Kit double boxed
|Wing Area:||650 ssq. in.|
|Weight:||7 lbs 12 oz.|
|Wing Loading:||~27.5 oz/sq. ft. calculated|
|Servos:||Hitech HS-475HB and Hitech HS-75BB Retract|
|Battery:||FlightPower 6S1P 5000mAh 25C|
|ESC:||Castle Creations Phoenix 80|
|Available From:||H&M Performance|
|Retail Price:||Complete ARF kit without mount - $219.95, Complete ARF Kit with HMP Motor Mount - $249.95, Complete Kit Combo - $749.95|
A recent review of the H&M Performance FW-190 brought my attention to this line of .60 sized Warbirds offered by this company. Iíve always been enamored by the bent wing design of the F4-U Corsair and decided shortly after reading the FW-190 review to purchase one.
The F4-U was employed by both Navy and Marine pilots from late 1941 through late 1951. It initially failed carrier trials due to poor handling near stall speed and was used primarily by the Marines until the Navy approved the Corsair for carrier landings in late 1944. During WWII, the Corsair had an 11:1 kill ratio against Japanese fighters, and the Corsair continued to see service into the Korean War.
Enough History! Lets get on to the build!
H&M Performance makes the manual available on their website.
Prior to assembly itís a good idea to take a look at the covering, and I did find numerous wrinkles, but they were all easily removed in about half an hour using the covering iron. While removing the wrinkles I managed to pull the seam apart on the trailing edge of one of the ailerons. This was entirely my fault as I had left the heel of the iron on the trailing edge of the aileron too long and didnít notice the effect. I called H&M Performance and spoke with Harold, and he offered to send me a strip of covering to go over the exposed balsa.
The wing assembles quickly and easily. The servo installation is typical of planes this size - servo hatches and hardwood blocks to mount the servos. My parts bag was missing four of the eight screws needed to secure the hatches, but I had enough spares to secure the hatches.
Once the aileron servo hatches were in place, the next step was to glue the ailerons in place and make the aileron linkage. I used Mercury Adhesives Thin CA for all of the CA hinges on this model.
The kit includes pushrods, clevises and control horns, but I found that the wire included for the linkage to be very brittle. My first attempt to make an L bend snapped the wire in half! Fortunately my local hobby shop is only a few minutes away and I was able to get what I needed quickly.
Aileron linkages made, the next steps are to grind flat spots where the wheel collars go on the landing gear legs, and glue the wings together. A couple of seconds on each leg using a dremel, and the cutoff wheel was all that was needed for the wheel collars.
After dry fitting the wings together to ensure proper fit, I followed the recommendation in the manual to use 30 minute epoxy. This allows the builder time to align the wings properly before the adhesive sets up.
Once the Epoxy has cured, the manual instructs the builder to install two cross braces using 6 minute Epoxy and the light ply retract servo plate using Medium CA to secure it to the cross braces. I completed these steps, let the adhesives cure, then mounted the retract servo. Almost immediately I realized that I was going to have an issue with the angle of the retract linkages; They were not anywhere near flat with the top of the servo.
While the manual does not mention it, what should be done when dry fitting the wings is to mark the retract linkages at the opening in the center section with the wheels extended, and bend the linkages down slightly to allow them to lay flat on the control wheel of the servo. This can be done at this point, but the wire is very stiff, and it is difficult to bend it through the opening in the center section.
I also ran into problems trying to get the supplied quick connectors onto the servo control horns. The connectors use "E" clips to hold them in place, and I have never had any success getting "E" clips onto a quick connector. After breaking two of the "E" clips I made another trip to the hobby store and returned with a package of Dubro 4-40 EZ connectors which worked much better for me.
The manual states that the wing dowels need to be installed in the front of the wing, but I found that this was done for me. All the hard work assembling the wing is certainly worth it!
I followed the instructions when installing the tail fin. The slot in the fuselage is deeper than the portion of the fin inserted into it, so take care to get the leading edge of the fin parallel with the fuselage. Iíd recommend keeping the rudder on the fin for this step as it will make it easier to align.
The horizontal stabilizer construction is flat and open box Ė only the center of the stab is sheeted. On a model this size Iíd have preferred to see a fully sheeted airfoil for strength and appearance.
Youíll need the completed wing briefly to ensure that the stab is aligned properly in the slot. Once itís aligned, mark the stab, and remove the covering from the area to be glued into the slot. I used Titebond wood glue and was very glad I did; Iíd forgotten to put the elevator joiner wire in place before gluing the stabilizer and had to quickly remove it before the glue setup. Titebond cleans up with water Ė I canít imagine how much of a mess Iíd have had if Iíd used epoxy!
