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Vought O2U
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observer / scout
P&W R-1690
600 h.p.
3,300 lbs.
4,765 lbs.
500 lbs.
3 x .30 cal.
27' 6"
36' 0"
135 mph
167 mph
1,900 fpm
18,600 feet
680 miles

The Vought O2U, named the Corsair, was a biplane designed in response to a 1925 United States Navy request for a single engine observation aircraft that could withstand the rigors of ship board use.

The Vought O2U made use of the then new Pratt & Whitney nine cylinder radial engine. It proved to be more rugged and dependable than existing in-line engines of the time. When first introduced it powered the Corsair biplane to a higher speed and ceiling than any other single engine fighter aircraft of its day.

The Vought O2U became the primary observation / scout aircraft of the United States Navy between World War I and World War II. The observation line of aircraft were designated Vought O2U while the scouts were designated SU-1 through SU-4.

When equipped with wheels, the Vought O2U served on board the aircraft carriers of the Navy. It was equipped with floats to serve on board Navy battleships and cruisers. On those vessels it was launched by catapult. Landings were in the sea. It was retrieved on board the vessels by cranes.

In addition to the Navy, the Vought O2U also served with United States Marine Corps as a scout and light attack aircraft and the United States Coast Guard as a training aircraft.

Through the years Vought O2U received improvements. Engine power was increased. Aircraft were made more streamlined with enclosed cylinder heads and wheel pants. Early versions of the aircraft were limited to ordnance weighing no more than 50 lbs. under each wing. Later versions were capable of carrying up to a 500 lb. bomb under the fuselage.

In 1928 the Vought O2U saw action with the USMC in Nicaragua against insurgents.

Vought O2U biplanes were exported to Peru where they were initially used as training aircraft. Later, in 1929, they were used against government rebels. In 1932 the aircraft were used as bombers to attack Colombian vessels.

The Vought O2U was used by Mexico in 1929 against anti government rebel forces.

During World War II, Chinese Vought O2U biplanes were used as bombers against invading Japanese forces.

Vought O2U aircraft were also exported to Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and Peru.

Although the Vought O2U was first deployed in 1926, the aircraft was still active with the Navy at the start of World War II in 1941.

A total of 580 Vought O2U aircraft of all types were produced.

A Vought O2U from Bob Dively Models.

The picture right above is of the rc Vought O2U from Bob Dively Models. Its wingspan is 72" and construction materials are balsa and ply. For power you will need from 1.2 to 2.0 engines. Although not currently in production, these models are sometimes found for sale on eBay.

The first picture below is of a rc Vought O2U from a kit for sale from Kit Cutters produced from Dick Katz plans. Wingspan is 50" and length is 38 1/2". Engines can be from .40 to .45 two cycle or from .50 to .60 four cycle. Plans are also available separately.

Pictured next is the rc Vought O2U built from enlarged Cleveland Model plans. It has a wingspan of 46" with a length of 36" and is powered by a AXI 2814/16 motor.

The last picture on this page is of a Esoteric Models rc Vought O2U with floats. We do not have any other details about the model.

You can find scale drawings for a Vought O2U at Free Model Aircraft.

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Kit Cutters rc Vought O2U.

RC Vought O2U from Cleveland plans.

Esoteric Models rc Vought O2U on floats.