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Imagine it is 1943. America is at war with Japan because of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Depending on where you lived, war may have had little effect on your daily life, but if you lived in Akron, some noisy and exciting changes were in the air.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber secured a contract to manufacture the Chance-Vought FG-1 Corsair, a single-engine fighter plane synonymous with the term “warbird.” By 1943, the planes were rolling off the assembly lines and into the skies. Goodyear Aerospace built the Corsair at its factory by the Akron Fulton Airport. During the height of production, it wasn’t unusual to see Corsairs flying above Akron in stiff formation.
With its aggressive shape and ferocious speed, the Corsair was a vital component to Allied air superiority in the South Seas. The Japanese called the Corsair the “whistling death” because of its characteristic screaming dive. It’s a frightening sound. A perennial favorite at air shows and flight museums throughout the country, the FG-1 Corsair testifies to Akron’s contribution to national aviation history. Though the Corsair was manufactured at a number of locations across the country, many aviation enthusiasts consider Akron its birthplace.