Once the Titebond had cured I secured the elevator halves. The manual says that the builder will need to drill holes for the joiner wire, but this was done for me on the parts I received. However, either the holes were not drilled parallel to the control surface or the wire was bent as the elevator halves on my kit did not align perfectly. I corrected the issue as best I could by changing the angle of the hole in the second elevator half.
When assembling the rudder, I realized Iíd glued the tail fin into the fuselage with a slight backwards lean. This made fitting the control wire through the hole difficult and left a 4mm gap where the front of the rudder meets the tail fin. A sharp eye might be able to see the balsa I covered with scrap covering and glued to the rudder to fill the gap.
The kit includes a control horn for the rudder control wire which uses a set screw to secure it to the wire. I marked the location on the control wire and ground a flat spot for the set screw prior to gluing it into the rudder. This helped ensure that the control horn would not slip in flight. The Tail wheel wire is also secured with a set screw. I plan to shorten the tail wheel wire slightly prior to achieve the proper stance when the Corsair is resting on all three wheels.
I used a tape measure to help make the 22Ē and 25Ē elevator and rudder pushrods.
The fuselage does not have precut slots for the control linkages, and the manual does not do a particularly good job of giving the builder an approximate location to cut. I estimated fairly close for the rudder linkage, but guessed wrong for the elevator linkage resulting in a longer than needed slot. I plan to use some scrap covering and Dubro Laser Pushrod Exit covers to tidy up the exit points.
The servo end of the control rods and the servo mounting plate are shown here. You can also see the padding I added to one of the fuselage formers to help keep the battery in place. The elevator and rudder servo are installed, and the linkage is connected in this step as well.
The Receiver can be located in numerous locations inside the fuselage. I chose to make a cross brace with some of the included hardwood, and then used a couple of zip-ties to secure the RX to the brace. I tested inserting and removing the battery to ensure I had clearance. The remote receiver for the AR7000 was installed on the opposite side of the fuselage by wrapping the remote in tape and using a dab of medium CA to secure it to the balsa. Also visible are the MPI Arming switch I used to prevent the motor from arming when the shunt is removed and some of the work that I did to secure the battery in the battery area, the remote AR7000 receiver and the Dimension Engineering Sport BEC used to power the receiver.
The Firewall is marked, which makes aligning the H&M Performance motor mount a fairly simple process. Once I had aligned the mount, I drilled four holes for the blind nuts and installed them. Since the back side of the firewall is difficult to reach, I used a bolt screwed in the back side of each blind nut and a set of curved forceps to help align the blind nut in the hole. Once the bolt was threading into the blind nut from the front side, I removed the bolt in the back side and cinched the front side bolt down tightly enough to set the blind nut. The ESC is mounted to the front of the firewall with zip-ties through two small holes that I drilled and four 3/8thĒ holes are drilled for cooling.
After the motor was installed I mounted the hardwood cowl blocks. The manual shows the corners aligned with the outer edge of the firewall, but when I test fitted the cowl it felt very loose to me. I decided to glue some 1/16Ē thick balsa to the hardwood to tighten up the fit and used painterís tape to mark where to drill on the cowl.
The manual suggests installing the dummy radial engine into the cowl after using a hobby knife, painting the engines for a better appearance and securing the radial motor into the cowl with clear silicon. Once this was accomplished and dried I aligned the cowl and drilled holes for the mounting screws using the markings on the painterís tape Iíd made earlier. The process went well, and I was satisfied that the cowl was aligned. The photo shows the three blade 14x9 Master Airscrew prop and Harry B Higley and Sons Safety Spinner hub.
I also mounted the canopy in this step using RC-56 Canopy glue. The Joe Pilot figure from Slimline Products was a good fit, and I like the idea of having a cigar chomping, devil dog style pilot in a model of a plane flown by Marines!
Once the glue securing the canopy has dried I secured the Dubro laser pushrod exits over the elevator and rudder exit holes and added the belly pan to the bottom of the wing using RC-56 Canopy glue. The belly pan is not mentioned in the manual, but installation is fairly straightforward. There are also two plastic intake vent covers which are meant to be glued to the front of the wings where the wing intakes are in the full scale version. The color didnít quite match the covering, so I chose to paint the exposed area on the wing black rather than install them on my kit.
The builder is left to his own devices to design a battery retention mechanism. The Flightpower 6S1P 5000mAh battery I selected for the model fit well in the opening in front of the receiver, but one of the engine mounting bolts protruded into the area creating a potential puncture hazard for the battery. I marked the screw from the inside of the fuselage and used a cut off wheel to shorten it.
