged sword", as it enables the Corsair to turn well at high speeds and have a good roll rate, but makes it turn mediocrely at low speeds. While not as powerful as its later siblings, the Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8W 18-cylinder radial can still propel the Corsair to a respectable 646 km/h at around 6,800 m. The Corsair also has a weak airframe that is very susceptible to incendiary rounds, so make sure to use the plane's roll rate and good high-speed performance in order to survive.
The Corsair should be used as a medium-to-high altitude Boom & Zoomer as flying at these altitudes is where the R-2800-8W radial makes the most power. It is very important to keep the plane's speed up as the Corsair haemorrhages energy at lower speeds.
| Max speed
(km/h at 7,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run
|Max Static G
|Optimal velocities (km/h)
Survivability and armour
- 3 mm steel - above the front fuel tank
- 8 mm steel - behind pilot's body
- 12.7 mm steel - behind pilot's head
- 38 mm bulletproof glass - armoured windscreen
Critical components, namely the pilot and large fuel tanks, as well as the oil cooling system and wing spar roots, are clustered very close together in the centerline. One fire set in any given section in this area will usually result in the other sections also being set on fire.
There are two unarmoured fuel tanks in the wings close to wing spars and wing control cables. Once set on fire, the wing spar will usually be destroyed and the wing control cable will be lost.
Modifications and economy
In the first tier of unlocks, there is nothing of interest in the performance department, other than the radiator, which will allow you to use WEP for longer while in combat, as well as providing a slight boost to speed and climb rate due to the streamlining effect it provides. Offensive 12.7 mm should be researched first to get rid of the lacking stock ammo.
Starting from tier 2, all performance unlocks become necessary and useful. As a fighter, the Corsair rarely utilises bombs, which justifies researching them last.
Payloads unlocked by modules are:
- BMBC mk.1: One 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
- BLBC mk.1: One 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
While having these might be useful for Ground RB, its actual utility in Air RB combat is quite limited since it can only drop one bomb, rather than two, meaning that it only has one chance when dropping ordnance on ground targets. Novice pilots may find it difficult when trying to destroy pillboxes and the like.
The F4U-1A is armed with:
- 6 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (375 rpg outer + 400 rpg centre + 400 rpg inner = 2,350 total)
The F4U-1A is the first aircraft in the US Tech Tree armed with M2 Brownings that possess Armour-Piercing Incendiary rounds. These potent rounds are able to set fire to enemy aircraft as well as causing fatal pilot snipes and engine damage. However, they are not explosive rounds and rely on luck and/or good aim on the part of the pilot to cause damage to critical modules and cause enough damage to destroy the plane or knock out the pilot.
The F4U-1A can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb (500 lb total)
- 1 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb (1,000 lb total)
Usage in battles
When flying an F4U, use Boom-n-Zoom tactics to excel with the aircraft's performance. This means that the F4U-1A should climb immediately and then dive on lower flying aircraft, then use its speed and momentum from the dive to climb. The Corsair does turn well but loses energy and speed rapidly, so avoid turn fights or flat manoeuvres. However, this aircraft only has eight minutes of WEP time, so pilots should limit its use to only when needing an extra boost of power while in a fight or while running away.
Remember: the F4U Corsair cannot absorb/"tank" gunfire like the P-36G and the P-40 do. The F4U is weaker structurally than the P-36 and P-40, with an engine and airframe that is highly sensitive to damage. In addition to this, at battle-rating 2.7, pilots will face a variety of cannon-armed planes that can obliterate the F4U aircraft should they be able to get a shot in. The F4U's large R-2800 radial engine, while powerful, loses performance dramatically as it takes damage. These performance reductions can mean the difference between whether the F4U-1A can out-run enemy aircraft, or when it leaves the plane a flying brick for enemies to shoot at. The F4U-1A does not have even a bit of armour that protects the pilot from the side, unlike the P-40, which has small 8mm plates protecting part of the pilot. In addition to this, the F4U is very sensitive to damage in the airframe, as even slight damage to the wings can cause adverse roll characteristics. Damage to ailerons significantly reduces the ability of an F4U to control its roll and keep stable. All these vulnerable parts on the planes make the Corsair highly vulnerable to being crippled or destroyed by cannon fire. The Corsair's self-sealing fuel tanks are still easily punctured and seal very slowly, leaving the F4U vulnerable to fires. This is only exacerbated by the fact that there are fuel tanks in the wings that are located precariously close to both wing spars and the control cables for the ailerons.
