The engine was so massive and produced so much energy that a Hamilton Standard 13 feet 4 inch propeller, the largest of WWII, was required. The F4U was the first American fighter aircraft to exceed 400 MPH. The Corsair was referred to by the Japanese as “Whispering Death” and became a legend in its own time. This aircraft was one of the most distinctive designs with it bent wings making it an icon.
The USN received the first F4U-1 on July 31, 1942. Immediately there were a few problems observed, the Bird Cage canopy restricted the pilot’s visibility; the aircraft would bounce when landing and could cause the arrestor hook to miss the cable. The long nose greatly reduced forward visibility for carrier deck maneuvering. The long nose earned the Corsair the nicknames “Hose Nose”, “Hog and “Bent Wing Widow Maker”. The decision was made to assign the Corsair to the land based Marines with 2 USN squadrons: VF-12 and later VF17 keeping them.