Aussie F4U-1 Corsair Restoration Update

F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02270 is the oldest known surviving Corsair in the world. (photo by Ron Johnson)
F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02270 is the oldest known surviving Corsair in the world. (photo by Ron Johnson)
F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02270 is the oldest known surviving Corsair in the world. (photo by Ron Johnson)

The extremely rare F4U-1 Corsair under restoration with the Classic Jets Fighter Museum at Parafield Airport near Adelaide, Australia is making great progress. F4U-1 Bu.02270 is one of only two early model “birdcage canopy” Corsairs known to survive in preservation, and the oldest Corsair known to exist. The project recently received its Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp. The engine is still in need of a Scintilla type DF18RN magneto, otherwise it is complete. The museum will inhibit the engine with preservative before fitting it to the Corsair’s engine mount sometime soon.

The Corsair's freshly-arrived R-2800 Double Wasp engine sitting in its shipping cradle at the Classic Jets Fighter Museum. (photo by Ron Johnson)
The Corsair’s freshly-arrived R-2800 Double Wasp engine sitting in its shipping cradle at the Classic Jets Fighter Museum. (photo by Ron Johnson)

The Classic Jets volunteer restoration team is currently fitting the starboard wing with its aileron and three landing flaps. They had to replicate many of the attachment hinges by hand. The final fitting for the horizontal stabilizers and conformal fillets is also taking place. The team have painted the parts with primer, along with the main fuselage. In addition, the undercarriage and air intake modules on the wing leading edges are also being trial fitted for adjustment prior to installation. The museum has made a mockup of the Corsair cockpit for displaying the restored interior components until the cockpit on the aircraft itself is ready to accept them. One frustrating thing to report though was that the team had to do some substantial dent repairs on the fuselage after some unsupervised children decided to practice their drumming skills on its side with a wooden plank.

Another view of F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02270 at the Classic Jets Fighter Museum near Adelaide, Australia. (photo by Ron Johnson)
Another view of F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02270 at the Classic Jets Fighter Museum near Adelaide, Australia. (photo by Ron Johnson)

Bob Jarrett, the museum’s director, has not set a completion date for the Corsair, but estimates that another two years or so will see the Corsair close to completion. Classic Jets Fighter Museum has a terrific Facebook page HERE for those interested in seeing what the museum is up to. Please click HERE to see our previous restoration update, and for more information on Bu.02270’s history.

WarbirdsNews wishes to thank Bob Jarrett for submitting these details, as well as Ron Johnson for his marvelous photographs.

(photo by Ron Johnson)
(photo by Ron Johnson)

 

F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02270 sits in the Classic Jets Fighter Museum restoration hangar with its freshly-arrived R-2800 Double Wasp engine sitting in its shipping cradle. (photo by Ron Johnson)
F4U-1 Corsair Bu.02270 sits in the Classic Jets Fighter Museum restoration hangar with its freshly-arrived R-2800 Double Wasp engine sitting in its shipping cradle. Paper masking has been applied to the upper fuselage as part of the base-coat painting preparations. (photo by Ron Johnson)

7 Comments

  1. Is this aircraft going to be flying or static? Its so rare I think it should be fully restored but grounded. Of course many would say “whats the point of restoring it”… but this aircraft is as rare as the F2G corsair–only two of those left now.

  2. Two Corsairs in Australia is exciting, but two Corsairs flying side by side over Australia would be Earth shattering! This old girl, while indeed a fantastic static display, and also rare, would be given better justice if she was restored to flight worthy. It can be argued that any warbird, either static or flying are all rare. Such a rare early F4U-1 would be a awesome sight to see airborne and a fantastic boost to our flying warbird scene, that is now of recent years starting to develop, with the addition of the F4U-5N out of Tyabb (which is also quickly becoming Australia’s home of the Mustang!), P-40’s and a second Sabre. Imagine the fly past of two Corsairs, Temora’s two Spitfires and Boomerang, Mustang and P-40, all types that fought in the South Pacific during the Pacific campaign!

    On a side note, I think I might have to take a trip over the boarder to Adelaide!

    • Umm, no Sabre at Tyabb. Trappett has his fleet at Latrobe Valley. There is a second airworthy Corsair project underway in Mareeba QLD, so that alongside the Tyabb pacific collection (P40F, Mustang and Hosking’s Corsair), the two current flying Boomerangs plus the 4-6 other airworthy restos underway, one not far off, not to mention the HARS projects of razorback P47G, a Pacific vet P38 Lightning and a DAP Beaufighter. Oh, and a Japanese Ki61 Tony. Now that would be a Pacific theatre formation to behold!

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