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Sunday, 14 February 2010

Matchbox F4U-4 Corsair - PK-14

An early 1970's vintage Matchbox "two colour" 1/72 scale kit of a F4U-4 Corsair.

The aircraft depicted on the box top was in service with the US Marine Training Squadron VMFT 20 based at Cherry Point in 1952. Included with the kit are decal options for an aircraft of the US Marine Squadron VMF 211.

The Corsair was designed as a carrier based single seat fighter aircraft for service with the US Navy and the prototype first flew in 1940. However, the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm were actually the first to operate the aircraft from carriers. Over 2000 aircraft were eventually delivered to the FAA.

US Navy units initially experienced difficulties landing the large high speed aircraft safely on their carriers many preferring to stick with their slower, smaller but easier to handle, Grumman Hellcats.

As a result, most Corsairs saw service with shore based US Marine squadrons. The Corsair was a very fast aircraft for it's day with a top speed in excess of 400 mph and it was very effective against the Japanese fighters with a reported 11:1 kill rate in it's favour.

The Corsair was also used successfully in a fighter bomber ground attack role in support of Allied Forces in the Pacific theatre.

During the Second World War, several squadrons of the Royal New Zealand Air Force were also equipped with Corsairs and fought against the Japanese.

The Corsair was used during the early years of the Korean War but soon became obsolete following the introduction of more modern jet aircraft.

In total over 12500 Corsairs of all variants were produced.

An example of the Matchbox kit is currently for sale on Ebay here.

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