Birdcage Corsair Downunder – January 2020 Restoration Update

F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02270 outside in the sunshine at Parafield Airport near Adelaide, Australia. The aircraft moved last year from the now-closed Classic Jets Fighter Museum to a hangar nearby for the continuation of its restoration with Bob Jarrett, it's longtime owner. (image via Bob Jarrett)

It has been some time since we did an update on the restoration of Bob Jarrett’s Vought F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02270 at Parafield Airport, near Adelaide, Australia. As readers will know from our previous articles HERE, this is the world’s oldest known Corsair in preservation, and it has been under rebuild to static condition for the past decade or so since Jarrett recovered her from a lagoon on Vanuatu in the South Pacific. While a lot of progress has been made on the airframe, this slowed to a trickle in the last year with the sad closure of Jarrett’s Classic Jets Fighter Museum, which was also located at Parafield. The small collection of beautifully preserved aircraft moved on to new locations, with the last of them (ex-RAN de Havilland Sea Venom WZ939) leaving the site in September, 2019. However, as we reported in the Sea Venom article, Bob Jarrett has retained the Corsair and is continuing its restoration in a hangar adjacent to his now-closed museum. The Corsair is under active restoration again, and Bob Jarrett recently updated us on what has happened up to this date…

Corsair Update for January 2020

Several windscreen and canopy plastics are currently being shaped. A canopy top front bulged plastic is in storage and when all plastics are on hand they will be fitted to the corsair cockpit. The canopy is currently fitted with aluminum panels for presentation reasons after they were used as first stage patterns.

A replica Corsair cockpit was fabricated some time ago with a view of all fittings. This can be seen by visitors rather than storing away unseen for a long time.

The non folding Corsair outer wings have been finally fitted, with joint panels fabrication well underway.

The second to be fitted starboard replica oil cooler is ready to be fitted after which the underside heat outlet doors and fairings will be fitted.

The Corsair control column is currently stored awaiting fitting. The column came from a Corsair raised from the seafloor off the east coast of Australia several years ago.

The outer wing ailerons and trim tabs have presented some fitment problems which will be resolved in the New Year.

The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine is cowled-up and awaits removal from its transport frame for work to be done on the supercharger casing. Once positioned horizontally, fabrication of the prepared cooling flaps actuating mechanisms and associated cabling will commence.


Many thanks indeed go to Bob Jarrett and to Phil Buckley for bringing us this update. We wish the project well, and look forwards to presenting further updates in the future!

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