Joe meets Bob Odegaard at Reno Races
While walking around Reno last week we had the pleasure to bump into Bob Odegaard and had a chance to talk with him. He was piloting this fine Supper Corsair in the races and we watched a few different times as the crew maintained and polished this fine machine. I have to say…this is my first time seeing a Super Corsair.
About this Aircraft
F2G-2 Corsair, BuNo. 88463, is better known as “Race 74”. The aircraft was one of four F2G-2 sold by the Navy to Cook Cleland in 1946. Cleland took the aircraft to the Cleveland Air Races where he won the 1947 Thompson Trophy in “Race 74”. When the Cleveland races ended in 1950 Cleland abandoned the all the F2G-2 at their home field in Willoughby, Ohio. “Race 74” was rescued at Willoughby by local aircraft collector Walter Soplata. The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland eventually purchased “Race 74” from Soplata, and sent it to Odegaard Aviation for restoration to static display. When the museum fell on hard times several years ago “Race 74” was sold to Thomas Ungurean of Coshocton, Ohio. Ungurean had “Race 74” sent back to Odegaard Aviation for restoration to flying condition. The aircraft has been finished in its 1949 configuration, appearing in the markings it wore when it was flown by race pilot Dick Becker. The aircraft made its first post-restoration taxi trials on 24 June, 2011, and was expected to appear at AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Ungurean has also stated his intention to take “Race 74” to the Reno Air Races in 2011, although not as a competitor. On 18 July 2011, the aircraft made its first post-restoration flight at Kindred, North Dakota. After encountering engine problems on a following flight, the aircraft is back in restoration awaiting further engine repairs.
Super Corsair Variants Goodyear F2G Corsair
The F2G-1 and F2G-2 were significantly different aircraft, fitted with the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major 4-row 28-cylinder “corncob” radial engine and teardrop (bubble) canopy, as a specialized interceptor against kamikaze attacks. The difference between the -1 and -2 variants was that the -1 featured a manual folding wing and 14 ft (4.3 m) propellers, while the F2G-2 aircraft had hydraulic operated folding wings, 13 ft (4.0 m) propellers and carrier arresting hooks for carrier use. As World War II was drawing to a close, development problems emerged that led to the abandonment of further work on the F2G series. While only 10 were built, several F2Gs went on to racing success after the war, winning the Thompson trophy races in 1947 and 1949. Bob told us that these aircraft were designed for a faster rate of climb verses having a higher top end.
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Photos below courtesy of Todd Allen.. visit him at http://tacairphoto.com/p78640921