JIM TOBUL AND THE CORSAIR F4U
photo courtesy of John Slemp Aviation Photography
This 1945 F4U-F, deemed the “Korean War Hero” is brought to our air show by Jim Tobul of South Carolina. This remarkable plane still bears its marks of history – three combat flak repair patches on the starboard wing and the rear fuselage. Jim Tobul has piloted this plane in many airshows across the country for everyone to experience it’s beauty and talent. In 2011 at the Sun ‘N Fun airshow in Lakeland Florida, Jim Tobul was awarded Grand Champion post World War II for his restoration of this remarkable aircraft.
The Chance Vought F4Uwas deemed the Korean War Hero for it’s record as being the first American fighter aircraft to be recognized by the Japanese as being a formidable adversary in World War II. It’s superiority over the Japanese aircraft and being the first American fighter that exceeded 400 mph, are why it has earned its place in the history books.
Chance Vought, the second oldest aircraft manufacturer founded in 1917, delivered the first Corsair in 1942 to the military. Records show that it has been flown by at least 4 Naval Air Reserve pilots in 1951 from the USS Valley Forge and then extensive action from the “Bitter Birds” aboard the USS Boxer. The number displayed on the plane today is the same identification number it flew under during this time – 416.
In 1956 the warbird was put into limited retirement, only to return to the skies in 1960. From 1960 to 1970 it flew with the Honduran Air Force. In 1970 after permanent retirement, it was made available to the public. It was first bought by an American Airline’s pilot who returned it to the United States. In 1981 Jim and Joe Tobul brought it home and began its restoration. After 10 years, it hit the skies in Pittsburgh first and then now resides in South Carolina. Jim has been performing and displaying this plane for enthusiasts and history buffs across the United States. We are privileged to have him at our Salute America air show. If you get a chance, talk to him about his plane and the process it took to restore it to its original condition.
Check out Jim Tobul in flight:
Chance-Vought F4U-4 Corsair
The distinctive gull shaped wing design specific to the Corsair, gave it three advantages - First, it allowed for the wings to fold up, which meant more space for other aircraft on carriers. Second, the wing design resulted in a shorter and stronger landing gear strut to withstand the tremendous shock loads resulting from carrier landings. Lastly, it provided ground clearance for the thirteen-foot diameter, four bladed propeller.
Built in August of 1954
Engine – Pratt & Whitney R2800, 18 cylinder, 2,650hp
Propeller- Hamilton Standard, four blade, 13′ 2″ diameter
Top speed- 407kts (470mph)
empty weight- 9,380 lbs
Maximum weight- 15,200 lbs
Maximum ceiling- 41,000 feet
Maximum fuel- 234 gallons internal,plus (2) 150 gallon drop tanks
Maximum range- 1,983 nautical miles (2,280 statue miles)
Oil capacity- 27 gallons
Armourment- (6) .50 caliber machine guns with 2,400 rounds
(8) 5″ HVAR (high velocity aircraft rockets)
(2) 1,000 lbs bombs or Napalm or 15″ Tiny Tim rockets