However, unlike its contemporaries and predecessors in the US tree, the F4U-1A has two key differences. First, it has highly potent Armour-Piercing Incendiary (API) ammunition, which has enough armour-penetrating characteristics to punch holes into the enemy's airframe, modules, and pilot; at the same time the ammo can easily start fires in the enemy plane. Second, the F4U-1A performs better at higher speeds- speeds that would cause P-40s to begin having control issues. The F4U-1A performs very well above 350km/h, but its superiority to other aircraft really starts showing at 400km/h and above. At these speeds, its roll rate and elevator authority remain relatively unaffected while contemporary aircraft have issues with control lockups at this speed. At speeds above 350 km/h, it can easily out-roll enemy aircraft other than Fw 190s, allowing it to perform scissor manoeuvres very well.
Apart from the standard flat scissors, pilots should ideally use the Rolling Scissors manoeuvre to take advantage of the F4U-1A's good high-speed manoeuvrability (see left image). Dive on a target and once the target turns towards the F4U-1A, pitch up as illustrated in the diagram while using the aileron control keys/joystick to roll the plane so that the aircraft is facing the ground, but not at a 90-degree angle. Pull back on the elevator, bringing the aircraft down in a chandelle that brings the aircraft's nose into a lead-aspect curve on the enemy. To counter this, the enemy will have to bring their nose up and enter a loop, and thus bleeding energy. At this moment, a F4U-1A pilot may be able to get a snapshot off on the enemy. Generally, the F4U-1A will have superior energy retention to the enemy, and thus the enemy will continually lose more energy than the F4U-1A in the Rolling Scissors. If a F4U-1A pilot execute it correctly and gain sufficient speed in the initial dive, it should bleed enough energy from the enemy so that they are slow and/or low, making them an easy target.
Generally, if the F4U-1A dives on an aircraft on the tail of another aircraft, the pilot will likely be able to shoot down the enemy plane. The Corsair is highly manoeuvrable, and when played to its strengths (armament, and roll rate/elevator authority at high speeds), will be nearly impossible to shake off.
One of the planes that should concern any Corsair pilot are Bf 109s. They are very dangerous foes to anyone who fights by their rules. The F4U-1A will commonly encounter E-1s, E-3s, E-4s/E-7s and F-1s, but the F4U-1A will also occasionally come across the rare F-2 when being up-tiered. The E-series aircraft aren't as demanding to fight, as the F4U-1A can outspeed them by a large margin and in some cases out-dive. The F4U-1A will also be able to use the rolling scissors quite successfully against them. However, the E-4 variant can still shred the F4U-1A apart easily with their twin MG FF/M cannons, which possess the potent Minengeschoß round. However, the F-variants are very powerful foes. The first in the Friedrich line climbs better, turns better, and is fast enough to keep up with the F4U-1A, while still sporting a single MG FF/M mounted in the nose. The F4U-1A will have trouble trying to turn with them, or using high/low yo-yo turns to try and get a shot on them. However, they are not very good at rolling, and while they have greater energy retention than the F4U-1A does, a F4U-1A pilot can use a flat scissors manoeuvre to get the better of them. The F-2 sports a 15 mm MG151 cannon that, while containing less filler in its explosive rounds, can still deal enough damage to cripple the F4U-1A. Seek teammate's support if one of the Bf 109 F-2 tries to force an engagement. If an encounter is a must, the F4U-1A can attempt to out-turn the Bf 109 or try to force an overshoot by pulling the throttle back and using its gears as airbrakes. However, while bleeding speed might induce an overshoot, novice pilots should not attempt this tactic as this means slowing the plane down to very slow speeds, rendering the F4U-1A an easy target.
The F4U-1A may also see Fw 190s when up-tiered. These aircraft dive faster, accelerate faster in a dive, travel nearly as fast as the F4U-1A does, as well as possessing the ability to make lightning-quick changes of direction due to its superb roll-rate. If one of these aircraft is spotted, the best tactic is to either try and force a head-on and break as soon as possible or attempt to lure it towards team-mates. Fighting one of these planes without proper knowledge of its strengths and weaknesses in a fight is sheer lunacy and will result in the F4U-1A's demise. The F4U-1A pilot can attempt to out-turn it, but smart Fw 190 pilots will simply use their superior energy retention to bleed all of the F4U-1A's speed. If a F4U-1A attempts to engage a Fw 190 in a head-on, make sure to get hits in before getting too close as when within 500 m of an Fw 190, its armament can easily cripple an aircraft.
