F4U-1 cowl flaps

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F4U-1 cowl flaps

Joined: February 27th, 2005, 12:30 am

July 9th, 2013, 9:33 am #1

Did the F4U-1 Birdcage use the solid panel in place of the upper cowl flaps? I understand why the upper cowl flaps on the Corsair were deleted, but I thought later F4U-1s just had the upper cowl flaps locked closed (i.e. they were still there, but never opened) and the solid panel only started to appear on later versions (the -1A or later).

The 1/32 Tamiya kit doesn't seem to give you the option of the upper cowl flaps closed with the remainder open. The options are full cowl all open, full cowl all close, and cowl solid upper panel with the other flaps open or closed. TIA.
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Joined: December 23rd, 2002, 3:38 am

July 9th, 2013, 12:49 pm #2

I remember reading longgg ago that there was an issue with oil spray on the windscren with the circumferential cowl flaps, which led to the deletion of the top most set of cowl flaps from the 1A on in production.

I beleive what I read said that on the F4U-1 it was a feild mod, not sure if later airframes in the production run were modified in the factory or at re-work facilities.

From what I have seen of the sprue shots, if there is no srcibing on the bridge panel, you could always scribe lines to simulate disabled cowl flaps.

I think though, that with the way the cabling works to open/close the flaps, that you could not simply disable the individual top ones anyway, so I would make an assumption that in the feild, the cabling was rerouted somehow, and a panel riveted or welded in place- I read a history of VF-17 where it was noted how a Vought rep was either on hand at times or flown in to advise on mods/problems- so maybe all upper cowl flaps on the -1 were done i the feild?.

I hope some corsair experts will chime in about this- very interesting.
Dan.
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Joined: May 19th, 2013, 2:09 pm

July 9th, 2013, 1:24 pm #3

Did the F4U-1 Birdcage use the solid panel in place of the upper cowl flaps? I understand why the upper cowl flaps on the Corsair were deleted, but I thought later F4U-1s just had the upper cowl flaps locked closed (i.e. they were still there, but never opened) and the solid panel only started to appear on later versions (the -1A or later).

The 1/32 Tamiya kit doesn't seem to give you the option of the upper cowl flaps closed with the remainder open. The options are full cowl all open, full cowl all close, and cowl solid upper panel with the other flaps open or closed. TIA.
It is possible that there was a filed modification to either permanently shut the top flaps or replace then with sheet metal. It seems the flaps full around continued into what we call the "-1A" production.

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Joined: March 29th, 2005, 10:41 pm

July 9th, 2013, 4:24 pm #4

Did the F4U-1 Birdcage use the solid panel in place of the upper cowl flaps? I understand why the upper cowl flaps on the Corsair were deleted, but I thought later F4U-1s just had the upper cowl flaps locked closed (i.e. they were still there, but never opened) and the solid panel only started to appear on later versions (the -1A or later).

The 1/32 Tamiya kit doesn't seem to give you the option of the upper cowl flaps closed with the remainder open. The options are full cowl all open, full cowl all close, and cowl solid upper panel with the other flaps open or closed. TIA.
Everything posted up to this point is accurate. I know the original F4U arrangement used individual hydraulic actuators for each cowl flap (Vought being too clever by half...again) but when the decision was made to deactivate the upper cowl flap and batten it down, the switch was made to a rather elaborate system of cables and pulleys that opened and closed the things.

I have seen FG-1As and FAA Corsairs with the Blown hoods sporting the wrap around cowl flaps, so its not a phenomenon limited solely to the Birdcage F4Us. I also noticed a mix of wrap around and non-wrap-around cowl flaps on the Marine F4U-2s as well.

It may also be that Vought, Brewster, and Goodyear approached this problem in different ways, and incorporated the "fix" at different times.

It's a cop-out but, "Consult photographs of your actual subject aircraft".

david
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Joined: March 3rd, 2005, 1:35 pm

July 9th, 2013, 4:27 pm #5

Did the F4U-1 Birdcage use the solid panel in place of the upper cowl flaps? I understand why the upper cowl flaps on the Corsair were deleted, but I thought later F4U-1s just had the upper cowl flaps locked closed (i.e. they were still there, but never opened) and the solid panel only started to appear on later versions (the -1A or later).

