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Home Base: Chandler, AZ
Operation: Western and Central USA
Model: F2G
Wing Span:
41' 0"
Length: 33' 10"
Height: 16' 1"
Max Speed: 466 mph
Gross Weight: 12,000 lbs
Power Plant: Pratt & Whitney R-4360-20WD "Wasp Major" 28-cylinder radial engine
Horsepower: 3,850
Fuel Capacity: 243 gallons
Armament: 6 × .50 caliber Browning M2 machine guns, High Velocity Aircraft Rockets and/or 1,600 lbs of bombs.

Race 57 LLC 's Goodyear F2G-1D "Super" Corsair



Race 57 LLC is the owner and operator of this beautifully restored, rare Goodyear F2G-1D "Super" Corsair (BuNo 88458), which is available for airshows, flybys, film. The "Super" Corsair is also a regular at the Reno National Championship Air Races and AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.

The Goodyear F2G "Super" Corsair was a development by the Goodyear Aircraft Company of the FG-1/F4U-1 Corsair design as a special low-altitude version of a fighter. Pratt & Whitney installed the first R-4360, twenty-eight cylinder, four row radial air-cooled engine, in an F4U in 1943 at their factory. Although often cited that the origin of the aircraft was as an interceptor of low-flying Japanese suicide airplanes, its actual beginnings came about in 1939 when the Pratt and Whitney company first proposed its enormous new engine. Thus the F2G lineage was tied to its engine design rather than tactical requirements. The Navy needed a fighter that could climb fast and intercept the fighters before they started their dive.

Using experience from building the fixed-wing FG-1, a version of the folding wing F4U-1 Corsair, in early 1944, Goodyear extensively modified a standard FG-1 airframe, designated the XF2G-1, to take advantage of the 50% increase in take-off power provided by the R-4360 engine. In March 1944, Goodyear was awarded a contract to deliver 418 F2G-1 and 10 F2G-2 aircraft. The F2G-2 version included modifications for carrier operations.

The installation of the larger engine resulted in a longer nose. A four bladed propeller was installed, to make better use of the increase in power. The height of the tail was increased to make room for the auxiliary rudder which moves 12.5 degrees to the right when the flaps go down 30 degrees. It has only two positions and is operated by a hydraulic cylinder which makes the airplane very tame even at full power. A new bubble canopy was used to improve the pilot’s view. The F2G was initially fitted with four and later with six .50 caliber machine guns with stubs for eight rocket launchers and the capability to carry bombs or fuel tanks under the wing roots. Two versions were proposed – the land based F2G-1 and the carrier based F2G-2, which had hydraulically folded wings and arrester hooks.

The new aircraft was technically a great success. It could reach a speed of over 450 mph, fast enough to intercept the Japanese kamikaze aircraft at a safer distance from the carriers. However, before the F2G could enter full production it became clear that the war was coming to an end. Only 10 production aircraft (apparently five of each type) were completed before the order was cancelled.

After the war, several people bought some corsairs for around $1500 a piece. They were used in the Cleveland Air races in the late forties. Only three of the "Super" Corsairs are still in existence:

The first production F2G-1 "Super" Corsair (BuNo 88454), was acquired from the Marine Corps by the Champlin Fighter Museum, and later came to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, with the rest of the Champlin collection.

This particular aircraft  (BuNo 88458), the fifth F2G-1 built, was purchased by Cook Cleland. Cook never raced this plane, his flight instructor flew it, Ben Mc Killian, who went on to finish third in the 1949 Thompson Trophy Race and won the Tinnerman Trophy in 1949; it was the last time it flew. During the 1949 race, Cook flew his #94 to first place in the Thompson, a 300 mile race at almost 400 mph.  Race 57 is really BuNu 88458, how ever carries the sn 88457 from Cooks race #84, which Tony was killed in. That is because 88458 was purchased for parts only and not to fly. Cook just decided to use all the parts at the same time and not separate them first, Cook was always joking.

Over time, the plane, registered as NX5588N, went from owner to owner and slowly deteriorated. In 1995, Bob Odegaard found this airplane and quickly made arrangements to purchase it and brought it up to his shop, Odegaard Aviation in Kindred, ND. There they restored it back to airworthy condition, in its original racing colors, and flew it again in 1999, 50 years since it last flew. The aircraft was a winner at the 1999 Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage International, is a regular unlimited racer at the Reno National Championship Air Races and was also featured in the movie Thunder Over Reno.

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