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Restoration Project | About Our Airplane

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Connecticut Corsair's Airplane - BuNo 97330 / N5222V

BuNo 97330, a WWII "Survivor", was sent to NAS Litchfield Park, Arizona for storage after being stricken from Navy records.





Connecticut Corsair is restoring to flight a Corsair produced in 1945 by United Aircraft Corporation.  It was designated V-166B, designed by the Vought-Sikorsky Division of United Aircraft and built in its factory in Stratford, Connecticut.  Our aircraft is a late version of the F4U-4, distinguished by its metal wingtips, flat windscreen

First assigned to Aerial Engineering Squadron (AES) 12, at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Quantico, Virginia , 97330 was later sent to Naval Air Station (NAS) Quonset Point for reconditioning and overhaul. After overhaul, 97330 was assigned to US Navy Fighter Squadron 42 (VF-42), the "Green Pawns", and embarked upon CVL-48, USS Saipan.  Here it participated in a combat cruise from 6 March to 8 June 1951 before going back to NAS Quonset Point where, after overhaul was once again embarked upon USS Saipan.  97330 stayed with VF-42 through assignments at NAS Cecil Field, NAS Oceana and NAS Norfolk, being sent two more times for overhaul and reconditioning at NAS Quonset Point.

97330 completed its naval service as a student trainer for the Naval Air Reserve Training Command (NART).  It was moved between NAS Olathe and NAS GrosseIle, sent to NAS San Diego for overhaul and reconditioning and returned to NAS Olathe.  In July of 1956, 97330 was flown to NAS Litchfield Park, Arizona for storage and stricken from US Navy records.

Bob Bean of Arizona purchased 97330 from the US Navy for $917.00 in November of 1957. In 1974, he registered the aircraft as N5222V and sold it to William Barnes, son of Pancho Barnes.  Upon his death in 1982, ownership was transferred to Barnes' wife, Shouling Barnes, who in 1985, sold the aircraft to Jack Erickson of Erickson Air Crane. 

In 1991, 97330 was involved in an accident. The aircraft was purchased by Bootstrap Aircraft in 1993 and registered in 1995. The Corsair is currently being restored in its home state of Connecticut and is a complete ground-up restoration..  

Photos of N97330 prior to its 1991 accident

Above is the Naval history card for N97330.  In the third column entitled "Cont. Cust. Code", the numbers refer to the following:  33-Naval Air Base, Marine Corps; 88-Bureau of Aeronautics, Material and Services; 11-LANT-Atlantic Fleet (Navy); and 50-Naval Air Reserve Training Command.  The "Status" column, the letter codes are as follows (numbers or letters after the initial letter indicate sub status): A-operating; E-awaiting overhaul or reconditioning; D0undergoing overhaul or reconditioning; A1-operating combat (means aircraft is in squadron capable of conducting combat operations; C-enroute to operating service other than ship; F9-enroute to standard work by ship; B-ready for issue witin normal pool requirements; D1-undergoing overhaul; A4-operating, post-student training; S4-awaiting strike, flyable.  
Unfortunately, we have been unable to find the definitions for the "Action Code" designations.

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Last modified: September 18, 2012

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