Occasionally, the F4U-1A will see SM.91s. the SM.91 is easily one of the most heavily-armed foes the F4U-1A will ever face as it mounts 6 MG151/20 20 mm cannons in the nose, as well as having one in a turret to the rear for defensive purposes. The trick is to stay mobile when facing an SM.91. SM.91s are twin-engined fighters and thus cannot manoeuvre as quickly as the F4U-1A does. However, should they even be able to make a single successful shot at the F4U-1A, the F4U-1A will most likely be shredded by the sheer weight of cannon fire. This aircraft is also one of the few at the 2.7-3.7 BR range that has enough firepower to beat the F4U-1A in a head-on attack. Many Corsair pilots make the mistake of trying to chase the SM.91 from the rear. Smart SM.91 pilots will purposefully activate the airbrakes so that the F4U-1A can catch up faster, before using the rear turret's MG151/20 to cause engine and fuel fires or even snap the F4U-1A's weak wings off. In addition, for a twin-engine fighter, it is surprisingly manoeuvrable and the F4U-1A may have issues trying to out-manoeuvre it depending on how much fuel the F4U-1A has left and how many upgrades the F4U-1A has. The SM.91, however, has no armour- not even a bullet-proof windscreen. the fuel tanks near the centre of the aircraft are not self-sealing, and if set on fire, the SM.91 will have to break off and dive to put out the fire or will be incinerated. At the very least, it will be heavily crippled enough and will struggle to fight back once set on fire.
This plane is a very successful ground attacker when utilizing the ground belt ammunition against light pillboxes, unarmoured targets and some tanks. It is important to remember that this planes biggest asset is its energy retention; don't hang around near the ground or the F4U-1Awill become a slow, heavy and easy target. However, ground-attack should never be the first priority in this fighter, especially since its payload is restricted to just one bomb, limiting its effectiveness as a fighter-bomber. Pilots should leave ground-attack to dedicated attackers, such as the A-35B, the A-20G-25 and the B18A.
When fighting an F4U-1 in the air, any smart Corsair pilot will use their high speed and good high altitude performance to Boom & Zoom and will use their solid roll rate to avoid shots if they miss their first pass. However, a pilot can force them to overshoot by using various defensive manoeuvres and challenge for a shot on target due to the weak airframe of the Corsair.
The F4U-1A, like many other American aircraft, is a sitting duck when travelling at low speeds while excelling at high speeds, usually above 300 km/h. While not the most agile aircraft, the F4U-1A possesses the R-2800 radial engine, which has superb thrust and power at altitudes beginning at 3,000 metres and going up to around 6,500 metres (though it can still excel at lower altitudes). Due to possessing 6 x M2 Browning .50 calibre machine guns with M8 API ammunition, the Corsair also excels in head-ons against enemies. One of the things to never do against a Corsair is engaging in a head-on. This is simply asking to suffer a fiery, explosive deconstruction at the hands of the 6 powerful guns of the Corsair. Even a successful head-on can still result in critical damage to one own plane's wings, engine, or even a pilot-snipe. Head-ons should be avoided at all costs.
The primary tactics of someone who aims to counter this aircraft should be tactics that will bleed energy from the F4U-1A, making it slow, low or a combination of both. This can be accomplished in many ways, but the two main methods are:
- Turning: In an aircraft that turns better, bait the F4U-1A into a turning fight. Gradually eat away at its speed while out-turning it in order to acquire a shot. However, smart pilots will usually break off the turn and start climbing. Should this happen, either try to follow it in the climb (Spitfires and zeroes should be able to do this) or stay low to bait the F4U-1A down again and repeat the process.
- Energy-Fighting: In planes such as the Bf 109 F-1, which are not as nimble as the Corsair, turning against the Corsair is not a viable option. In planes such as this, one should try to cause a stall by using manoeuvres that cause the Corsair to lose energy faster than the other plane. One method of doing this by simply being above it, and to the front quarter. Pretend to engage in a head-on pass with it. Corsair pilots will usually engage a target in a head-on and attempt to follow through to destroy its enemy. Once around 2.5 km/1.5 miles away from the Corsair, gradually begin making the dive shallower by aiming above the Corsair (if using mouse-aim) or by pulling up on the elevator slightly. Gradually intensify it, until once at 1 km away from the Corsair, it is aiming upwards at a steep angle. Once this happens, break into a chandelle (An Immelmann turn done while banking the plane slightly), using the energy that has been built up in the dive, and dive back down onto the Corsair. The enemy pilot, should he have continued to try to track its target through the entire process, should have lost energy and entered a low-energy state. This means that he/she is a sitting duck. Bring guns to bear and destroy them.
When attempting deflection shots, try to aim at the centre-section so shots will hit the pilot and the fairly large forward fuel tanks. While the tanks are self-sealing, it takes some time to seal up if punctured. This means that when set on fire, the fire will usually spread to other critical modules like the engine and the wing fuel tanks before it gets put out, even if the aircraft is put into a steep dive. Other weak spots include the oil cooling system tanks located in the front of the wings, which may be set on fire. One of the biggest weaknesses, however, is in its construction. The large gull wings that give the Corsair its manoeuvrability are also highly vulnerable to well-aimed cannon-fire, meaning that even a few hits can end up completely destroying the wing, or at the very least, critically damage the spars so that other players can finish off the job. In addition to this, there are fuel tanks in the wings placed close to where the wing spars and wing control cables are in the middle of the wing. If set on fire, they will result in the wing spar damage, as well as the loss of control to the wing, thus either destroying or at least crippling enemy aircraft.
