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Phoenix Model F4U Corsair

Phoenix Model has released a sport-scale version of the famous F4U Corsair complete with retracts, so if you are looking for a sharp looking 'Whistling Death" machine, here it is.

Splash

The Chance Vought F4U Corsair is probably the most recognized aircraft that served in WWII.


Wingspan: 59"
Wing Area: 592.1 Sq. In.
Weight: 105 oz or ~ 6.6 lbs. (ours 7lbs 15 oz.)
Length: 44.5"
Servos: Futaba S3151 Digital Sport BB Servos + 2 Tower Hobbies TS-63 Low-Profile Retract
Transmitter: Futaba 8JA
Receiver: Futaba R2008SB S.Bus 8-Channel S-FHSS Receiver
Battery: FlightPower LiPo 6S 5000mAh
Motor: Electrifly RIMFIRE .55 42-60-480 Outrunner Brushless
ESC: FlightPower 60A Brushless ESC
Manufacturer: http://phoenixmodel.com
Available From: Tower Hobbies http://www.towerhobbies.com/
Price: $ 199.98 ARF

The Corsair came into production in 1940 and was produced up to 1953 for the French Air Force. The use of the Corsair changed from the US Navy (due to landing problems) to the US Marine Crops in 1942. The Corsair didn’t like landing or taxing on a carrier deck and with that long nose the pilot had a difficult time trying to make a three wheeled landing – so off to the Marines they went – and proved very effective in fighting the Japanese. The Corsair also saw action in the Korean War and Corsairs flew their final combat missions during the 1969 "Football War" between Honduras and El Salvador! Quite a history, don’t you agree? There are many sizes of Corsairs currently being offered ranging from small foam aircraft all the way up to 100+” gas powered giant scale war birds. Phoenix Model decided to release a version that would take a 5s or 6s battery (or perhaps a .55 glow engine) while offering a respectable 59” wingspan. Phoenix Model decided to include retracts and omit flaps – which for a sport scale model, is a good call. The flaps on a Corsair can be very complicated to set up and if a correct airfoil is selected, is not needed.

Kit Contents

Assembly

Order of assembly goes more or less as follows: ailerons; retracts; stabilizers; engine (or motor); control rods; cowl; balancing.

Wing

Nothing earth shaking about installing the ailerons in the wing - but a 12" extension was needed to reach the fuselage. This was not mentioned in the manual, so take notes! Really an 18" extension might be a better choice if you wish to locate your receiver up closer to the front of the airplane.

In retrospect, perhaps the decal of the star should be placed on the bottom of the right wing before installing the servo as the star lies right over the aileron hatch. I found some soapy water sprayed on the wing made placement of the decals very efficient and in correct location.

Speaking of hardware, two metal clevis were discarded during the assembly of the Corsair. After threading the clevis on the supplied push rod (about 15 times), I could pull the clevis off! I first noticed this when working with retracts. For some reason the gear would not start or stop at the same point all the time - then it was noticed the clevis was sliding up and down the push rod. So a word to those assembling this model: make certain the clevis is not moving along the threaded rod.

Now on to the retracts! Being the cheap person that I know, the decision to have TWO retract servos made me chose Tower Hobbies Retract Servo as opposed to the (highly) recommended Futaba S3170G. That choice made me add a couple of hours of assembly to the model because the wing's servo cutout is especially made for the Futaba servo and the Tower Hobbies servo is LONGER! Which in turn requires a modification of the mounting space. Nothing too big mind you, just something that had to be done which was not needed.

A local hobby shop let me 'borrow' the Futaba servo so I could show you the difference. I appreciated that. So the opening inside the wheel well was enlarged enough to get the servo in place. I had glued the wheel well in place already (got to follow directions next time) which made the task a bit harder and more difficult, but the job was completed correctly.

The entire tire/strut does not fit entirely into the wheel well but sits at a slight angle. If the wheel is rotated so it lies flat in the wheel well, it will look good - but when the gear is extended, the tires will have a pronounced toe-out effect! Because this is a sport scale airplane, I'll go with the wheels pointing straight ahead and besides no one can see them as this plane buzzes the pits at near supersonic speeds (well close to that anyway).

Downloads

The wing panels attaches inside of the fuselage by a metal tab and rides on two aluminum tubes. This is a very secure method for mounting the wing. Due to the four servo leads entering into the fuselage, the wing wasn't removed between trips to the flying field. Two "Y" connectors were used to connect the servos to the receiver.

Tail

With the wing completed the attention turned to mounting the tail feathers. Nothing new here as the slot holding the stab was perfectly aligned to the wing and the vertical stabilizer was already mounted with a nice graceful blend into the fuselage.

