“V” Model Aircraft

Airplane designations (those combinations of numbers and letters that precede the "familiar" name such as "Corsair" or "Kingfisher") always raise questions.  But one of the least understood designations on Vought airplanes has been the "V" model.

Quite simply, the "V" airplanes have been the Vought demonstrators and export airplanes.  "Export" meant those airplanes that Vought sold to foreign governments or customers, even civil agencies in the United States.  In other words, "V" meant that the airplane was not sold to a military branch of the U. S. government. (The "X" designations on Vought airplanes were reserved for the experimental versions of airplanes intended for the U. S. military.)

One of the first “V” models in this decade was the V-50, built in 1931 as a demonstrator to promote export sales of the 03U.  In 1933 and 1934, Vought built a large number of airplanes based on the SU-2.  These were designated the V-65B, V-65C, V65CI, V65F, and were sold to Brazil, China, and Argentina, in both land and seaplane versions.

As you browse through this chapter you will encounter several “V” aircraft.  As you read the details, you will note that often these export planes were sold without armament.  In some cases, even the detailed specifications were different from the U. S. counterparts. (Check the throttle arrangement on the V156-F, developed originally for the French.)

All of the “V” aircraft , developed and manufactured for customers other than the U. S. military, represented a significant part of Chance Vought's efforts during this decade.  Exploring the data and descriptions of how they differed from their U.S. military counterparts makes for interesting reading.