Vought Noughts are aircraft represented as being of Vought in origin, but in fact they never were a product of the Vought company. Instead they came from the fertile mind of an artist, modeler or one of those writers of alternate history. The broader genre is known as Whifs as in What If and a Vought Nought would be known as a Vought Whif, Whiffy or Whiffie.
There is enough competition among proponents of the genre that there is an awards program. Shown below is an example of a winner of the award.
An exception for the Vought Nought would be representations by Vought Sales or Marketing employees who had a rendering or model of an existing Vought aircraft made up in a prospective clients country colors to assist in an effort to sell the plane to that nations military, or simply a gift from a Vought employee to a foreigner who appreciated the aircraft but whose country never purchased it, or to a military pilot who appreciated a Vought aircraft that was not in his branch of service or unit, or retiree or guest with a scheme put on a Vought aircraft of interest to that person .
An example of the latter is the Coorsair that was presented by the company to former Naviator R. W. Duke Windsor. Windsor was one of the principle U. S. Navy test pilots for the Vought F-8 Crusader and its subsequent deployment.
On August 21, 1956, Commander "Duke" Windsor in F8U-1 BuNo 141345 (the twelfth production machine) hit an average speed of 1015.428 mph in two speed runs in opposite directions over a 15-kilometer course at an altitude of 40,000 feet over China Lake, California. This set a new national speed record, and for this feat the Thompson Trophy was awarded to Windsor, the Navy and Vought.
After his service, Windsor joined the Vought company in a management position. When he retired he partnered with his old navy buddy, former astronaut Alan Shepard, to found a Coors Beer Distributing company, thus the Coorsair.
An example of a Sales and Marketing generated rendering is the A-7 in Swiss colors when
was considering the purchase of the A-7 for its military, but did not purchase them. Switzerland
Vought A7-G proposed for Switzerland
Shown below are examples of artists who painted a Vought aircraft in a scheme they would like to have seen, or even of a Vought design that never went into production, or still further a projection of what a particular design would have looked like as they felt Vought might have done it.
Far out fantasy
Speaking of far out -
Twin Vought 141s
One artist who draws Vought designs as they might have been if built by Vought is known on the Internet as Stargazer or BisProakaFrenchman Stephane Beaumont who goes so far as to attach outdated Vought company logos and U.S. Navy designations to his VoughtNought drawings.
© Stéphane Beaumort / AviaDesign 2010
A commercial development from the XC-142
Another XC-142 follow - up
-More artist renderings of Vought aircraft-
that never were~
TEMCO was absorbed by Vought in the 1960s and so this TEMCO "whiffie is included
Likewise, the Lockheed Viking was not a Vought aircraft, but the company was a major subcontractor
S3A in 1945 paint scheme
These next "What Ifs" are from artist J. P. otherwise known as "Sentinal Chicken" on airlinebuzz.com:
Brazilian Air Force
Finnish Air Force
Danish Air Force
German Air Force
Israeli Air Force
Japanese Self-Defense Force
Sinapore Air Force
More Crusaders by other artists/modellers
Dijbouti Air Force
Irish Air Force
Supersader by Venom 800
The aircraft in line with an F-8 and A-7 is the Vought design V-507 mock-up
The artist, Logan Hartke, rendered the Vought proposal (V-507) for what became the F-14 in a number of different schema
Still more What Ifs -
Vought V-1100 LWF in RNAF
Some Whif artists took their ceativity a step further and developed a storyline to support their work. Several have used actual history to at least begin their plot. An example is the story told by Logan Hartke. He begins in the late 1930s, when Nazi Germany was holding a competition to replace the Stuka dive-bomber.
