The Vought F4U Corsair edged out the Piper J-3 Cub by 144 votes April 7 to be dubbed the 2015 champion of AOPA’s Best Aircraft Showdown, brought to you by Aero-Space Reports.
AOPA members nominated their favorite aircraft for the bracket-style competition, with those receiving the most nominations becoming part of the 64 that had a shot at the title. During three weeks of voting, members narrowed the field that ranged from warbird workhorses to modern-day general aviation aircraft. The semifinal round, Four on Final, featured three warbirds—the Supermarine Spitfire, B-17 Flying Fortress, and Vought F4U Corsair—and the GA classic Piper J-3 Cub, which marked its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2012.
The Cub’s loyal fans advanced it to the finals and put up a good fight against the Corsair followers. The choice wasn’t easy for participants, as the votes stayed close for much of the last two days of voting. One commenter lamented that he wanted to vote for both aircraft, writing, “I love the Cub. But I lust after the Corsair.” Another wrote, “Popular, accessible, fun, iconic, safe and bright yellow! The Cub gets my vote even though my uncle was a test pilot for the Chance Vought during the war.”
The F4U Corsair, powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine, was a versatile fighter/bomber in the Pacific that was a favorite among U.S. Navy and Marine pilots. The Corsair, with its hallmark bent wings, is a favorite among airshow spectators too, whether they are watching one perform or are admiring it on the ramp.
The Corsair joins the Best Aircraft Showdown Hall of Fame along with past winners, the de Havilland Beaver (2014), Douglas DC-3 (2013), and P-51 Mustang (2012).