I love surfing flight sim add-on sites as I always find new toys to play with in my simulator. After discovering sim-outhouse.com and my visit to the Commemorative Air Force, I found a model of the Vought F-4U Corsair that is simply awesome. I grew up watching the Black Sheep Squadron, so the Corsair is special to me. Sometimes referred to as “Whistling Death,” the Corsair was known for its overall superior performance against anything in the air at the time.
In production from 1940 – 1953, it was originally designed for the US Navy, but the Corsair eventually found its true home with the US Marines. Even though its performance was outstanding, the difficulty of controlling it at low speed and poor forward visibility due to its long nose (nicknamed “The Hose Nose”), made it more suited for land-based operations.
The model for Flight Simulator 2004 was developed by Alpha Bleu Ciel and is highly detailed. From the animated canopy, pilot, and landing gear, to the detailed repaints, this one is a winner. The only downfall is that I haven’t seen many repaints for it, but I can’t let that plague this fine model.
The Exterior Model
Well… it looks like a Corsair, a highly detailed Corsair that is. From the decals on the props to the engine cowling to the rivets holding the skin on, the authors left no detail unturned. I especially like the engine, which has spark plug wires, cooling fins, and oil lines. The uniqueness of the old radial engines comes out shining in this model. The gun ports, wings and flaps are not mere rectangles like in FS5. There is simply too much eye candy here to discuss in detail. Overall Rating (1 low 5 best): 5
The cockpit is just as detailed as the exterior model and even includes a pilot. Both a 2D panel and a 3D virtual cockpit are included. Gauges of the era are represented and authentic; no modern GPS here. I prefer to fly in the virtual cockpit as it seems more real to me. This is definitely one “office” that I would love to spend time in. But, with a Japanese Zero on the tail, maybe not… Overall rating: 4
I have only a few hours in a real C172, so I am not the best person to judge flight dynamics. I will say that the Corsair is a powerful, agile plane that is tons of fun to fly. It takes off in a short distance and climbs fast. Its easy to get caught up in the moment and toss it around a little too much, buzz the tower, and make some high speed low passes over the runway.
The Corsair is known for poor handling at low speed. This trait is present in the the FS9 version. Often times when on a low speed approach, I find it hard to keep it centered on the runway. As it turns out the, the Corsair’s port wing tends to stall before the starboard wing, which caused the instability. I guess just keep your speed up and “drop” the bird onto the runway. It will take some practice. Overall rating: 5
Below is a screen shot showing some of the liveries available for this model. Overall, I wish there were more available, covering some of the specific aircraft flown by pilots during its day. However, the Coca Cola livery is fun.
As you can tell, I am very impressed with Alpha Bleu Ciel’s Vought Corsair model for FS9. I think it is one of the best models out there. The exterior model is superb, the cockpit is authentic, and the flight dynamics are impressive. This should be a great addition to everyone’s hangar.
A Reality of My Own Rating: 4.5
Add-on Pack/Fixes: cof4ufix.zip
Authors/Credits: “3D Model, virtual cockpit & textures Guy Hulin. Panel & gauges Jean-Pierre Langer, Arne Bartels. Flight dynamic Jean-Pierre Bourgeois, Benoit Dubé.”
NOTE: This has been updated for FSX. look for it over at simviation