observer / scout
3 x .30 cal.
27 ft. 6 in.
The Vought O2U Corsair was a biplane designed in response to a 1925 United States Navy request for a single engine observation aircraft that could withstand the rigors of ship board use.
The Vought O2U Corsair made use of the then new Pratt & Whitney nine cylinder radial engine. It proved to be more rugged and dependable than existing in-line engines of the time. When first introduced it powered the Corsair biplane to a higher speed and ceiling than any other single engine fighter aircraft of its day.
The Vought O2U Corsair became the primary observation / scout aircraft of the United States Navy between World War I and World War II. The observation line of aircraft were designated O2U while the scouts were designated SU-1 through SU-4.
When equipped with wheels, the Vought O2U Corsair served on board the aircraft carriers of the Navy. It was equipped with floats to serve on board Navy battleships and cruisers. On those vessels it was launched by catapult. Landings were in the sea. It was retrieved on board the vessels by cranes.
In addition to the Navy, the Vought O2U Corsair also served with United States Marine Corps as a scout and light attack aircraft and the United States Coast Guard as a training aircraft.
Through the years Vought O2U Corsair received improvements. Engine power was increased. Aircraft were made more streamlined with enclosed cylinder heads and wheel pants. Early versions of the aircraft were limited to ordnance weighing no more than 50 lbs. under each wing. Later versions were capable of carrying up to a 500 lb. bomb under the fuselage.
In 1928 the Vought O2U Corsair saw action with the U. S. Marine Corps in Nicaragua against insurgents.
Vought O2U Corsair biplanes were exported to Peru where they were initially used as training aircraft. Later, in 1929, they were used against government rebels. In 1932 the aircraft were used as bombers to attack Colombian vessels.
The Vought O2U Corsair was used by Mexico in 1929 against anti government rebel forces.
During World War II, Chinese Vought O2U Corsair biplanes were used as bombers against invading Japanese forces.
Vought O2U Corsair aircraft were also exported to Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and Peru.
Although the Vought O2U Corsair was first deployed in 1926, the aircraft was still active with the Navy at the start of World War II in 1941.
A total of some 580 Vought O2U Corsair aircraft of all types were produced.
RC Vought O2U Corsair