Even slight damage to the engine will result in the Corsair's performance being reduced dramatically. In planes like the Bf 109 F-1, where the armament is mounted centrally, a good way to destroy an F4U-1A is to pursue a head-on and critically damage the engine from outside 700 metres, where the Corsair's wing-mounted armament need for convergence will mean that the enemy pilot cannot bring their guns to bear. This will at least slow the aircraft down enough for team-mates to shoot it. This is, however, a very risky manoeuvre. It is better to get hits on the engine in a deflection shot or a snap-shot rather than to actively seek one.
Manual Engine Control
Auto control available
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Pros and cons
- Great top speed for its rank
- Good high-speed manoeuvrability
- Powerful armament with high ammo count
- Can mount bombs for use against ground targets and bases
- M2 guns can penetrate pillboxes with AP bullets
- Decently strong; can take a few hits
- Great diving characteristics
- Good speed, acceleration and energy retention
- Gears can withstand 730 km/h, useful as a makeshift airbrake
- Relatively lethal armament against planes
- Turn time isn't very good; try to avoid turning fights
- View to the rear is somewhat obstructed; be wary of this in SB
- Very vulnerable to incendiary rounds
- Inverted gull wings are easy to knock off
- Big target, easy to hit
- Climb rate is a huge downgrade from the F4F-3 and F4F-4 when stock
- Can be easily taken out by other players from behind
- Airframe is relatively weak
The F4U Corsair was designed by Chance Vought as a response to a request by the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics in February 1938 for twin and single-engined fighters. The single-engined fighters would need to reach the maximum obtainable speed, have a stall speed of no more than 70 mph and a range of 1,000 miles. The fighter also had to carry 4 guns, or 3 with increased ammo capacity and had to be able to carry bombs.
In June of the same year, the U.S navy signed a contract with Vought for a prototype, designated "XF4U-1" and after a mock-up inspection, the prototype was to be powered by an extremely powerful Twin-row, 18 cylinder engine created by Pratt & Whitney designated as the "Double Wasp". Reports from Europe indicated that two .30 cal machine guns and two .50 cal HMGs proved inefficient, and as a result, the U.S. Navy issued a new production proposal requesting heavier armament. Vought responded to this request by added 3 Browning .50 cal AN/M2 machine guns with 400 rounds per gun in each wing.
The single-engine Chance Vought F4U Corsair was designed in 1938 for a U.S. Navy single-seater carrier-based fighter competition. The prototype showed excellent performance characteristics but was in need of substantial improvement. Even after the completion and launch of the F4U-1, a number of problems were discovered which prevented the aircraft from being used as a carrier-based fighter, and the Navy was forced to use the first F4U-1s for Marine Corps ground-based operations.
In the middle of 1943, the F4U-1A variant made its debut. To improve visibility, which was especially important when landing on an aircraft carrier, the cockpit canopy was modified to a convex shape, and the pilot's chair was raised 17.8 cm. Dive speed problems were solved with a stall strip just outboard of the gun ports on the starboard wing's leading edge.
The plane's armament consisted of six 12.7 mm guns, three in each wing.
The F4U-1A was produced not only at the Chance Vought factory, where the aircraft was designed, but also at the Brewster and Goodyear factories (with the designations F3A-1A and FG-1A, respectively). The latter model differed in that its wings were not folding.
The Chance Vought factory produced a total of 2,126 F4U-1As.
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era:
- Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3
- Hawker Typhoon Mk Ia
- Macchi C.202 Folgore
- Reggiane Re.2001 Falco II
- Kawasaki Ki-61-I ko Hien
|Chance Vought Aircraft
|F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1C · F4U-1D · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214
|OS2U-1 · OS2U-3
|SB2U-2 · SB2U-3
|A-7D · A-7E · A-7K
|F8U-2 · F-8E
|V-156-B1 · V-156-F · ▄Corsair F Mk II · F4U-7 · ▄F-8E(FN)
|P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
|P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · ○P-36C · P-36G
|P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
|P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40E-1 TD · P-40F-10
|P-47D-22-RE · P-47D-25 · P-47D-28 · P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-47N-15
|P-51 · P-51A (Thunder League) · P-51C-10 · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA
|P-63A-5 · P-63A-10 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
|F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3
|F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2
|F4F-3 · F4F-4
|F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1D · F4U-1C · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214 · F2G-1
|F6F-5 · F6F-5N
|F8F-1 · F8F-1B
|▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃A6M2 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc