1945 Vought / Goodyear FG-1D Corsair 92460
Our Corsair on display at the annual Sikorsky Family Day in Sikorsky's final assembly hangar.
The Sikorsky Memorial Corsair was originally built by the Goodyear Aircraft Company under license of Chance Vought. She was simply known as BuNo. 92460, built under contract no. 1871, finished in July of 1945. She was accepted by the US Navy on 7/22/45 and delivered on 7/23/45. She saw service with VMF 314 a training squadron.
During the ensuing years she bounced around from Akron, Columbus, Cherry Point, Atlanta, Jacksonville and was eventually mothballed with the majority of the Corsair fleet at NAS Litchfield Park. She was sold off to the El Salvadorian Air Force Where she wore the Number FAS 217 (Fuerza Aérea Salvadoreña Corsair FAS 217). At some point early in her career she was placed in the junkyard. We don’t know exactly happened to cause this as records are non existent.
In 1969 Nick Mainero, Marine Corsair pilot and airport manager of the Sikorsky Memorial Airport, wanted to to get a Corsair back to Stratford to honor the men and women involved with the Corsair's production and flight. Traveling to El Salvador, he negotiated a deal for one of the derelict fighters in their junkyard. Picking the best one, it was eventually shipped to Floyd Bennet Field and then to Bridgeport, CT by being slung underneath an Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane and flown there. The aircraft was cosmetically restored by Romeo A. Lalli and his team before being installed on a concrete pedestal in 1971. Thirty seven years later, time and neglect had taken their toll on the old warbird. Sitting in the salt marsh, the Corsair became a giant battery dissolving itself back to the base elements through galvanic corrosion.
In 2007 serious moves were made to get the old girl down off the pole. Thanks to Doc Gunther & Jerry O’Neill (and members of the Connecticut Air & Space Center) in 2008 she was removed from the pedestal and moved to the Connecticut Air & Space Center for restoration. Due to a large amount of corrosion discovered in the aircraft, plans were made to preserve as much of the original airframe as possible for long term preservation.
A deal was struck with Ezell Aviation, to see the fighter transported in Breckenridge, Texas to have the center-section spar repaired, main landing gear installed, and tail-wheel gear located and installed as well as several smaller issues corrected. This one year trip to Texas saved the restoration team 3-5 years of additional work. On September 8th, 2013 the Corsair was rolled out again on her own landing gear and wheels for the first time in 42 years. On August 30th 2014 her wings were installed, though they are routinely removed for addition work being done. But the job isn't finished yet. We still have years of work ahead of us to restore this aircraft back to static factory-new condition. Please consider donating or volunteering to help the restoration!
Donations are tax deductible and the Connecticut Air & Space is a 501c3 Charitable Non-Profit organization.
Checks can be made to:
The Corsair Restoration Fund, C.A.S.C.
Stratford, CT 06615-1293