The 1/32 Tamiya kit doesn't seem to give you the option of the upper cowl flaps closed with the remainder open. The options are full cowl all open, full cowl all close, and cowl solid upper panel with the other flaps open or closed. TIA.
Hi Dave,

The F4U-1 originally had 18 individual hydraulic cylinders to actuate the cowl flaps. The cowl flap actuation system was redesigned to eliminate the individual actuators and replaced the 18 with one. The system then used a cable attached to the hydraulic cylinder to open and close the cowl flaps. Installation of the new system was done as available, hence some aircraft, including early production F4U-1A's (see VF-17) had the all around cowl flaps. Interim modifications were performed to permanently close the upper three flaps until the new system was available for installation. The F4U-1 "Dash 3" identifies three versions:

Condition 1 - The top three cowl flaps were simply battened down.

Condition 2 - "required the replacement of the top three flaps with an .064 ga. pan." The detail drawing shows the installation of the guide pulleys for the later cable actuation system.

Condition 3 - "Dead Cowl Flap" The installation of the permanent skin and integral channels with rear Dzuz screws as provided in the Tamiya 1/48 kits. I have no idea what the 1/32 kit has.

Don

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Joined: March 29th, 2005, 10:41 pm

July 9th, 2013, 5:25 pm #6

Logic would suggest it was interior green, but i always wondered if Brewster used a slightly different shade of green than 34151. I know the last ones probably rolled out the door in late summer/ early fall of 1944.

-d-
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Joined: February 26th, 2005, 11:57 pm

July 9th, 2013, 5:45 pm #7

I remember reading longgg ago that there was an issue with oil spray on the windscren with the circumferential cowl flaps, which led to the deletion of the top most set of cowl flaps from the 1A on in production.

I beleive what I read said that on the F4U-1 it was a feild mod, not sure if later airframes in the production run were modified in the factory or at re-work facilities.

From what I have seen of the sprue shots, if there is no srcibing on the bridge panel, you could always scribe lines to simulate disabled cowl flaps.

I think though, that with the way the cabling works to open/close the flaps, that you could not simply disable the individual top ones anyway, so I would make an assumption that in the feild, the cabling was rerouted somehow, and a panel riveted or welded in place- I read a history of VF-17 where it was noted how a Vought rep was either on hand at times or flown in to advise on mods/problems- so maybe all upper cowl flaps on the -1 were done i the feild?.

I hope some corsair experts will chime in about this- very interesting.
Dan.
The oil on the windscreen was the reason for the new design.
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Joined: February 26th, 2005, 11:57 pm

July 9th, 2013, 5:50 pm #8

Did the F4U-1 Birdcage use the solid panel in place of the upper cowl flaps? I understand why the upper cowl flaps on the Corsair were deleted, but I thought later F4U-1s just had the upper cowl flaps locked closed (i.e. they were still there, but never opened) and the solid panel only started to appear on later versions (the -1A or later).

The 1/32 Tamiya kit doesn't seem to give you the option of the upper cowl flaps closed with the remainder open. The options are full cowl all open, full cowl all close, and cowl solid upper panel with the other flaps open or closed. TIA.
The problem with oil on the windscreen was found only after the Corsair went into service. Once the technical order was published the Corsair's built with those cowl flaps were field modified to the locked position.
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Joined: March 3rd, 2005, 1:35 pm

July 10th, 2013, 12:30 am #9

Logic would suggest it was interior green, but i always wondered if Brewster used a slightly different shade of green than 34151. I know the last ones probably rolled out the door in late summer/ early fall of 1944.

-d-
n/t

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xdogoscarnan
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Joined: March 3rd, 2005, 1:35 pm

July 10th, 2013, 12:42 am #10

The problem with oil on the windscreen was found only after the Corsair went into service. Once the technical order was published the Corsair's built with those cowl flaps were field modified to the locked position.
Hi Gary,

According to Boone Guyton, the Vought test pilot for the F4U-1, the oil splatter on the windscreen occurred on the first test flight of the production F4U-1 in June, 1942. This was months before service use of the aircraft. Ref. "Whistling Death: The Test Pilot's Story of the F4U Corsair"

Don

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