What could possibly be better than eleven Corsairs? Why, twelve Corsairs, natch.
The 2019 Thunder Over Michigan airshow featured the largest gathering of F4U Corsairs in decades. Eleven of these rare World War 2 fighters came together for one weekend. This video is a combination of footage from Saturday (all 11 flew) and Sunday (10 flew) and shows scenes from the ramp, the mass start, the simultaneous wing unfold, a mass run-up, lightning takeoffs, formation flybys, individual passes, taxi back, and shut down.
The airshow benefits the Yankee Air Museum, which is based at Willow Run Airport near Detroit, Michigan.
The mass-startup sequence I especially liked; those grumpy old Double Wasp mills just don’t want to wake up, coughing and farting and belching fire out the exhaust stacks until all 18 cylinders finally light up, smooth out, and settle down to serious business. The 2800 cubic-inch Pratt & Whitney 2W was the most powerful radial engine in existence at the time, putting out an honest 2000 horsepower when it was introduced in 1939, which by 1944 had been bumped up to 2800hp in some of the late-model P47 Jugs running the right go-juice in the tanks. I’ve seen Corsairs make high-speed, low-level passes at air shows before, and can assure y’all that the throaty roar of its mighty engine as the beautiful Bent Wing Bird blasts by you is enough to leave any true aviation buff weak in the knees, grinning like a fool, and all swimmy-headed with pure delight.