F4U-1D "D-Hog"

Discussion in 'Fighter Tactics' started by Waystin2, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. Waystin2

    Waystin2 Administrator
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    Overview

    I hate making a plane sound like less than it is but the D-Hog is basically a C-Hog that has been neutered by replacing the 20mm cannons with .50cals. That's not to say that it is a poor plane though, it's not and has all the other strengths/weaknesses of the other corsairs, but after flying a C-Hog a bit the D-Hog can be a bit of a downer. The D-Hog is a bit of a disappointment in some ways though as it most closely compares to the F4U-1 which in most areas is slightly superior in most respects. Still, the D-Hog carries a fair following and used properly it can be very effective and fun to fly.

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    F4U-D
    To be successful

    Use all the same tactics as the other corsairs, just try and disguise the fact you aren't a C-Hog until you get a pass or two in. The big white arrow on the wing and yellow nose cowl gives it away pretty quickly once the enemy notices but there is a good chance that they will try and respect you like a C-Hog until they realise you aren't and thus make more extreme defensive measures to ensure you don't get a shot (and maybe give up more position than they need to).


    Corsairs love speed and the D-Hog is no different. Speed really helps them demonstrate their maneuverability and makes them dangerous. The F4U-D is an excellent turner at high speed and has maneuver flaps that can be used briefly to increase the turn rate even more at the cost of additional drag. Turn rate at lower speeds is also good, and intelligent use of flaps can help you get temporary increases. The main concern with any Corsair though is that they all exhibit the same violent stall properties. At high angles of attack or at slow speeds a stall may have little warning and be extremely violent. Recovery at low altitudes is unlikely and even at high altitudes the extreme nature of the spin may preclude you from regaining control. I've had Corsairs plummet more than 15K to the ground, never regaining control, and I know I'm not the only one. Slow turn-fighting near the ground is about the most dangerous thing you can do in a corsair. The D-Hog is slightly lighter than the C-Hog but heavier than the F4U-1. In comparison the D-Hog feels almost exactly like the C-Hog.

    The firepower of the D-Hog is the typical six .50s of most corsair models. The guns have lots of ammo and excellent ballistic properties so typically you can hit, and hit hard, with shots at longer ranges or more extreme angles than with other weapons. It is fine to take medium (D500) or long range (D800) shots against bogies if they present you the opportunity by flying straight and level. While lots of people set short convergence on their guns I tend to set it longer on planes with closely packed guns in the wing, often out to D500 in a plane like the F4U-D. Snapshot are fine, the six guns will inflict serious damage in brief bursts, so don't be afraid to shoot at planes at high deflection and medium ranges. Even some prospect firing is typical in a corsair, throwing bullets into an area where the enemy will fly and hope he runs into them.

    The F4U-D has about average speed at most altitudes though you typically will want to have a little altitude advantage over the enemy bogies and then use the excellent dive and roll to effectively BnZ enemy aircraft. The Corsairs, except the F4U-4, all share the same icon so bogies might tend to give you a little more room thinking you are a F4U-C. After the first merge though the enemy is going to know what you are and possibly fly differently. Dive on bogies, use your roll rate to change angles and set the proper lead to get snapshots. Tracking, even brief, shots are better but sometimes they require more setup or put you at additional risk. Typically you will find that a good solid close range snapshot is going to give you results, maybe not instant kills, but you put enough lead into the bogie to cause him problems (and likely damage).

    The Corsairs all hide speed well and thus bogies often have difficulty reading a corsairs energy level accurately. Many sneaky pilots will dive just out of obvious range of a fight in order to build up excess speed and store that E when entering the fight at super high speeds (550mph or more). It's easy for an opponent to mis-judge your E state and then find themselves committed to a battle in which they cannot dictate the fight. Corsairs also don't generate energy well with poor acceleration and climb rates. This is another reason to build up your E as much as possible and enter the fight with excess.

