The United Aircraft Corporation began work on the fighter, the Vought Corsair in 1938. The designer, Tex B. Beisel, used the most powerful engine available, the 2,000 hp Pratt & Witney X-R2800 Double Wasp 18-cylinder radial.
Vought Corsair test flights were highly impressive and on 1st October, 1940, it became the first American fighter to reach a speed of 400 mph (643 km). Over the next few years a total of 12,571 were produced. As well as the United States Air Force the Royal Air Force also received 2,012 of these aircraft.
The Vought Corsair had a maximum speed of 425 mph (684 km) and had a range of 1,015 miles (1,635 km). It was 33 ft 1 in (4.60 m) long with a wingspan of 41 ft (12.47 m). The aircraft was armed with 6 machine-guns and could carry 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs.
In the Pacific War it downed 2,149 enemy aircraft while only 189 Vought Corsair were lost during 64,051 missions. This kill ratio is the greatest recorded in the history of air warfare.