In 1938, the US Navy requested a single engine high speed fighter capable of carrying 4 guns and small bombs. It was first tested with a 1,805 horsepower engine which propelled it up to 405 miles per hour. On its first flights there were many problems, including engine failure, over speeding, and control failure. When it was first used in combat, the 4 machine guns that it was given were insufficient, and it was given 6 machine guns.
The F4U Corsair had a very distinctive shape. The inverted gull wing gave it excellent maneuverability, as well as allowing the large propeller to clear the ground. It was much faster than the Japanese Zero and more maneuverable, except at slow speeds. For this reason the Corsair pilots tried to combat at high speeds.
Length: 33 ft 4 in
Wingspan: 41 ft
Height:16 ft 1 in
Empty weight: 8982 lb
Loaded weight: 14,000 lb
Maximum speed: 425 mph
Armament: 6 machine guns, 2000 lb bombs