Aviation Usk 1/72 F2G Super Corsair
By Will Riepl
The Vought Corsair was a workhorse during the Second World War, and its exemplary performance made the Navy want more. So the Navy approached Goodyear to have them make a high-performance Corsair for them. Goodyear came back with the F2G, which definitely fit the description of high performance. Two variants were made, the F2G-1 and F2G-2, with the only differences being that the 1 was a land-based type without folding wings or arresting gear. Powered by the Pratt and Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major engine, the F2G could reach 30,000ft in only four minutes. Armament was identical to that of the F4U-1D/FG-1D, and was more than adequate to take care of anything the F2G would meet in the Pacific.
An initial contract of 418 F2Gs was issued, but with the Second World War winding down, the Navy determined that there was no longer any need for the type, and production ended at only 18, including the prototypes.
This was not the end of the F2G, however. In fact, it was only the beginning. At the end of the war, many service planes were made available to the civilian market. Cook Cleland bought an FG-1D to race, and after stripping the plane down to the bare minimum, took off for the Thompson Trophy race in 1946. Flying the FG-1D, Cleland placed 6th and broke even for the year. Liking the Corsair airframe but wanting more power, Cleland sought out the F2G and ended up buying 3 of the surplus airframes to race in 1947.
With that big Wasp Major pulling the lightened F2G through the air, Cook Cleland won the 1947 Thompson Trophy with a speed of 396mph. Second place went to another Cleland F2G, firmly putting the F2G at the forefront of air racing. The power of the F2G got away from Clelands third F2G, and it crashed in the seventh lap of the race.
The small production run limited the amount of parts available for the racing Corsairs, and they were quickly superceded by Bearcats and Mustangs, both of which were available in greater numbers. There are some surviving F2Gs, though, including one at the National Air and Space Museum.
The first time I saw the Aviation Usk F2G was at the last Uskian Chili Feed and Model Contest. Not only is Aviation Usk a great hobby shop, but they also put on the BEST Chili Feed and Model Contest ever, bar none. Well, at the last one, Tom had this little Corsair sitting there, and he was very excited about it, as it was the first kit of an F2G.
Whats in this kit? Well, aside from a very colorful box, you get some nicely molded gray plastic parts with very little flash. Recessed panel lines are used throughout the kit, and they are very well done, rivaling those of Hasegawa or Tamiya. Also included is a nice etched brass fret providing a nice interior and detail set. Two resin pieces are provided, these being the different styles of supercharger intakes on top of the nose. Test fitting things show that this kit will go together very well, with a minimal amount of fuss.
This is good, because you will have a very hard time trying to decide what markings to put this plane in. The decal sheet included with the kit is superb, providing markings for one Navy F2G (boring) and THREE racing Corsairs. The three racers are very colorful, and it will be a challenge trying to decide which one to do. There are two racers not depicted on the decal sheet, so if you wanted to do something that no one else has ever done, you could always pick one of those two. The best solution, though, is to buy five of these kits and do up all five of the racers.
Although the F2G was not produced in great numbers, it did make a big impact in the post-war air races, and Aviation Usk has given us a great example to build up. With this kit, and the recent High Planes racer kits, you can have quite a shelf full of air racers.
My thanks to Tom and Aviation Usk for this little gem.
Azur Breda Ba65