Chance Vought AU-1 Corsair

AU-1 (XF4U-6)

The final version of the Corsair to enter American service was re-designated as an attack aircraft after the prototype stage, which had been given the designation XF4U-6. The AU-1 was developed during the Korean War, and was used for ground attack missions by the Marine Corps. It used an R-2800-83W engine, providing 2,300 hp, slightly down on the power available in the F4U-5. Its top speed also dropped, partly because of an increase in armour. Armament was the same as in the U-5 – four 20mm cannon. The wing root pylons remained, while the number of under-wing rocket pylons was increased to ten. The first AU-1 flew at the end of January 1952, in time for it to take part in the last year and a half of the Korean War. The Corsair had several advantages in Korea. It could use short runways and had a longer range than most contemporary jets. Finally, it was old technology. While the U.S. was wary of using the most advanced jet aircraft over North Korea, in case they were forced down intact revealing technological secrets, use of the Corsair posed no such risks. However, piston engined aircraft were virtually obsolete by the end of the Korean War. The Corsair would see no more action in American colours.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (pending), Chance Vought AU-1 Corsair, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_AU-1.html

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