I used some square hardwood to form shelves and supports for the battery as well as some soft pink foam Iíd kept to keep the battery from rubbing on the hardwood. The kit includes enough to make one support, but I purchased some additional stock so I would have enough to make a top and bottom support. I also purchased Velcro cable wraps with slotted ends and secured them around formers in the fuselage. They keep the battery from sliding backwards, and keep the exposed end from moving downwards. I tested the contraption by installing the battery, shaking and rolling the fuselage fairly vigorously. The battery remained in place! I'll add Velcro where the ties cross over the battery to further secure the battery pack.
Note from Manufacturer: "One reason we did not to a removable hatch was that we were worried that this may weaken the nose area. Many years ago there were 60 size kits that had hatches for the fuel tanks, and whenever a hard landing occurred, the nose sometimes broke off."
This more or less completes the assembly process. The kit I received had several long, wedge shaped, covered wood pieces which are not mentioned in the instructions. Iíve asked Harold at H&M Performance about them but have yet to receive a reply.
The final steps before flight are to balance the Corsair at 3.5Ē from the leading edge of the wing and to set the control throws to the manualís recommended 9/16Ē for Ailerons, 1/2Ē for Elevator and 1Ē for rudder.
With all of the gear installed I found that my Corsair was fairly nose heavy. I suspect this is due to my use of slightly larger and heavier motor and battery pack. Also, the Hub style spinner and three bladed prop adds additional weight well out on the forward end of CG. Rather than remove the spinner I chose to see how much lead I would need to add to the tail and found that two ounces of lead at the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer brought the Corsair to level with the wheels retracted. I felt that two ounces of additional weight is negligible on a plane with a recommended flying weight of almost eight pounds so I chose to add the weight rather than try to find a way to lighten the nose.
I used a ruler and quickly had the control surface throws dialed in on my transmitter per the manualís recommendations. I also chose to add 35% exponential and set high rates to 10% over the recommended control throws while in the programming menu.
I also chose to weigh and attempt to get a watt meter reading on the power system at this point. Because of the size of this model I had some difficulty getting it onto the scale. so I weighed the wing and fuselage separately. The total weight came out to 7lbs, 12.2oz which is pretty much spot on with the flying weight printed in the manual.
The watt meter test wasnít as successful. At about 3/4 throttle with the Corsair on its back in the stand the prop was producing enough up thrust to pull itself off the stand. I was unable to continue to full throttle, but was at about 46A with 900 watts showing on the watt meter when I abandoned the test. Iím confident that the model has enough thrust and pitch speed to fly based on the numbers, and I should see good flight times based on a predicted 66 amps at full throttle.
Eagletree e-Logger testing bears this out. This is a plot from one of the first few flights.
The final test I like to perform before flight is a taxi test. This lets me get a feel for the ground handling before heading to the club field. I confirmed that the tail wheel was a bit longer than I wanted and shortened the wire to give the Corsair a more scale stance when on the ground.
Balanced, engine tested and taxi tested, thereís nothing left to do but fly the plane!
First flight was conducted accidentally at the club field. While Iíd taxi tested the plane at home, I did want to see how the H&M Performance Corsair tracked as it approached flying speed. With the plane at the far end of the runway I began throttling up, intending to go no further than half throttle to get a feel for how much rudder would be needed to keep the model tracking straight.
I was completely surprised when the Corsair lifted off the runway at a little below half throttle! My initial reaction was to throttle down and put the plane back on the runway, but I quickly changed my mind as I had very little airspeed, and the planeís nose had tracked left over the grass. Throttling up smoothly helped avoid torque rolling the plane over, and I climbed out with authority. Accidentally or not, I was up in the air!
The first flight needed a few clicks of down elevator to maintain level flight at anything above three quarters throttle. I may remove half an ounce of weight from the tail to see if this helps the Corsair stay level at higher throttle settings on future flights. The Ailerons and rudder appeared to be in perfect trim, and I did not adjust either control surface during the first flight.
The model does feel a little heavy in the air. The control surfaces have good authority, and the plane reacts well to the control sticks, but the plane needs a little more space to go where youíre telling it to go. It took me a few circuits around the field to adjust for this, but once I did I felt completely in control of the F4-U Corsair.
At 3/4 throttle and above the Corsair really shines. It is certain to dazzle onlookers when performing high speed passes. If more speed is desired, the three blade prop can be replaced with the recommended 15x10Ē two bladed prop. The amp draw should remain about the same so flight times should not be impacted.
