Author Topic: USAAF Vought A-40B Corsair  (Read 1222 times)

Offline b29r

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USAAF Vought A-40B Corsair
« on: December 06, 2017, 11:18:17 PM »
Overly impressed by the success of the Ju-87 in Europe, in the US much effort and interest was given to dive bombing and tactical support.  The Navy was already far ahead of the Army in this respect,  so the USAAC developed the Douglas Dauntless into the A-24, the Curtiss Helldiver into the A-25, and the Vultee Vengeance into the A-31/A-35 series.  None of these aircraft met with much success in US service, and so the Army approached Vought to see if the Corsair could be modified into an effective dive bomber.

Eager for additional orders, Vought modified their design to Army specs.  Changes included an all metal non-folding wing, bomb crutch under the belly, deletion of all naval equipment, and modification of the P&W R-2800 to be optimized for low altitude work.  A Curtiss four blade prop was used with the modified motor, and stabilizer finlets were added to help prevent yawing during the diving phase of the attack.   Armor plate was also added to protect vital areas.  Trials showed that the aircraft was an accurate dive bomber, and could also be used to glide-bomb fixed targets.  The underwing hard points were plumbed for fuel tanks, and the now designated A-40 could  also be employed for tactical reconnaissance. 

The beauty of the A-40, when compared to the previous types, was  its performance was so great that it required little in the way of escort, and could then defend itself as a fighter after dropping its bomb load.  The Corsair was so successful in this, that it accounted for over 550 air-to-air kills, as well as an enormous number of aircraft destroyed on the ground.  At times, the A-40 could even be used to escort other bombers, such as Marauders,  Mitchells, and  Bostons.  Luftwaffe, RA, and IJAAF pilots quickly learned to give them a wide berth.

The A-40 made its combat debut during Operation Torch, where it played a key role in suppression of enemy defenses.  Eventually 15 Fighter Groups were equipped with the A-40, and they served in every major theatre of war.  Vought went on to incorporate many of the A-40’s features into the F4U-4, as well as the AU-1 series.  Following the end of the war, the remaining airworthy aircraft were quickly passed onto to reserve and training units, and exported in small numbers to France.

This was my second build of the Airfix Corsair.   I was a little surprised to see that some tooling changes had been made to the molds, as my first build was an MPC kit.  The canopy was nice and clear (nothing to see in the cockpit however), and all the parts fit well.  I added an IP, but it can’t be seen anyway.  A fun build of an old stager, and good to be able to clear another Shelf of Doom inmate.

Best regards,

Offline apophenia

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Re: USAAF Vought A-40B Corsair
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 07:11:49 AM »
Very nice  :smiley:
“Technology is a word that describes something that doesn’t work yet.” Douglas Adams

Offline Tophe

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Re: USAAF Vought A-40B Corsair
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 02:38:04 PM »
and stabilizer finlets were added
The little fins addition is my favorite feature, good! :smiley:

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: USAAF Vought A-40B Corsair
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 03:16:48 AM »
Absolutely crackerjack and I bet you could gas-light more than a few that this bird actually was.

The checker-boarding on the cowling looks like a millions bucks!

Brian da Basher

Offline finsrin

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Re: USAAF Vought A-40B Corsair
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 09:43:33 AM »
Super duper dive bomber for the Army.  Built with all the right changes. :smiley: