Andrews, NC, hasn’t had an airshow for very many years. Sept 24 it finally returned. But I was doing priest stuff. On my way back on the highway I saw that, unless you were there from way before it started, there was no way to get anywhere near the airport. What I wanted to see up close was the F4U Corsair, a fighter-attack gull-wing. No chance of that. However, Guardian Angel at work, a Corsair was banking high above the highway as I passed under. Then, pulling off into a parking lot in town, that same corsair was turning back to the airport just overhead. That’s it in the picture above, right on top of me.
This reminds me of dad razing the roof of the house on a number of occasions in the early 1960s. I felt as if I could almost touch the plane if I reached high enough. I waved. The wings of the plane waved back. Not knowing aerodynamics as a little kid, I thought the air under the wings would push down on me as the plane passed above. Pictured is the early version, with a smaller, three-blade propeller. Later, there would be a four-blade propeller sixteen feet in diameter with a series of gatling guns in both wings, a kind of precursor to the A-10 Warthog. Here’s dad, with his back to you, to your right at the inside folded elbow of the wing:
This was, perhaps, the most impossible plane to land on an aircraft carrier. I had heard of the left-wing-drop previously, but this guy gives some real clarity on it. It’s faults in design like this that the best of the best know how to use in combat to their advantage.
In that aircraft carrier picture and in the thumbnail of the video above, you can see the checkerboard pattern. Dad was commander of the Checkerboarders. Sorry, but this put me in nostalgia mode.
By the way, speaking of using weaknesses to one’s advantage, have you never heard that the effects of original sin, and whatever of our own rubbish sin, weakness of mind and will, fallen emotions being tempted not to follow upon but to wildly highjack what is, then, no longer reason, all of this having us be open to being the victims of violence and aggression of all kinds, sickness and death…. have you never heard of all this described as the cross by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that we are not to suppress such a cross, but we are rather to recognize it, pick it up, carry it daily until we die, but all the while following Him, all to the end of knowing more clearly, literally excruciatingly, why it is that He came to save us, and that only He can save us, taking our place, Innocent for the guilty, so that He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, so that, in that grace, we die to ourselves to live for Him, all the while being assisted in growth in sanctity by this cross which we all carry? That cross, which we learn to embrace, makes for blazing clarity. Yikes! But all things work for the good of those who, by the grace of God, love God.
In summary: if you think there’s a weakness in your plane, use it to your advantage, and fly to the heavens.
2 responses to “Andrews Air Show & five things you never knew about the F4U Corsair”
Please…keep reminding us…only Jesus – not my knowledge, not my status in the world, not “my” beliefs. Jesus. And his dear Mother who reminds us “Do whatever He tells you”.
I am sure I do not speak only for myself when I say your stories (parables) help me grow to love God with all my heart.
nancyv speaks for me! Thanks be to God.