At lower throttle settings, it retains its handling characteristics and doesnít begin to need up elevator to maintain altitude until below half throttle. I would feel perfectly comfortable performing half throttle, gear down passes across the runway with this plane!
I expected the Corsair to need a sizable amount of real estate to get up to flying speed, but I can report that getting the plane in the air can be accomplished in as little as 25í at no more than half throttle with this setup. For more scale takeoffs I would recommend advancing the throttle slowly with a touch of up elevator, and the plane will lift with a nice, scale departure angle.
Landings require some space. The Corsair carries speed very well and use of the throttle is needed to achieve the proper sink rate for landing. The lack of flaps makes bleeding energy off a little difficult if the approach angle is too steep or the approach length is too short, but as long as your field has a reasonable amount of clear space on either end, this shouldnít be an issue. The plane felt very controllable on approach. My landing for the camera had a little too much speed resulting in a couple of bounces, but the retracts included with the Corsair handled the abuse without complaint.
I attempted only maneuvers that I felt a full scale Corsair was designed to perform.
Loops with the power setup I selected are as big and wide as the pilot desires. The thrust generated by the 14x9 Master Airscrew three bladed propeller gives this model an excellent rate of climb and acceleration. The Corsair does feel a little heavy at the bottom of the loop, and I would recommend entering the loop slightly higher than you intend to exit to avoid running out of air.
Aileron rolls were surprisingly axial in both directions. I expected the nose not to track true when performing a roll, but was pleasantly surprised that it stayed in the proper axis throughout these maneuvers.
Split Sís required very little control input to exit along the same line as the entrance. The roll rate is good at the top of the maneuver as the plane begins to run out of energy which helps to keep the plane tracking properly.
No. While this is a stellar flying model, this plane is far too large, fast and complex for a new R/C pilot. The H&M Performance Corsair is intended for an experienced pilot who has flown other Warbirds and is looking for a larger model.
Iíve read reviews where the reviewer states that the plane ďflies on rails!Ē, and I canít think of a better way to put it. Assembly was straightforward with a few minor bumps along the way, but none with are beyond the skill of an intermediate modeler. Assembly took a reasonable amount of time.
This bent wing bird will perform any combat maneuver in the book with ease and look good doing it. It probably wonít hover, do snap rolls, or knife edge passes down the runway without a fight but that isnít why we buy Warbirds, is it?
With the maiden and several flight under my belt Iím looking forward to many more trips to the field with this plane. The combination of size, power, speed and agility that this kit possesses will undoubtedly make it my first choice for flying for some time to come!
Well written, easy to follow assembly manual
Included hardware was missing parts and had brittle control linkages
|Sep 04, 2008, 11:54 PM|
I've been waiting for this review for months!!
I've been "studying" Corsairs in this size range for several months and finally setlled on the CMP .50 but whose to say a guy can't have two Corsairs right???
Especially after the heartache I went through to assemble the CMP...
A few things I noticed from your pictures:
1. Strange that the wheel wells don't match the covering. Noticed in your video one of them came off on landing .
2. How are the stock retracts? In your picture at the field where you are putting the wing on they appear to not lay flat in the wells... perhaps the servo is not in the final position?
3. Stock wheels look like foam instead of rubber.
4. Tail wheel is way too tall.... I'm sure it can be modded.
5. Did you add the seal tape around the "fuel tank" in front of the canopy or was it pre-applied? It isn't there in any of the pictures on their website. It appears one strip is missing...
6. I was happy to see that you actually ended up nose heavy with the battery in the fuse instead of in front of the fire wall. Their FW-190 requires the batts in front of the fire wall...
7. Wings appear to not be fully sheeted. How much sheeting is there?
8. That rudder setup is "unique." At least you don't see a push rod coming out out of the top of the fuse like on CMP or Hangar-9!
Great review, thanks for the honesty on some of the hardware & instruction book deficiencies. Looks like a nice flyer... heard & read nothing but good things about their FW-190...
Lack of battery hatch has been a bone of contention with many but on warbirds of this size you might as well just remove the wing and have a shunt. Looks better anyhow!
Now If I could only get them to send me a Spitfire so I could do a review of it!!!
|Sep 05, 2008, 08:02 AM|
@eli5539: Thanks, it was fun to write
@AR1516: The Corsair does not lack for power. It's not a complete speed demon but is quick enough for me!
1. Good eye! The wheel well cover which came off on landing just didn't have quite enough canopy glue on it. I resecured it and it's stayed put through the past 10 flights.
2. The stock retracts are a little stiff but work fine if properly setup. I changed the retract servo arm to get a little more throw and they retract fully now. As I mentioned in the review, get a beefy retract servo as they to take a lot of torque to come down in flight. The Lado rotating retracts are a drop in fit as well.