Now came the part of the assembly I dread: bending the tail wheel strut. The picture in the manual shows a perfectly bent 90-degree angle...I doubt this was really the strut they used as the strut enters the fuselage from the bottom and extends up along the vertical stabilizer. I've yet found a way to make this bend accurately, so the strut was bent as good as I could (and I'm getting weaker by the day - and it took all my efforts to bend that puppy!). As you can see, the bend wasn't the best in the world, but it works.

Fuselage

The first task was to mount the cowl ring to the firewall and for some reason mine didn't like that. It seems the tabs were too close together to fit into the slots in the firewall - so some sanding took care of that alignment.

With the ring mounted then the motor mount was assembled with the supplied stand-offs.

Radio Installation

The three control surface push rods were inserted from the front of the plane and where they tried to exit in the rear of the fuselage, a small knife slit permitted them to be pushed into place. The control horn(s) were then attached to the control rod and located on the control surface - straight in line and screwed into place.

Retracts

The supplied retracts function like all rotating retracts and because they are driven by a servo (one for each retract) one must expect to fiddle with them. Yes these are drop in retracts and yes I used a 'different' retract servo than the one recommended nonetheless some time was spent adjusting them and they worked fine.

First of all their placement in the wing was done with the wheel attached so the tire was in the center of the wheel well. Four wood screws secure the unit on a sturdy plywood plates. An adjustable servo arm (that was supplied with the retract servo) was used. A nylon clevis was connected a to a short push rod and that in turn was slid into an 'EZ-Connector' so small adjustments could be made. Some fiddling was necessary to get the correct amount of throw so the retract would lock up and also lock down.

The wheel doesn't completely retract into the wing because if it did, when extended you would have approximately 25 degrees of toe-out! While watching the videos you will not notice the tire's position as not being totally inside the wheel well and this was the way it was designed.

On the first video you will notice a forced landing and the part that broke on the retract was one of the connectors. By breaking, the wheels folded back into the wing and there wasn't any damage to the wing! I feared the landing gear blocks would have broken out but to my surprise only the cowl had some grass stains on it.

Completion

Flying

First flight proved a couple of items...one the recommended control throws are correct as is the CG and most of all this is one great flying machine! I was surprised at the amount of flying time possible with a 6s 5500mAh battery. The first flight ended in a rougher landing that necessary, (bounced three times) but other than a bunch of down trim needed for level flight, she flew great. Flying at 2/3 throttle the Corsair flew hands off, straight and level.

On the second flight something that I had NOT done (you can't fix stupid) caught up with me. Doing some touch and goes the motor sounded like it threw a prop but it was the speed controller shorting out because i forgot to add heat shrink to the three motor/speed controller wires. HOW STUPID can one be? And the worst part is I should have saved that landing as you will see in the first video.

Anyway, the landing attempt aborted due to incorrect flight path (too high and too fast), so go around didn't happen and the Corsair made a somewhat abrupt landing on the nearby soccer field, breaking a linkage on the retracts. That ended flying for that day! .

Basics

Get this plane in the air and have fun as it will do all the normal aerobatic maneuvers but will go directly where you point it. NO self recovery is built into this plane. Stalls are sharp but straight down, and spins are tight if you lean on the rudder during that stall. Recovery is quick and a secondary stall really has to be forced.

Taking Off and Landing

Gentle management of throttle will permit a straight take off - providing your tail wheel is straight, so when bending that tail wheel strut do your best to keep the wheel/rudder in a straight line. Take off run can be surprisingly quick and with elevator in neutral, the Corsair likes to climb out at a nice attitude.

Landings are best if the airspeed is kept a bit fast and then by flying level and bleed off the airspeed about 6" off the ground let the plane do the landing. Landing too fast will result in a bounce (or two, or three....).

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

As previously mentioned, this aircraft will do just about any maneuver - except for hovering and other 3D maneuvers. Inverted flight required just a touch of down elevator (with CG at 85mm) and hammerheads will fall back if you let the airspeed get too low, but that is to be expected. The only maneuver it didn't like to do was a knife-edge, oh it tried to stay on its side but the nose said no way and she would slowly drop.

George was the second pilot to fly the Corsair and had nothing but good things to say about how the plane flew. When he landed at 5 minutes there was still 77% of the battery left! When Rod flew the Corsair for the first time he commented on how quickly he felt 'at home' with the plane and his nervousness quickly vanished.

This plane flies like a sport plane with an inverted gull wing!

Is This For a Beginner?

No way! This plane will go where it is pointed and has no self-recovery tendencies built into it.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Corsair 1st flight (4 min 24 sec)
Corsair flies so well I think it is a sport plane! https://www.youtube.com/my_videos?o=U Corsair Retracts work as designed.
George first flight (1 min 45 sec)
George's turn to fly the Corsair
Ron's First Flight (2 min 26 sec)
Now it was Ron's turn.

