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News From The State Capital

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Legislation that makes the World War II fighter plane, the F4U Corsair, the state aircraft won unanimous approval in the state House Thursday.

The bill calls for the governor to designate May 29 of each year as Corsair Day to commemorate its first flight. Chief test pilot Lyman Bullard took it in the air for the first time on that day in 1940.

"The Corsair was a tool used to write history, but the real heroes were the men and women that built her, and the men who flew her in combat," said Rep. Roger Michele, D-Bristol.

The aircraft was built entirely in Connecticut by workers at United Aircraft, Pratt and Whitney, Hamilton Standard and Vought-Sikorsky. Lawmakers said the legislation would help honor the workers who helped build it.

"I am old enough that during World War II as a young man, we used to go down to Stratford and watch the Corsairs fly," said Rep. Richard Belden, R-Shelton. "This particular machine was really a flying engine."

The bill has already been approved in the Senate and now heads to the governor's desk for a signature.

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Last modified: September 18, 2012

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