The German company, Junkers, had what many believed to be the frontrunner. The Nazi official who was to make the selection and who favored the Junkers design, Ernst Udet died suddenly and the German government cancelled the competition and decided to reallocate the budgeted money for the new dive bomber elsewhere. This is where Whif artist Logan Hartke (who drew several of the Whifs above) chose to rewrite history -
With the death of Udet and the canceling of the Stuka competition, Junkers knew there was no future for the Ju 87 in Germany and immediately received permission to sell the prototypes and associated materials abroad. It contacted a number of interested parties around the world, among them the US dive-bomber manufacturers. None of them were interested except one, Vought. Vought had recently designed and produced the SB2U Vindicator for the US Navy, France and England.
After the failure of the dive brake popeller designed for the aircraft, Vought quickly found itself in the same position as Heinkel as a manufacturer of one of the world's most modern monoplane dive bombers that couldn't actually dive.
Eager to see if Junkers had solved the issue and, if so, how, Vought quickly sent a test pilot and small evaluation team to Germany to see just how good the Ju 87 was. They arrived at the Junkers factory and test facility in Dessau on 17 August and it wasn't long before the team from Vought could clearly see that Junkers had built a winner. The expedition got a new sense of urgency later that week on August 20th when the XSB2U-1 crashed during Navy testing, killing both the pilot and observer. Upon hearing of the Ju 87s diving performance, Vought immediately began negotiations for the purchase of the Ju 87 V4 and V5 prototypes, all design drawings associated with the aircraft, and even production rights for the Ju 87. The sale was approved and the unfinished V5 prototype was dismantled, crated up and shipped along with the blueprints and a number of the technical experts that had originally come over only a couple weeks earlier. The test pilot would remain in Dessau for another month receiving more instruction on the V4 before both of them were shipped back to Hartford, Connecticut as well. Junkers managed to sell the Ju 87 V3 to the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force for evaluation, while the V2 prototype was somewhat quietly purchased for evaluation by the Swedish government.
It wasn't long before Vought had come to appreciate, modify, and improve the Ju 87 design. In a nod to its origins, Vought skipped a few numbers and designated the design the V-187 in company documents. The Navy, upon seeing the design drawings Vought was already working on and a demonstration by the freshly unpacked Ju 87 V4, soon approved funding for a single prototype of a new Ju 87-derived, Vought-designed dive bomber to be designated XSB4U (the next in the designation series). This aircraft, which contained more than a few Ju 87 components from the cannibalized V5 prototype and a number of Vindicator parts (including the retractable main gear), was designed and built in record time, assembly starting before the design was finalized. Arguably the most important piece of the Junkers aircraft that made it onto the new plane was the bomb sight, however. It was a considerable improvement over the telescopic sight fitted to Navy dive bombers up to that point. It was rolled out of the hangar for its first flight on March 11th, the R-1830-64 engine having only been delivered by Pratt & Whitney ten days earlier! The success of this and subsequent Navy testing resulted in a production contact being issued for 58 production aircraft on October 25th, 1937, something that Vought had anticipated and already began tooling up for. Along with the contract came the aircraft's new name: the Viking.
The new Vought aircraft differed from the original Junkers design in a number of way, the most readily apparent of which were the 900hp Pratt & Whitney radial engine (50% more powerful than the Jumo 210A) and retractable landing gear. The new design of the cockpit, the rear fuselage with retractable tailwheel and tailhook, and the rudder are also quite obvious. The aircraft was also fitted with American radios, armament, and Hamilton-Standard variable pitch propeller. Most importantly, however, the wing was actually modified quite heavily. The inboard portion of the wing was essentially a new structure, being considerably longer, but with all anhedral. This gave the wing a much greater internal volume to accommodate the landing gear, wing fold mechanism, and oil cooler without losing armament or fuel capacity. The outer wing panels were shortened slightly and fuel tanks were installed there, as well. The wing was also moved back to match the altered center of gravity and down to allow for somewhat shorter landing gear. Additional armored fuel tanks were added to the fuselage both ahead of the pilot and between the pilot and gunner, under the radio set. Furthermore, the armament was increased to two cowl-mounted .30cal Browning machine guns, two wing-mounted .50cal Brownings, and a single .30cal defensive machine-gun. The once ungainly, fixed gear, short-legged Stuka had now become a modern, sea-going weapon of war. The additional fuel and modern gear came with increased weight, however, and even with 50% more horsepower and retractable landing gear, the fully-loaded XSB4U-1 was still barely breaking 200mph in level flight, even without a bomb! More horsepower would be required in production models.
