Another ‘Thirteenth’ Corsair Added to Thunder Over Michigan Lineup!!!

John French's F4U-5NL Corsair Bu.124560 has just been signed up to attend Thunder Over Michigan this August, making it the thirteenth Corsair scheduled to attend. The aircraft is pictured here, when owned by Raymon Thompson, beating up the strip in Indianapolis, Indiana back in 2002. (photo by Greg Morehead)

We are back up to thirteen Corsairs which will now be attending the Yankee Air Museum’s Thunder Over Michigan Air Show over the weekend of August 3/4 following news from the air show coordinator, Mike Luther that John French will be bringing his F4U-5NL Bu.124560 to the event. This auspicious news comes just a day after the 79th anniversary of the type’s first flight, on May 29th, 1940 in Stratford, Connecticut!

French’s Corsair would have been the fourteenth Corsair scheduled to attend the show, but unfortunately John O’Connor’s F4U-7 Bu.133710 is no longer coming. Even so, it is wonderful to see so many bent-wing birds scheduled to attend, and John French, a former fighter pilot in the U.S. Marines, does not usually venture too far in his aircraft from his home in Sun Valley, Idaho. The Thunder Over Michigan team is to be commended for persuading him to venture so far with his magnificent aircraft.

F4U-5NL Bu.124560 served for many years in the Honduran Air Force, and was one of half a dozen of the type recovered from that nation in an epic flight coordinated by the late Howard Pardue back in 1978. (photo by Greg Morehead)

Could there be more coming? We shall see… but this year’s Thunder Over Michigan show is set to be one of the most memorable aerial events anywhere in some time!

If all of the bentwing fighters are able to make the show, it will be the largest gathering of airworthy Corsairs since the early 1960s! It seems hard to believe that we have the prospect of seeing an entire ‘squadron’ of Corsairs on the ramp and in the air over Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan this summer, but that tantalizing prospect is now within reach. Bravo to the Thunder Over Michigan team for all of their efforts on this magnificent endeavor!

F4U-5NL Bu.124560 rolling out after landing back in 2002 when the aircraft was attending the Gathering of Corsairs and Legends in Indianapolis, Indiana. (photo by Greg Morehead)

The list of Corsair’s scheduled to attend is now as follows…

FG-1D Bu.67089 – Elenville, LLC

FG-1D Bu.88090/NZ5612 – Louis Horschel

FG-1D Bu.92106 – Vintage Wings of Canada

FG-1D Bu.92468  – Commemorative Air Force – Dixie Wing 

FG-1D Bu.92471 – Mid America Flight Museum

FG-1D Bu.92508 – Military Aviation Museum

F4U-4 Bu.97143 – Jim Tobul

F4U-4 Bu.97388 – Wings Of The North

F4U-5NL Bu.122179 – Collings Foundation

F4U-5NL Bu.121881 – Lone Star Flight Museum

F4U-5N Bu.123168 – Fighters & Legends

F4U-5NL Bu.124560 – John French

F4U-7 Bu.133722 – Erickson Aircraft Collection

For those who love Corsairs, or simply vintage military aviation, you might like to check out the highly detailed article (written by your editor) about the last surviving Brewster-built Corsair in the most recent issue of Warbird Digest below…

 

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