Kit: No. AV-2-22
Manufacturer: Aviation Usk, 602 Front St., Box 97, Usk, WA 99180, phone 509-445-1236
Price: $19.95 plus shipping
Comments: Mixed media, 63 parts (39 injection-molded plastic, 21 photoetched brass, 2 resin, 1 vacuum-formed canopy), decals.
Goodyear's F2G "super" Corsair incorporated new design features tailored to increase performance, particularly its rate of climb. Although the F2G retains the Corsair's telltale gull wing, it had a cut-down rear fuselage, bubble canopy, and an elongated cowl holding the massive 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major engine. A large air scoop on top of the forward fuselage, a taller vertical stabilizer housing an auxiliary rudder, and a redesigned cockpit with a floor and console arrangement similar to the F4U-4 also were installed.
A contract for 400 F2Gs was canceled at war's end, and only 10 were built. Several found new life as air racers, displaying gaudy colors and markings.
Aviation Usk's F2G features fine recessed panel lines and little flash, a sheet of brass photoetched parts for the cockpit, landing gear, and oil cooler detailing, and an excellent vacuum-formed canopy. Two resin air scoops for the air racers are included, but not shown in the assembly drawings. The highlight is the decal sheet featuring opaque white and yellow lettering and black outline stripes for the colorful racers.
The kit captures most of the detail changes to the F2G. The wing leading-edge scoops aren't right though; they should be shorter and more squared off. The big mistake is the engine - the kit provides the front face of an R-2800 with two banks of nine cylinders. The correct R-4360 should have 28 cylinders in four banks of seven.
Surface detail of the kit is good, but my sample had several blemishes, which I smoothed out with sandpaper and a coat of Future floor polish. The photoetched interior looks sharp with the photo-film gauges accenting the relief-etched panel.
Once you clean up the edges of the plastic parts, the fit is good. You can follow the instructions easily, but the inclusion of numbers for the plastic parts seems odd since the parts on the sprues have none.
Be careful assembling the cockpit; if the side consoles are placed too far out, the fuselage will not close tightly. Also, the locator tabs on the inside of each fuselage half are not properly aligned, so dry-fit and adjust the cockpit tub into the fuselage.
As it comes in the kit, the model best represents the land-based F2G-1 with no tail hook. I had trouble fitting the rearmost tail-wheel-well cover. Be careful trimming the vacuum-formed canopy. It is delicate, and without a spare, you have only one chance. No antenna mast or pitot tube is provided, so I scrounged them from spare Corsair kits. A tiny candle symbol in step 3 suggests stretching sprue for the exhaust pipes. In contrast to the well-detailed cockpit, there is no detail in the wheel wells.
Aviation Usk's super Corsair was a lot of fun to build. I spent about 20 hours on it. Since the Corsair is my favorite propeller-driven aircraft, I had to have this kit in my collection. Moderately skilled modelers should have no problem building it. The outline and overall dimensions compare favorably to the information in both Squadron/Signal's F4U Corsair In Action and Detail & Scale F4U Corsair Part 1.
- David P. Anderson