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Hey Buddy - Can You Spare $ 1,000,000?

by John M. White |

Craig McBurney of Connecticut has a dream - to rebuild a World War II Corsair Navy fighter airplane. McBurney, who at the age of 47, was a gunner in the USAF and got his private pilot's license while in the Air Force. He has always been in love with that unique, bent-wing airplane, the Chance-Vought Corsair, and I have shared that passion with him. I owned my own aviation insurance agency for over 30 years, and when I built new offices in 2002 the centerpiece of the entryway was a model of the Corsair. You can see a picture of that model here on the right:
FG1-D Model Corsair But I never got the chance to gather all of the requisite parts and build a real one - but McBurney does! Since 1991 McBurney has been collecting parts for the Corsair, and estimates he has spent over $ 500,000 of his own money on this project. In 2000 he started putting together the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine at the P&W Museum in East Hartford, CT. As with most hobbies McBurney has collected a lot of stuff, and has several warehouses and a hangar full of parts from 10 Corsairs. So far the group, aptly named the Connecticut Corsair has assembled the engine and the main wing spar. The fuselage and wing parts are being rebuilt with the help of local businesses, and the final aircraft will resemble #97330 from which he has garnered parts and has vintage photos of. To bring attention to their project they built a 7 foot model of the aircraft and it was displayed this past June at the Paris Air Show. So, if you happen to have a $mil or two looking for something to do you might want to give McBurney and crew a call. See a Corsair in action: Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7

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