Vought F4U Corsair – Flotille 15F, French Navy, Suez Campaign, 1956


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Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA33010: Vought F4U Corsair of the French Navy (Aeronavale) Flotille 15F, Suez Campaign, 1956. Limited edition of 1,900 pieces.

Length 5.5 inches Wingspan 6.75 inches

The French Aeronavale needed a powerful carrier-born plane for the Arromanches, Bois-Belleau and Lafayette aircraft carriers, faced with the Indochina conflict since 1945. A version , the F4U-7 (dubbed “For French Only”), was specially developed to fulfill this need. It was equipped with a powerful P&W R-2800-18W 2100hp engine, and made its first flight on July 2nd 1952. The French Aeronautique Navale ordered a total of 94 planes, which were delivered between mid-1952 and January 1953. In October 1952, several French pilots were sent to NAS Oceana (Virginia) to be trained on the plane. 14.F squadron (CO-ed by LV Pierre Menetttier) was the first squadron to receive the F4U-7 at Karouba air base in Tunisia. From January 1953 to April 1954, pilots trained with a combat cruise in Indochina in mind. These pilots arrived at Tourane (Annam) on April 17th 1954, but without their planes.

Designed to meet a US Navy requirement for a single-seat carrier based fighter, the F4U was first flown on May 29th, 1940. This versatile aircraft saw service with both the Navy and Marine Corps in WW II and in the Korean War. During its lifetime, the Corsair underwent numerous improvements such as a lengthened fuselage, a high visibility bubble-top canopy and folding inverted gull wings that provided clearance for a large propeller. Its performance advantage, 400 mph capability, the ability to withstand punishment and six .50 Browning machine guns made the F4U a devastating weapon against aircraft, ground targets and ships.

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