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Corsair Cockpits F4U-1 Family

Corsair Cockpits F4U-1 Family Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2022 Title Corsair Cockpits F4U-1 Family
Author Dana Bell Publisher Rivet Counter Guides Publications
Published 2022 ISBN 978-0-578-37642-4
Format 72 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $35.00 (plus shipping)


There is a new publisher out there that just published their first title. The publisher is "Rivet Counter Guides Publications" (mouthfull, one (1) each) and their first title released in January is the first in a series of detail guides that walk through some part of a given aircraft series and look at the details and changes that were made during the production life of that aircraft. In this first installment, we're looking into the office(s) of the F4U-1 family which includes the Vought XF4U-1 through F4U-1D, Goodyear FG-1 through FG-1D, and the Brewster F3A-1 and F3A-1A. Did I mention this is detailed?

The author is Dana Bell, retired Techical Information Specialist for the National Air and Space Museum, and aviation researcher, and he's put that expertise to work in this first title. This title a detailed look at the differences between the prototype XF4U-1, production birdcage canopy cockpits, and the subsequent raised cockpit variants, not only covering Vought-produced aircraft, but those of Goodyear and Brewster as well. You can see the step-by-step coverage inside the cockpit from the table of contents:

  • XF4U-1
  • Birdcage canopy
  • Birdcage armor
  • Raised cockpit canopies
  • Gunsights
  • Eyebrows
  • Main panel
  • Rudder pedals
  • Bomb window
  • Joy stick
  • Left console
  • Right console
  • Radios
  • Colors
  • Serial listings

So as you examine each of the cockpit areas above, this title is so detailed that it will tell you which bureau number/contract number that a given change began on the production line. If you're familiar with production blocks, most changes are grouped into a production block, but given availability and revisions by subcontractors during a given production block, changes are also made during a given producton block to facilitate a new radio, new compass, new gunsight, etc., that replaces existing systems in the aircraft. If you have the bureau number of the Corsair that you're modeling, you can literally replicate the cockpit of that aircraft detail by detail as it appeared as it came off the production line. Now that is detailed information!

This title is very well illustrated with excellent quality period photos as well as many good quality illustrations.

You can find a copy of this excellent reference in a variety of locations online including Amazon and eBay. I did have a laugh at the Amazon listing which said the reading age for this title is 99 years and up. I'm not quite that old yet...

My thanks to Dana Bell for the review copy!