Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Corsair on the Move

Connecticut World War Two Fighter restoration project takes a major step forward.
The Sikorsky Memorial Corsair is making a huge leap on its path to resurrection by taking a journey to Ezell Aviation War Bird Restorers in Breckinridge, Texas.  As the result of the collaboration with Ezell Aviation and The Connecticut Air and Space Center, this journey will accomplish two goals.  The first is to help another historic Corsair aircraft, a Brewster F3A, come back to its original glory, and to the air.  The second is to knock up to 2 years of restoration work off of the Stratford FG1-D that would have been expensive, significant, lengthy and difficult to accomplish without this amazing and vital alliance.

Thanks to a chance meeting between the Sikorsky Memorial Corsair Restoration Director, Drew King and Massachusetts Corsair enthusiast Matt Hudak, a friendship and understanding was formed with Chad Ezell of Ezell Aviation War Bird Restorers. At the time Ezell took on the project of the Brewster Corsair restoration they were in need of an airframe to make a construction assembly jig. This equipment is custom built to a specific aircraft, and as it turned out, the Sikorsky Memorial Corsair was at a point of disassembly that could serve as this pattern.

The damage to the curved aluminum Wingspar of the Sikorsky Corsair, forming the famous Corsair silhouette, is extensive from the corrosion caused by 37 years on it’s post standing guard outside the entrance to Sikorsky Memorial Airport but has not compromised its ability to serve as a pattern.  The other major sections of the aircraft, also in varying degrees of degradation, will also serve as patterns and models with which Ezell Aviation can advance their efforts to bring to life another significant piece of Corsair history by restoring the Brewster F3A back to the airworthy condition for all to see.

While in Texas, the collaboration will involve the Sikorsky FG1-D being used to build manufacturing frame jigs but will also involve being repaired by Ezell Aviation’s crew with the assistance of several members of the Connecticut Air and Space Center’s team of restoration specialists. This work represents a major advance in this project and eventual presentation back to the people of Connecticut as a historically accurate static representation of this very special aircraft.  On Memorial Day, 29 May 2006, the Corsair was named the official aircraft of Connecticut in legislation sponsored by state senator George “Doc” Gunther and although no attempt will be made to make the Sikorsky Memorial Corsair airworthy, she will be displayed in a proper and honorable environment here in the State of Connecticut serving as a reminder, testament and homage to those who built, flew and died in these airplanes in the service of our country. 

The Chance Vought-Sikorsky F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft built in Stratford, CT. The Corsair saw service primarily in World War II and during the Korean War as a ground support and night fighter. The Japanese allegedly nicknamed the Corsair “Whistling Death”, for the noise made by airflow through the wing root-mounted oil cooler air intakes and had great respect for its capabilities.  Demand for the aircraft overwhelmed Vought’s manufacturing capability, resulting in production by Goodyear and Brewster Aeronautical Corporation: Goodyear-built Corsairs were designated FG and Brewster-built aircraft were known as F3A.  Of the Corsairs built and few remaining, the F3A is a rare find and the Connecticut Air and Space Center is honored to be a small part of Ezell’s efforts to rebuild her.

For more information, pictures and video, check out the restoration on:  www.SikorskyMemorialCorsair.org and http://www.ezellaviation.com

About the Connecticut Air and Space Center
The Connecticut Air and Space Center was founded by George “Doc” Gunther in 1998 after the closing of the Stratford Army Engine Plant, in Stratford, Connecticut. Currently the Connecticut Air and Space Center occupies buildings 6 and 53 at the former Stratford Army Engine Plant complex.
The Connecticut Air and Space Center is a non-profit 501c(3) charity.  The mission of the CASC is to Honor, Preserve and Educate the story of aviation and technology throughout the State of Connecticut.
About Ezell Aviation
Ezell Aviation is based in Breckenridge, Texas and has been in the aircraft restoration business for 20 years. They are experts in the Warbird Restoration industry with over 20 flying restorations to date in museums and private collections. The company’s specialty and main work flow has been. since its origin. WW II and post war aircraft. The majority of the company’s restorations have been to bring the aircraft back to flying or airworthy conditions.
Contact: Andrew King
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