    Overloading your corsair is not usually a good idea as they are already pretty heavy aircraft and extra weight just makes them handle worse. For air-to-air sorties the F4U-D pretty much needs full fuel, the internal tanks are not terribly large and only provide 28 minutes of endurance at military power, time on WEP will seriously cut into this even more. A drop tank is advisable if you want to take less than full internal fuel and it's best to restrict WEP usage to combat or to where you are burning fuel off your drop tank. Without a droptank and using a WEP climb to speed yourself to altitude you may find you use almost 1/3 of your fuel before you even get near the combat area.

    If you need to escape you can attempt to dive away from poor divers although the Corsair doesn't have great acceleration. You may have more luck simply diving in order to get to extreme speeds where you can probably change directions faster than your opponent and then extend in a safe direction. Low speed maneuvering is also an option against a poor-maneuvering targets but is complicated by the dangerous stall possibilities.

    One last note, be very careful of the ground and landing properties of the Corsairs. They all have the tendency to want to get away from you and ground loop. Land gently at lower speeds, get the tail on the ground and then gently use brakes to slow yourself. Aggressive and hot landings with instant brake usage tend to increase the likelihood of an uncontrollable ground loop and crash.

    Hide your E. The Corsairs all have this property that at high speeds it is difficult to judge their energy state from an enemy plane. They hold energy so well (because of their heavy mass) that you can often completely fool someone into thinking you are more helpless than you are. Get some altitude away from the battle, the Corsair is not a good climber even in this uprated form (from the standard F4U-1). Once there, get near the battle and slightly above (only 1-2K is fine). Nose over in a 0G dive and pick up speed, you want to come into the fight at 500mph or maybe more. Select a target, fly a collision course and when you think you can't miss, pull the trigger. You can use the roll rate to adjust your course with great accuracy at these extreme speeds. If you get in trouble, dive away to even more extreme speeds (550+) and roll to try and shake the enemy plane, most enemies will have locked up their controls while you still have almost complete maneuverability.

    To beat it

    Identify the D-Hog early and don't get as extreme in defense as you might with the C-Hog. The D-Hog still demands repect but is probably the weakest opponent of the corsairs. You are less likely when facing a D-Hog to get yourself into trouble that will be instantly fatal (though the D-Hog can still deal out a lick'n if you're not careful).

    The most dangerous Corsair is the one above you, not the one below you. If you are attacking Corsairs you want to do it from a position of equal energy and/or altitude. A favorite tactic of Corsair drivers is to trick you by hiding energy and then have you find out too late that you are in a position of disadvantage. Watch for Corsairs that come in extremely fast or seem to be able to zoom in from below you and climb thousands of feet almost instantly, this is an enemy that is hiding energy with speed. The Corsair doesn't climb or accelerate well for energy they lose is generally gone until after the engagement is completed.
     
  2. Waystin2

    Waystin2 Administrator
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    You need to decide whether you want to energy fight or turn-fight a Corsair when you meet one. Typically this is decided by what you are flying and your energy state at the time of projected merge. The Corsairs can all be out-turned at lower speeds by decent turn-fighters but in some instances it won't be easy. Even if you don't out-turn one directly they will often fall into bad stalls and lose control, giving up excellent positions to land hits while they struggle to recover. This tends to be even more likely with inexperienced Corsair pilots for which you should be aggressive in trying to force them to stall fight. A stalled corsair should be a sure kill.


    If you want to energy fight one, be careful since they tend to hold energy well but can't replace what they lose. Try to get the enemy to aggressively maneuver with lead style turning while you take a less energy burning lag type pursuit. Extend if you need too but don't count on diving to extend since the corsairs all have excellent dive properties. Use the vertical if you can and exploit any energy building advantage your plane may have (climb rate, acceleration) to narrow any energy gap and then extend it in your favor. Once you have an E advantage the corsair is likely to try and dive away at which time you can decide whether to pursue or to maintain position and simply force him away. Energy fighting a C-Hog is just a little more dangerous as the potentially lethal area infront of it is larger so your energy tactics need to leave more seperation to defeat snapshots or spray'n'pray type tactics.


    Don't Head-On attack a Corsair, you typically won't know until too late whether you are facing a F4U-1, a C-Hog or D-Hog. The D-Hog may not have the firepower of the C-Hog but it still has more than enough to get the job done and is tough enough that regardless of the amount of damage you do in return it might still limp back home.
     

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