Heller F4U-7 in 1/48
Presented for review: Aéronavale F4U-7 F.14.9, USN Bureau No 133690, by Heller, in 1/48. As noted in many French F4U articles, the black and yellow ID stripes were for ‘Operation Musketeer’, aka the Suez Crisis of 1956.
Heller did very few 1/48 propeller airplanes, instead concentrating on jets and helicopters in that scale. I have always loved Heller kits, and grew up making many of their 1/72 scale kits, where their selection is much more varied.
I believe Heller’s decision to do a 1/48 F4U-7 likely indicates how important this aircraft was to French post-WW2 naval aviation development (recommend Tom Cleaver iModeler articles for detailed histories). This aircraft is extremely ‘bad-a*s’, and I wanted to capture that feel in this model, despite the relative shortage of detail (for this scale). I also wanted to pay tribute to this airplane, and Heller’s good judgment to offer this kit, along with the closely related Vought AU-1. Heller knew the demand for this model would be noteworthy, especially in France.
The French F4U-7s were a fitting end for the Corsair line, and were replaced by Vought F-8E Crusaders in Aéronavale service in 1964. The Corsair’s great attributes allowed the French Navy to skip past second generation jets and proceed directly to Vought’s first supersonic jet fighter, which made excellent sense for a country still recovering from the ravages of WW2, and the German occupation.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.