As a dive bomber, however, the XSB4U-1's performance was unmatched. Steady as a rock in a dive, the XSB4U-1 with its Junkers-designed dive brakes, its innovative sight and an experienced pilot was the most accurate dive bomber in the US fleet. Success was sure to follow.
Artist Hartke depicted that success by portraying follow on models of the Vought SB2U Viking including to another branch of the U.S. military and a very successful marketing of the V-187 to the export community -
For the Brazilian model, Hartke wrote some more history-
In 1938, the Aviação Militar do Exército Brasileiro (Brazilian Army Aviation) purchased 26 Vought V-187 Vikings which received the registration numbers 105-130. The V-187-BR, known as 'Vikings', equipped the 1º Regimento de Aviação, based at Santa Cruz. On November 8, 1939, one of these aircraft, piloted by Maj. Clovis Monteiro Travassos and Sgt. Alfredo Amaral Barcelos (mechanic), conducted a direct flight between Fortaleza and Porto Alegre, covering a distance of 3,240 km over 11 hrs and 45 min.
With the creation of the Ministério da Aeronáutica in 1941, the aircraft were incorporated into the Força Aérea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force). During World War II, these aircraft were used in anti-submarine patrol missions. On August 26, 1942, V-187-BR '122' of the 3º Regimento de Aviação in Canoas and manned by 1st Lt. Alfredo Gonçalves Corrêa (pilot) and Sgt. Carlos Zell (radioman and gunner), surprised a German submarine 50 miles from Araranguá, along the Paraná coast. The attack took place at 1400 hrs and the Viking was so low to the water when it dropped its payload that the shrapnel from the explosion damaged the cowling and exhaust manifold of the
V-187-BR, forcing the crew to land at the emergency landing strip at Osório. On the 28th of the same month, V-187-BR '107', piloted by Capt. Manuel Rogério de Souza Coelho, attacked a submarine near Iguape, although without acheiving any visible damage to the enemy vessel.
To a lesser extent the next artist also re wrote history:
The next example is offered by Spinner on the Internet of a Japanese F-8. He wrote -
After a long selection process the Vought F-8EJ was finally selected by the JASDF in 1962 as its standard interceptor-fighter. With it's impressive unrefuelled range, reliable Pratt & Whitney J-57-P-20J engine and powerful Magnavox APQ-94J radar the F-8EJ served with a total of eight JASDF squadrons with initial deliveries commencing in late 1964.
Compared to the superb multi-role F-8E, and because of Japan's own 'self-defense' status and imposed peace treaty terms, the F-8EJ was stripped of much of it's surface-attack capability but gained a modified APQ-94 radar, wing-mounted
AIM-7E Sparrow missiles and also had a very useful anti-ship capability (deemed acceptable as being an 'anti-invasion' capability) and all eight 'Hikotai' had maritime attack and reconnaissance as a secondary role. The F-8EJ's served until the mid-1980's with the 302nd Hikotai being the last to surrender this very popular aircraft in JASDF service in 1985.
Some modelers, like the artists above, have painted Vought aircraft in colors they never wore. Examples are branches of service that never flew the aircraft or units that were never assigned the particular aircraft, or countries that never purchased the aircraft.
Like the artists above, modelers too would spin a yarn to support their creation, an example is the
Argentine F6U-1 Pirate.
The modeler went so far as to make up a story as to how the Argentines
acquired the aircraft and then took pictures of the model in Argentine
scenarios and backgrounds. The modeler
goes by the name Dizzyfugu on the Internet and on Flickr.