Conclusion

I love this plane - 1: it is a WARBIRD ; 2: it flies like a SPORT PLANE ; and 3: can fly 8-10 Minutes! Three strikes and it hits a home run. I can't say enough positive things about this plane and those feelings were echoed by those who saw it fly and flew it. The only hiccup is that small brass linkage on the retract unit and I'm sure Phoenix Models will be working on an update or at least spare parts.

Pluses

All wood construction; very light airframe:

Retracts included

Glow or electric powered and hardware included

Not too large, but not too small

Part fit was excellent

OraCover was applied well

Canopy hatch well designed and room to access battery or tank

Flies GREAT!

Minuses

Need aileron extensions

Tail wheel strut difficult to bend

Retracts may be a weak link

Cowl fit didn't line up with the motor

CG critical but is correct (85mm)

Last edited by tailskid2; Aug 06, 2015 at 09:30 PM..
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Old Sep 01, 2015, 05:13 AM
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Just flew mine a couple of weeks ago, and I love how it flies. Mine even whistles like the original, probably form the cowling. However, assembly was a pita, the retracts beeing the main problem. I actually had to switch to smaller wheels so they would close properly. I also had to modify the motor mount as the Rimfire motor aparently uses the same bolt pattern that others use for 35 mm motors (I noticed this on the Escapade as well). I used this Hyperion motor with a 13X8 graupner prop for about 1100 watt on 6S 3300 mah batteries, and I had to add at least 200 grams to the cowling to achive correct c.g.
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Old Sep 01, 2015, 08:10 AM
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No mention of the prop size used? Can you disclose that secret data?

Thanks
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Old Sep 01, 2015, 08:47 AM
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no flaps no bueno.
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Old Sep 01, 2015, 09:21 AM
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Nice review! And nice flying model

Looks like it would be easier to install electric retracts instead of the mechanical ones provided with the plane.

Kman
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Old Sep 01, 2015, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimNM View Post
No mention of the prop size used? Can you disclose that secret data?

Thanks
Yes it is secret.....but someone mentioned an APC 13-4W and 13-6 but don't tell anyone

Jerry
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Old Sep 01, 2015, 10:09 PM
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Cool. Looks like a FMS 17 x10x4 will fit with plenty of room
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Old Sep 01, 2015, 10:49 PM
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retracts

how does the retracts handle grass runways?
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Old Sep 01, 2015, 11:27 PM
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No problems until I docked the landing
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Old Sep 02, 2015, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kman24 View Post
Nice review! And nice flying model

Looks like it would be easier to install electric retracts instead of the mechanical ones provided with the plane.

Kman
Its not as easy as one would think. First of all, the gear legs are tilted forward, and therefore they twist and close at an outward angle, not straight backwards. Also, they are designed opposit to any other retract I have encountered in the way that the mounting plate are deep insde the wing, and the mechanism sticks out. So you would have to modify the wheel wells and mounting for the new retracts. Belive me, I tried to come up with a better solution, I even bought a set of electric retracts that would fit, if Phoenix had used a more normal setup. But its not me to start to rebuild and modify models, so I went with the original setup, and after some tweaking I got it to work.
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Old Sep 02, 2015, 04:24 PM
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the review is now live....

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2458252

I just put an OS .65 on mine and love the way it flies!!!

Jerry
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Old Sep 04, 2015, 12:12 PM
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I LOVE that it comes without decals/ markings applied: the included ones look pretty good/ fairly accurate for 1945 U.S.S. Bunker Hill based F4U-1D, but it's SO Nice to be able to choose your own scheme without having to remove factory applied ones.
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Old Sep 04, 2015, 02:45 PM
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Couldn't agree more with you Corsair Jock.....now I'm tempted to dull the covering and add some weathering once I get the retracts working the way I want them.
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Old Sep 04, 2015, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kman24 View Post
Nice review! And nice flying model

Looks like it would be easier to install electric retracts instead of the mechanical ones provided with the plane.

Kman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrre View Post
Its not as easy as one would think. First of all, the gear legs are tilted forward, and therefore they twist and close at an outward angle, not straight backwards. Also, they are designed opposit to any other retract I have encountered in the way that the mounting plate are deep insde the wing, and the mechanism sticks out. So you would have to modify the wheel wells and mounting for the new retracts. Belive me, I tried to come up with a better solution, I even bought a set of electric retracts that would fit, if Phoenix had used a more normal setup. But its not me to start to rebuild and modify models, so I went with the original setup, and after some tweaking I got it to work.
I'm with you Kman. The FMS 1400s with the CNCParts sides would probably work well with some added mounting rails/spacers. The FMS retracts also rotate a full 90 degrees so the tires should lay flat in the wells as they should.

The reason they don't fold straight back is because they bent the struts forward to get the correct forward rake - and that is a plus. Simple matter to match the bend in the struts to get the electrics to sit down in the wheel wells.
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Old Sep 05, 2015, 12:39 PM
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Looks like a great replacement for the H&M Performance version. I'm looking forward to the success of this model.
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