Vought FU-1


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Vought FU-1

In May 1922, the former Lewis and Vought Corporation was reorganised as the Chance Vought Corporation and the first product of the company under its new appellation was the UO-1 catapult-launched two-seat observation floatplane. In 1926, two promising catapult fighter designs were being developed by Boeing (XF3B-1) and Curtiss (XF7C-1), but, as production deliveries of these were some distance in the future, in June 1926, the US Naval Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) ordered for interim use aboard the catapults of US Navy capital vessels a single-seat fighter variant of the two-seater as the UO-3. In October 1926, the designation of this interim fighter, of which 20 had been ordered, was changed to FU-1, and by April 1927 all had been delivered. The FU-1 was a fabric-covered two-bay biplane of wood and steel-tube construction powered by a Wright J-5 (R-790) Whirlwind radial with an integral supercharger and rated at 220hp. By comparison with the UO-1, structural strength was increased to permit unlimited aerobatics and diving speeds of up to 322km/h, and standard fighter armament of two 7.62mm cowl guns was fitted. Provision was made for interchangeable wheel and float undercarriages.

From October 1927 to June 1928, 12 of the FU-1s were embarked aboard the battleships of the Battle Fleet. They were subsequently fitted with wheel undercarriages and were shore-based for three months until replaced by Boeing F3B-1s, all 20 having been converted to two-seat deck-landing trainers by the end of 1928 under the designation FU-2.

Vought FU-1A three-view drawing (1280 x 914)

  Take-off weight1258 kg2773 lb
  Empty weight941 kg2075 lb
  Wingspan10.46 m34 ft 4 in
  Length8.65 m28 ft 5 in
  Height3.10 m10 ft 2 in
  Wing area26.94 m2289.98 sq ft
  Max. speed232 km/h144 mph
  Range660 km410 miles

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