The first production F6U-1 performed its initial flight on 29 June 1949. 20 aircraft were initially provided to VX-3, an operational evaluation squadron based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. The judgment from the evaluation was rather unfavorable, so that the few aircraft in USN service ended up being used primarily to develop arresting gear and barriers. Some were used operationally for a short time by at least one Texas-based United States Navy Reserve squadron as they transitioned to jets.
Anyway, the 30 production aircraft had only a total of 945 hours of flight time, only 31.5 hours each. Some aircraft flew only six hours which was enough for little more than their acceptance flight and the flight to their ultimate disposition, since the USN would not use the Pirate in its active arsenal.
This is where the fiction starts by the model builder who wished to literally make history -
But elsewhere, the small and simple aircraft aroused attention: the Argentine Naval Aviation (Comando de Aviación Naval Argentina, COAN) became interested in the small F6U fleet in early 1950. Eventually the COAN bought 20 flight worthy specimens of these machines (price remains unknown until today, but is assumed to be 'symbolic') as fast, land-based fighter and attack aircraft.
Delivery of aircraft followed suit, as the USN wanted to scrap the rather obsolete F6U fleet quickly. All 20 aircraft were transferred in flight in September 1950 to the Argentinian Navy Base Punta Indio near La Plata and integrated into Fuerza Aeronaval 1 (Naval Aviation Force 1).
The COAN received a baptism by fire on 16 June 1955 when naval airplanes, including F4U and F6U, painted with catholic crosses and blessed by priests, participated on the Bombing of Plaza de Mayo. One of the navy aircraft was shot down by an air force Gloster Meteor.
In 1958, the COAN jet fighter force was augmented by Grumman F9F Panthers and Cougars - the Argentine Naval Aviation bought 24 ex-USN aircraft, which added more punch.
Another great change came into effect when the Navy received its first aircraft carrier the ARA Independencia in 1959. At the time, her aircraft inventory included the F4U Corsair, SNJ-5Cs Texan and Grumman S2F-1 (S-2A) Trackers. The F6U were still in service, even though the number of operational aircraft had been reduced to a dozen - the rest was already stored away and used for spares.
Anyway, the F6U turned out to be valuable to the COAN since it was possible to deploy it from the new carrier - the F9F Panther and F9F Cougar jets were not suitable for this task, as the catapults of ARA Independencia (V-1) were considered not powerful enough to launch the heavier F9F.
Consequently, the F6U saw a midlife update. This major overhaul included an engine update, the original J34-WE-30A engines were replaced by stronger J34-WE-36A engines, outfitted with an afterburner developed by Solar Aircraft. These new engines offered 4.000 lb (17.8 kN) dry thrust and 5.360lb (23,87kN) at full afterburner and with water injection. While overall performance did not change much, acceleration and rate of climb improved appreciably, and launching the F6U from the small carrier deck became much safer, as well as landing, in case of a 'touch and go', because the new engines had more power reserve and was quicker to react to throttle input. Empty and total weight increased slightly, so the landing gear was beefed up.
In the course of the update, the aircraft's M3 cannons were replaced by M2 cannons (so that the gun armament was the same as on the F9F) and the COAN Pirates received hardpoints under the wings which allowed them to carry light external loads. Typical weaponry included up to six HVAR missiles, six 100lb bomby or two 500lb bombs. The wing tip drop tanks were retained.
These twelve revamped aircraft were integrated into Fuerza Aeronaval 2 (Naval Aviation Force 2), based at navy airbase Comandante Espora, near Bahía Blanca, where all embarked aircraft were concentrated. The conversion was finished in late 1960.
It would not take long until Argentinian Navy pilots would see combat again: during 1962 internal military fighting between factions known as Azules y Colorados ("Blue" and "Reds") occurred, culminating in the 1963 Argentine Navy Revolt in which Navy F9F Panthers, F6U Pirates and F4U Corsairs bombed Argentine Army tanks in defense of the Navy base of Punta Indio.
Argentine Navy F6U Pirates also saw combat in the 1963 Argentine Navy Revolt, bombing and strafing a column of the Army 8th Tank Regiment which was advancing on the rebelling Argentine Navy base of Punta Indio. The attack destroyed several M4 Sherman tanks, at the cost of one F9F Panther shot down.
