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Last Indian

F2g Super Corsairs

4 posts in this topic

This would have been a truly thrilling time! These planes flew 200 feet off the ground and achieved speeds over 400 mph! 

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Ok Last Indian, you got my attention. I have not seen Corsairs like this since 1996 went I was in Sun Valley Idaho skiing. I had the opportunity to go with some friends two hours out of town to meet a man who restores old warbirds. He was finishing a Corsair, had a P-51, and a Bearcat. I was in aviation heaven.

Thanks for sharing these photos.

Edited by Frosty

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Frosty, when you say two hours outside of Sun Valley, ID. Was this to the place where the fella was building the planes? And was the Corsair an F2g or an F4u? This is a said story, but I ask because the man I knew, Bob Odegaard and his facility is in Kindred, ND., but that's like 17 hour from Sun Valley. The first plane he restored was a P51 that he started in “89” and the first Super Corsair, which is the red one, 57 in the pictures, he would have been working on about that time frame.
The story in short with a said ending! Cook Cleland and my father-in-law Dick Becker were best friends in the Navy in WWII. When Cook got out he bought an airport in Willoughby, Ohio an urged Dick to retire from the Navy and come in with him and he did. Then Cook bought 4 surplus F2g Super Corsairs, 94,84,74 & 57. There were only 10 Super Corsairs ever built. After they finished racing in “49” 57 was sold 94 was used for training in Cleveland somewhere and eventually destroyed, 84 was lost in the Cleveland air race crash of “47” & 74 fell into disrepair and was in very bad condition. The Crawford Auto Aviation Museum bought 74 from the fella that had it sitting on his property in Newbury, Oh. with the intent to restore it for the museum.
So they contracted Bob Odegaard to do this. He and Dick had become acquainted over the years from different events Dick would be asked to attend because of the racing history. Crawford ended up bailing out on the project due to financial constraints. So Bob bought & finished 74 in 2012. I talked to Bob in June of 2012 and he was excited because he was getting very close to being ready for the first flight of 74. In mid July of “12” Bob fly 74 for the first time since “49”. Sadly on Sept. 8th 2012 both Bob & 74 were loss in a crash. Only two F2g’s remain and only 57 is flying condition.

 http://www.warbirds-eaa.org/featured/6Featured Articles - Vol.35, No. 03- April 2012 - You'll Never See This Again!.pdf

 

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The Corsair I saw in Idaho was definitely an F4U. It was being restored to airshow flying condition with accurate Navy paint markings on it.  As much as I would love to see a F2G, especially in flying condition, it is clearly not meant to be.

Still I feel privileged to see the Flying Zoo when they still flew in Kalamazoo. That was one of every flying piston and jet powered plane Grumman made. Wildcat, Bearcat, Hellcat, Panther, and Tomcat would flew in formation. Some flying at the rev limiters, others flying so slow the were close to stalling.

 

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