In February 1938 the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics published a request for proposal for a single-engined fighter. By June 1938, the U.S. Navy signed a contract with Vought for a prototype, the XF4U-1, BuNo 1443. Rex Beisel headed up the team of designers. The XF4U-1 was powered by an XR-2800-4 prototype of the Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp twin-row, 18-cylinder radial engine, rated at 1,805 hp and it was the very first aircraft ever to have a Double Wasp engine fitted for flight. When the prototype was completed it had the biggest and most powerful engine, largest propeller and probably the largest wing on any naval fighter to date.
Today we celebrate The first flight of the XF4U-1 was made on May 29th 1940 at the Bridgeport Municipal Airport with Lyman A. Bullard, Jr. at the controls. The rest as they say, is history.