The final operational use of the Argentine Pirates was their involvement in the general mobilization during the 1965 border dispute between Argentina and Chile - but no combat occurred. After that incident the F6U were retired and all remaining aircraft finally scrapped.
This also started a major rejuvenation of the Comando de Aviación Naval Argentina: the remaining F4U were retired in 1968 from ARA Independencia, and the Panthers and Cougars were taken out of service in 1969 due to the lack of spare parts, and eventually replaced with A-4Q Skyhawks.
The Admiral model kit and its assembly:
I got my hands on this Admiral kit some time ago, uncertain what to make of it. The F6U is one of those early jet aircraft in the Twilight Zone after WWII which is predestined to be whiffed - but I lacked a good idea. Vague plan was to create a later USN aircraft, in classic Gull Grey/White with colorful markings.
The final push came through AZ Model's re-release of the Pirate kit under its own banner and in two whif boxings - including aforementioned USN options, too. That pushed me to "make something different".
With some creative discussion at whatifmodelers.com about these new kits I settled on a new idea: a machine for the Argentinean Navy, in classic grey and white livery and with appropriate markings. While whiffy, this idea is not too far-fetched as the COAN actually operated ex USN aircraft, as explained in the background above. And why shouldn't Argentina have bought the obsolete F6Us as a bargain ?
The kit was mostly built OOB, and you encounter some typical short-run kit challenges. Personal changes include the replacement of the PE parts on the hull and landing gear with styrene pieces. I also added a Matchbox pilot figure in the opened cockpit.
The air intake interior is poor, if non-existant. Builders are supposed to insert a simple, blank wall, which is IMHO not satisfactory at all. With some styrene wedges and strips I tried to simulate an interior/air duct, even opening the fuselage sides inside of the wing area. Not perfect, but certainly better than the original proposal from AZ Model. By the way, the front wheel well is also missing, completely. It is uncertain where the front wheel is supposed to be glued on to, maybe in mid-air? I added a 1mm sheet of styrene, which also hides the resin cockpit tub's underside from view.
The fit of the fuselage halves is so-so, expect some putty work. On the other side, the upper wings fit perfectly onto the fuselage. On the other side, the lower fuselage and the fuselage insert between the wings do not fit well, so that there's more putty work.
The fin, which is a separate piece and has to be glued directly onto the fuselage (without any aids) was warped in two directions and very hard to get into place.
To my surprise the original resin cockpit is fine, even though just one single piece, and falls literally into place.
Since it is easy to realize and adds realism I lowered/extended the flaps and created interior parts from styrene strips.
The hardpoints under the wings (the F6U didn't have any, just its guns) are personal additions. The four HVARs were leftover resin pieces from my recent 'Sabrecat' conversion. On the nose, hollow steel needles (0.8mm) were added as cannon mounts.
Under the rear fuselage, an arrester hook was added (from an A-4 Skyhawk), as well as a tail bumper.
On the rear fuselage I added air scoops for the (fictional) stronger engine and afterburner - the J34-WE-36A (AFAIK) never existed, just a non-afterburner variant that was used as a pair in the Douglas F3D (F-10) Skyknight.
Many small things, but they enhance the kit considerably, which is otherwise solid. But the F6U is IMHO way overpriced for what you get, resin and PE parts won't help much.
Painting and markings:
Nothing spectacular. Benchmark for this were real-life COAN F9F Panthers, painted in "Gris Nevado" over and matt white from below. Most of the markings come from a Hobby Boss F9F-2 which offer a COAN painting option.
The F6U was painted in authentic USN colors (FS 36440 and 37875, Testors 1730 and Humbrol 130, respectively, the latter painted on a thin primer coat with Revell Acryllics flat white), the blue fin decoration was painted with a mix of Humbrol 48 and 130, in oder to match the rather pale national insignia on the deceals. The white segment on the fin as well as the yellow sun icon were later added as decals.
