WI: USAAF adopts F4U Corsair or F6F Hellcat for long range bomber escort missions?

Yes, large, un-sealed ferry tanks are a greater risk of fire, but there is an easy solution.
Fuel fumes (ullage) is far more flamable than avgas, so purge ullage with fresh air, or pump in so much carbon-monoxide (engine exhaust gases) that ullage is no longer flammable.
 
Ironically, the leading edge tanks on early Corsairs were just as you describe, purged with CO2 actually. Still those were 'deleted'.
La/LaGG fighters also used CO2 purge, the surce of CO2 being cooled exhaust gasses.
 
There was a thread on this board awhile ago about the USAAF going with long range fighters earlier in 1942-early 1943. The Corsair would have been a good off the shelf choice because it had the range and the Navy had already assigned it to shore duty with the Marines.
The F4U could be a stop-gap fighter until enough Mustangs are available for the Eighth Air Force. The Corsair begins replacing P-38s in the Eighth. The Ninth Air Force becomes a complete Thunderbolt organization?
I wonder if the Corsair would be better suited for duty in Italy? It would allow for more Mustangs to be sent to England.
 
The problem the F4U has is its power, top speed, and rate of climb tail off sharply above 23,000ft, once the blower's high speed critical altitude is reached. The P-47 keeps getting faster until 28,000ft (31k ft for the P-47D @ 435mph). At approximately 27,500ft the P47C is 40mph faster then the F4U. If the bombers you are escorting are at 25,000ft, you need more performance above that altitude then below it to give you better performance against enemy fighters above the bombers. At that altitude the P-51 has an extra 20mph. At that altitude the FW190 A-5 is faster then the F4U, but not either of the other planes.
 
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There was a thread on this board awhile ago about the USAAF going with long range fighters earlier in 1942-early 1943. The Corsair would have been a good off the shelf choice because it had the range and the Navy had already assigned it to shore duty with the Marines.
The F4U could be a stop-gap fighter until enough Mustangs are available for the Eighth Air Force. The Corsair begins replacing P-38s in the Eighth. The Ninth Air Force becomes a complete Thunderbolt organization?
I wonder if the Corsair would be better suited for duty in Italy? It would allow for more Mustangs to be sent to England.
Corsair would've been suited for any fighter job. Add a drop tank and early F4U-1 can do a 370-400 mile escort radius - more than enough to cover B-17s flying against any target in Ruhr, and then some. Add a protected internal tank and a another drop tank and it can do 500+ mile escort.
We even can have a scenario where USAAF is strictly against buying the USN-spec aircraft - have RAF use it for ETO duties.

The problem the F4U has is its power, top speed, and rate of climb tail off sharply above 23,000ft, once the blower's high speed critical altitude is reached. The P-47 keeps getting faster until 28,000ft (31k ft for the P-47D @ 435mph). At approximately 27,500ft the P47C is 40mph faster then the F4U. If the bombers you are escorting are at 25,000ft, you need more performance above that altitude then below it to give you better performance against enemy fighters above the bombers. At that altitude the P-51 has an extra 20mph. At that altitude the FW190 A-5 is faster then the F4U, but not either of the other planes.
Granted, P-47 offers better performacnce above 25000 ft. However, F4U is not against P-47, but against Fw 190A-3 to A-6 in 1943, and against Bf 109G-6 and earlier, with a restricted DB 605A in best part of 1943. At 25000 ft, the F4U-1 can do 380-400 mph, vs. the Fw 190A-5 doing ~390 mph (A-3 will be a bit faster, the A-6 a bit slower than that). Let's recall that on Fw 190A-3 to A-8 blower's high speed critical altitude is at ~18700 ft.
 
I read that the P47 cost more to produce than the Mustang.
About two times more expensive than Mustang.

With two 165 gallon tanks the P-47 had a tactical radius of 600miles.
Yes, if it was the D-25 and later ( a.k.a. the 'bubbletop') since those received the enlarged main fuel tank, now of 270 gals capacity vs. 205 gals. Total internal fuel went to 370 gals vs. 305, that bought extra 150 mile radius vs. the 'razorback' versions.
 
Which the US Navy proved incapable of doing...
Not really. The USN had two fighters under contract that were being delivered in volume. Both met the performance criteria The F6F had better deck handling characteristics. SO they assigned the F6F to (generally carrier based) Navy squadrons and the F4U to the (generally shore based) Marine squadrons. There were some F4Us assigned to Navy units (VF-17 and later some nightfighter units) and worked out the decklanding issues.

The primary reason for the decision to send the F6F to the Navy and the F4U to the Marines was to simplify the maintenance and spares pipeline.

