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The Flying Bulls - Chance Vought F4U-4 "Corsair"

The flying Masterpiece

The Flying Bulls’ Corsair
The Flying Bulls
The Flying Bulls
07 June 2024

A fighter plane on a peaceful mission

The Corsair F4U-4 of the Flying Bulls – a watchmaker would inevitably refer to it as the masterpiece of his collection – is a particularly demanding aircraft: it requires almost 40 hours of maintenance per flying hour. The average annual fuel consumption is 400 liters per hour, three times as much during take-off. The aircraft is fully aerobatic, but is only flown gently due to its age. However: 4.5 G, i.e. 4.5 times the acceleration due to gravity, is not uncommon on steeper bends, despite all the care taken. The maximum speed of 750 km/h is also rarely reached in order to keep engine wear to a minimum.

The Corsair flown by the Flying Bulls has an eventful history behind it: it was one of around 12,500 examples built and delivered to the US Navy in 1945, but was never used in the war. A few years later, it was sent to Honduras in Central America. It remained in service there until 1965, when it was bought by a Texan millionaire who brought it to the USA for its first major overhaul.

In the following years, the owner rarely flew the aircraft. in 1990, he sold it to Sigi Angerer, the former chief pilot of the Flying Bulls, who was looking for good vintage aircraft out of pure interest at the time – and was able to persuade the millionaire to make a deal on acceptable terms with a great deal of tact and patience. Angerer brought the Corsair to Austria, partly by ship and partly flying it himself, and obtained a license for the aircraft here.

Flying powerhouse – the “Corsair”

The single-seat fighter aircraft is fully capable of aerobatics, as the Flying Bulls pilots prove time and again at numerous air shows in Europe.

The Flying Bulls

The aircraft is equipped with a Pratt & Whitney R 2800 CB-3 18-cylinder twin-star engine, which produces 2,400 hp from 46 liters of displacement. The oil capacity of the engine is 95 liters. What even people who are not so close to aviation notice again and again, and what Sigi Angerer, who died in 2022 at the age of 73, never tired of raving about, is the sound of this engine: brute and yet harmonious.

The restoration took a lot of time and work. Fortunately, the aircraft’s instrumentation was largely preserved in its original state, with the only new features being modern navigation instruments, including ILS, DME and GPS. The second seat behind the pilot was retrofitted. The Corsair was mainly used by the US Navy on aircraft carriers. To take account of the limited space on the carriers, their wings could be folded up.

Corsairs shot down a total of 2,140 enemy aircraft during the Second World War, with 189 of their own losses. The aircraft was even used in the Korean War – where a Corsair pilot managed to shoot down a Russian jet. The mission of the Bulls-Corsair is much more peaceful. It is one of the great attractions of Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport. And at airshows, its display is an absolute highlight.

The Flying Bulls

The Flying Bulls are a crew of aircraft enthusiasts with a passion for rare historic airplanes and helicopters. They cherish and maintain a fleet of the most beautiful and rarest aircraft in history and have unique expertise in the maintenance and restoration of historic aircraft.

The story of the Flying Bulls begins in the 1980s. Sigi Angerer, a pilot for Tyrolean Airways, was flying modern jets for a living at the time, but his love was for historic aircraft. While searching for an affordable warbird, he finally came across a North American T-28B, which he brought to Innsbruck and had restored there.

This was quickly followed by a Grumman G44 Widgeon and finally the legendary Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair. The Corsair brings Angerer together with Dietrich Mateschitz, who recognizes in the extraordinary aircraft an ideal brand ambassador for the claim of his energy drink company: “Red Bull gives wings”. The idea of the Flying Bulls was born.

With the worldwide success of the energy drink, the fleet also grows. As the space at the home airport in Innsbruck was soon no longer sufficient, the concept of building the company’s own hangar at Salzburg Airport matured at the end of the 1990s.

Now the time had also come to bring the previously loose community of pilots and technicians under one roof, which led to the founding of “The Flying Bulls” company in 1999. Since then, the technically and visually perfect aircraft of the Flying Bulls have been welcome airshow participants and an attraction at every type of aviation event.

The Flying Bulls in Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport

The Corsair – the Masterpiece of the Flying Bulls

  • Model: Chance Vought F4U-4 “Corsair”, built in 1945
  • Wingspan: 12.5 m / 41 ft
  • Engine: Pratt & Whitney R 2800 CB-3, 2,400 PS/HP, 46 liter displacement
  • Fuel consumption: approx. 300 l/h, max. 6 hours flight time
  • Maximum speed: 750 km/h / 405 kts
  • Service ceiling: 12,500 m / 41,000 ft
  • Crew: 1 pilot

More information at flyingbulls.at

Fighter plane legends for the wrist

The Corsair Vintage collection from the Slovakian watch manufacturer Biatec

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