Interior surfaces were painted in Cockpit Green (Humbrol 226), and, for some shock value, the opened flaps received a red interior (Revell 330, a bright tone, RAL 3000). The aircraft's rear was painted with Steel and Titanium Metallizer (both ModelMaster), and slightly rubbed with graphite - a nice contrast to the other, rather pale colors.
Finally, the kit was slightly weathered with some counter-shading on the upper sides in order to simulate dull paint from prolonged sunshine exposure, and a light black ink wash, as well as some dry-painting on leading edges. Everything was finally sealed under a matt acryllic varnish, with some extra matt varnish.
All in all a rather uncomplicated whif project. Not easy, though, since the Admiral/AZ Models kit is far from perfect, takes some experience.
The sleek aircraft offers a LOT of whiffery potential, as AZ Models own two fantasy marking kits show, and that's certainly not the whole story, as this COAN aircraft demonstrates. The Argentinian Pirate whif is unspectacular but subtle, it looks almost natural (what I like!). The whole thing was realized in a week - and the light colors suit the slender F6U well.
The example is taken from
the website Alternative Finland produced by a New Zealander named Nigel who
He writes - What is Alternative History? Very simply, the exercise of taking a look at history and asking
what if? What if an important historical event had gone differently?
Could that have changed the world? And if so, how?
Theres a whole genre of novels out there that explore alternative history in
different ways. Popular what if questions that you may have
run into include the ever-favorite what if the Nazis had won the Second World
War? (Fatherland by Robert Harris, which has also been
made into a movie and Disaster
at D-Day: The Germans Defeat the Allies, June 1944 by Peter Tsouras being cases in point). Others include what if the
South had won the
History is dedicated to the premise that
Early in 1939, with the threat of war with the USSR increasingly a risk and the deteriorating European situation, the Finnish Finance Minister, Risto Ryto, had negotiated a further loan from the USA (although not in the same ballpark as the 1937 $30 million amount) and additional war supplies were being purchased whereever they were available. Among these purchases were a further 20 US Navy surplus Vindicators. These were well-used, but as second hand aircraft the cost was significantly reduced and they were shipped to Finland.
This official U. S. Navy photo of a Vought Vindicator over a North Atlantic convoy during WWII was used as an illustration of one of the Finnish Vindicators.
The ex-US Navy Vindicators arrived in August 1939 and had not yet even been repainted as the Winter War broke out. Still with their US markings in many cases, they were pressed into service immediately - such was the tempo of operations that some of these aircraft were not reflagged until March 1940 - something which led to accusations from the USSR that US forces were assisting Finland.
Another and later source of supply were Vindicators that had been ordered for the French Air Force. The V156 (the export version of the Vindicator) was shown at the Paris Air Show in November 1938 and French interest had been aroused. The French Government decided in May 1938 to order ninety Vindicators as their own dive bomber program was falling apart. The first five were delivered to Orly in July 1939 and more were on the way as WW2 broke out. Some forty in all were delivered before France fell to the German onslaught.
What the British named their Vindicators
Circumventing the US Neutrality legislation, a further thirty Vindicators from the remaining French order, which had been already been repainted for sale to the UK, were reallocated to Finland and shipped to Petsamo in June 1940, entering service only in the final month of the Winter War where they saw little action.
casually researching Vought aircraft have come across
Vought Noughts without any
explanation shown or knowing their origin, and have passed them forward as
examples of Vought aircraft - causing some confusion and mis-information. It is to help correct that issue this section of the website is offered.
Imagine my surprise when I came across this picture, what at first glance, appeared to be a Vought F4U-1 Corsair with a geat big Japanese Air insignia on it -
It was in fact an FG-1 (Goodyear built F4U-1), MK IV model (British) with a Brewster tail from a British museum that was getting re-painted and had only some of the WWII British roundel completed.
British Corsair in early WWII markings
McCormick - Romme Umbrellaplane