3. Stock wheels are indeed foam. Dubro 2.5" rubber wheels are an option and fit on the LG wire with no modification to the wheel hubs.
4. The tail wheel is a separate wire held in place by a wheel collar. Since that photo was taken I've cut the wire down so that the tail wheel is the right height.
5. The seal tape is pre-applied. Again, good eye - I never noticed a strip missing!
7: The wings are fully sheeted. I've not found a spot where there is open space under the covering.
|Sep 05, 2008, 08:38 AM|
How heavy is the battery ?
And one suggestion. I stopped using the wheel well liners in kits with retracts. I followed someone else's advice/trick and use the cereal box technique. Line the wells with the thin cardboard....paint. Looks great, and you may pick up a little more clearance inside the wheel well. Just an idea.
Great review !
|Sep 05, 2008, 09:22 AM|
Thanks for the great review. I have been looking at this plane (advertisements) for a while now. One question, it seems your aileron servo covers are installed backwards- the servo arm opening should be to the outside edge of the wing to prevent the linkage at an angle, or do the covers onlt fit one (wrong) way ?
|Sep 05, 2008, 09:30 AM|
@skyking1231: the flightpower website lists the battery at 799 grams which works out to about 28oz. I'll put it onto the postal scale this evening if you like.
@Scalebrad: On the underside of the wing there is a stars and bars decal covering a portion of one of the aileron servo covers. That one can only go on one way so I used it's orientation for both. It's possible that mine were reversed 180 degrees before the decal was put on at the factory and that mine are indeed flipped. It still works fine though
|Sep 05, 2008, 02:17 PM|
Great review....I have the FW and it one if the best planes that I have flown, and it looks like the F4U is right in line with it.....How does the Scorpion motor compare to the AXI or Eflight 60...I am using a clone motor in my FW, but I am looking for a little more power....I am only getting around 900W or so....I am running a 15X10 as recommended, but I an going to try a 16X10 prop (as rocommended by the motor manufacturer) and see how that does this weekend.....You are right about the retracts being tight, I have the same problem, what retract servo did you install. I went with the JR 791 because it boasts a wapping 260 Oz/In of torque. and the retracts still have to work a bit to come up after some speed is built up. Again great review, I am going to have to put this one on the list behind the Spit....
|Sep 05, 2008, 02:57 PM|
I used a Hitech HS-75BB retract servo and occasionally have an issue with the gear wanting to come down for landings. I may swap it out with the JR servo you're using as it has quite a bit more torque than the specs listed for the HS-75BB.
I can't really compare the motors as I've not flown with either. One of the nice things about the Scorpion line of motors is that he offers several different winds in each size which gives the builder a chance to fine tune a little.
Lucien of innov8tivedesigns.com has a really good comparison of his motors to other manufacturer's motors here:
|Sep 05, 2008, 04:47 PM|
I have flown this Corsair for around 8 months now....E-Flight 0.60 installed on a 16x8 prop.....it's just wow, like the others in the range....flies on rails.
|Sep 06, 2008, 02:26 AM|
29 Palms california
Joined Jul 2003
Love mine with one exception noted last.
E flight 60
85 A Castle Hv
60 A full throttle static
180 W per Lb
Flys on rails
The 6V reciever batteries were mounted aft of the servos to obtain proper balance.
Retract servo tried was Hobbico CS-63 low profile & a Hitec HS-77BB proportional.
Neither one had enough power to overcome the binding I encountered. I tried my
best to correct the problem. Ended up blocking the gear in the down position. Vj
|Sep 06, 2008, 06:33 AM|
To overcome your retract issue's, don't use straight wire [the high quality of the piano wire used.....for a change....is the problem] as per instructions when you attach to the servo, but put 90 degree bends in place, this will allow some "over-centre" movement without the servo stalling, and because the control wire is good stuff, it will bend without forming "memory" bends like mild steel does.
I have recently used the new JP/GWS retract servo....best retract servo yet, 7.5kg/cm torque, and slow, superb, gave up on Hi-tech.....too fragile, with a habit of stalling and burning out.
|Sep 06, 2008, 08:19 AM|
Hemet, California, United States
Joined Aug 2001
These are really nice planes, but the lack of a battery hatch is a deal breaker for me. I have a Graupner T-28 that I really like, but you have to take the wing off of that one to change out the batteries as well.
I won't be buying another plance like that again. Too bad as I really like the Spitfire.
Hopefully H&M will address this in the future?
Good luck! Mickydee
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