As far as the British 'solving' the decklanding issues, except for the first 95 aircraft they received with the 'birdcage' canopy their aircraft were F4U-1A and later which had the 'blown' canopy and other modifications which were instituted after the problems encountered in the early decklanding trials and in the initial British use of the aircraft. The British did use a different approach which American Corsair units adopted. So the successful adaptation of the Corsair for carrier use was the result of both American and British efforts to make it work. But the primary use of the Corsair by the Marines was due to a logistical decision made by the Navy as much as anything else.
 
Not really. The USN had two fighters under contract that were being delivered in volume. Both met the performance criteria The F6F had better deck handling characteristics. SO they assigned the F6F to (generally carrier based) Navy squadrons and the F4U to the (generally shore based) Marine squadrons. There were some F4Us assigned to Navy units (VF-17 and later some nightfighter units) and worked out the decklanding issues.

The primary reason for the decision to send the F6F to the Navy and the F4U to the Marines was to simplify the maintenance and spares pipeline.

As far as the British 'solving' the decklanding issues, except for the first 95 aircraft they received with the 'birdcage' canopy their aircraft were F4U-1A and later which had the 'blown' canopy and other modifications which were instituted after the problems encountered in the early decklanding trials and in the initial British use of the aircraft. The British did use a different approach which American Corsair units adopted. So the successful adaptation of the Corsair for carrier use was the result of both American and British efforts to make it work. But the primary use of the Corsair by the Marines was due to a logistical decision made by the Navy as much as anything else.
As far as I know, they solved the "bounce" that was unacceptable to the US Navy. The Royal Navy did that, without US Navy help, as far as I know.
 
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F4U probably isn't going to work without major modifications just based on range (combat range is just over 500km). F6F-5 is closer to 1500km combat range but will be introduced close to or after the P-51D. F6F-3s are operational in February 1943 but lacks the war emergency power and is slower than its successor, plus they have those little windows behind the cockpit in early versions that get taken out shortly after introduction.
 
What if the FAA decided to field test it’s new Corsairs and Hellcats by having them fly some combat missions with RAF costal Command from Great Britain for example? Maybe American fighter pilots and more importantly Ira Eaker hears good reports about their range. Eaker asks for Corsairs or Hellcats.
Another scenario:
What if Grumman develops a single engine long range fighter instead of going towards the F7 Tigercat? Basically what if Grumman makes a dedicated land version of the Hellcat as a competitor to the Corsair? The reason being that Grumman hoped to supply all Navy and Marine Fighter squadrons. What if Grumman offered it’s land-based Hellcat to the USAAF in the Pacific to replace P-39
and P-40s? Instead of going to the Pacific the USAAF Hellcat goes to the 8th Air Force
 
Basically what if Grumman makes a dedicated land version of the Hellcat as a competitor to the Corsair? The reason being that Grumman hoped to supply all Navy and Marine Fighter squadrons. What if Grumman offered it’s land-based Hellcat to the USAAF in the Pacific to replace P-39
and P-40s? Instead of going to the Pacific the USAAF Hellcat goes to the 8th Air Force
The Corsair was not planned as a land based fighter for the Marines. It was planned as another shipboard fighter. The U.S. had the luxury of building multiple designs that were proposed for similar roles to be produced allowing insurance in case one of the designs had a problem.
Grumman was busy enough with the F4F, F6F, and TBF that working up a landbased version forr the Army would have drawn resources away from the programs the Navy considered priority. Then you get into the 'soft' issues. The Army had their preferred suppliers and the Navy had theirs. There was some cross pollination in larger aircraft but in fighters there was very little overlap.
This all avoids the big problem that the F6F and early versions of the F4U did not have the altitude capability that the P-51 and P-47 did.
 
As far as I know, they solved the "bounce" that was unacceptable to the US Navy. The Royal Navy did that, without US Navy help, as far as I know.
The RN clipped the wingtips of Corsairs to allow them to fit into the hangars, which increased their sink rate on approach as a byproduct and it was this which cured the bounce. The other RN thing was the curved approach to the carrier, as opposed to the USN straight approach, this allowed RN pilots to see the carrier off to one side over the dip in the wing which was another happy accident.
 
The RN clipped the wingtips of Corsairs to allow them to fit into the hangars, which increased their sink rate on approach as a byproduct and it was this which cured the bounce. The other RN thing was the curved approach to the carrier, as opposed to the USN straight approach, this allowed RN pilots to see the carrier off to one side over the dip in the wing which was another happy accident.
That was no accident. The RN developed the curved approach after adopting the Seafire to sea board use. Both those things you name though, cured the bounce, thank 'ee.
 
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