Horizon Hobby, E-flite's 1.2m F4U-4 Corsair BNF Review - RC Groups
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Horizon Hobby, E-flite's 1.2m F4U-4 Corsair BNF Review

Having flown and enjoyed a friends E-flite 1.2m T-28 I said yes to reviewing this new Corsair!

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Introduction

E-flite® F-4U-4 Corsair 1.2m BNF Basic (2 min 9 sec)


Approximate Assembly Time: Less than 1/2 Hour
Completion Level: Bind-N-Fly Basic
Wingspan: 48" (1220mm)
Wing Area: 431 sq in (27.8 sq dm)
Weight: 58 oz.
Length: 38.2" (970mm)
Servos: 6 nine gram servos
Material: Z-foam
Landing Gear: Working scale retracts
Transmitter Used: Spektrum DX-9
Minimum Required Receiver: Full-range 6+ channel
Recommended Battery: 2200mAh 3S 11.1V 25C Li-Po
Motor size: 15 size Brushless 850 Kv
Propeller size: 10.5 x 8, four-blade
ESC: E-flite 40A Brushless ESC
Manufacturer: E-flite
Available From: Horizon Hobby
Price: $269.99 BNF

When I was presented with a chance to review the new E-flite 1.2m Corsair I quickly said yes! I have a friends who has the E-flite 1.2m T-28 and it is an excellent flying plane that looks great both on the ground and in the air. Additionally, I like the looks of the Corsair even more than the T-28. I went to the Horizon Hobby Website and looked at the pictures and the video and read about the plane in their promotional material. I liked the looks of the main wheels, the three section flaps and the additional details built into the plane. Those details included an installed decorative pitot tube in the wing, a decorative scale antenna in the fuselage, the exhaust pipes in the cowl and the pilot and decal instruments in the cockpit. Of course E-flite's reputation for good flying planes and excellent customer support helped me make my decision to review this plane.

The Corsair 1.2m has arrived and I have completed the assembly, or actually, the final assembly as it took less than a half hour even stopping to take pictures to complete the final assembly process. It was a very quick and easy assembly as discussed below in the Assembly Section as no glue was needed. As I write this opening the plane is now ready to fly and my Spektrum DX 9 transmitter has been programmed for this Corsair. All I need to advance this review is some flying weather where the spring winds won't take an RC plane to Oz.

Kit Contents

Kit Contents

  • One piece wing complete with working retracts, flaps and ailerons installed
  • Fuselage complete with motor, ESC and servos installed for rudder and elevator
  • One piece horizontal stabilizer with elevators
  • Two drop tanks
  • Four blade propeller
  • Assorted hardware

A.jpg:The complete kit contents, including xxxx

Additional Item Needed to Complete

  • Full-range 6+ channel transmitter with Spektrum DSM2/DSMX technology
  • Flight battery – E-Flite 2200mAh 3S 11.1V 25C Li-Po (EFLB22003S30) recommended
  • Suitable balanced charger

Tools used in the Assembly by Author

Tools supplied and used by author

  • 2mm long Allen Wrench
  • Needle nose pliers
  • NO GLUE

Promoted Key Features

Key Features

  • Easy to complete final assembly
  • AS3X® technology for rock-solid flight stability
  • Accurate multi-sectional flaps with servos
  • Retractable 90° rotating electric main landing gear
  • 6-channel control with a steerable tail wheel
  • Spektrum™ 6-channel AR636A DSMX® receiver
  • Powerful 15-size, 850Kv brushless motor
  • E-flite® 40-amp brushless ESC
  • Accepts 2200mAh 3S 11.1V Li-Po battery packs (sold separately)
  • 6 × Lightweight Spektrum micro servos
  • Constructed with durable Z-Foam™ material
  • Authentic US Marine Corps VMFT-20 training squadron trim scheme
  • Realistic cockpit, 4-blade propeller and radial engine detail
  • Removable wing tanks included

Assembly

Tail

The rudder came fully assembled and attached to the fuselage. Even the servo control rod came attached. For the horizontal stabilizer I merely needed to install it onto the fuselage. Both the fuselage and horizontal stabilizer were molded to fit together in a very solid fashion. After sliding them together I simple had to secure the stabilizer into the fuselage with one supplied screw. (The screws for this and securing the wing are all the same size so picking the correct screw required no thought. I did need to supply a 2mm Allen wrench to screw in the screw. It took me several attempts to properly align the screw with the built in mount and start screwing in the screw. If you don't plan to ever remove the horizontal stabilizer it can also be glued in place but that is not necessary and is not in the instruction manual. The final step was attaching the clevis on the elevator control rod coming out of the fuselage to the control horn that came installed on the elevators that came attached to the horizontal stabilizer. Unfortunately, the clevis pin was deformed or partial broken. I contacted Horizon Hobby and had a replacement pin sent to me at no cost. It arrived in a couple of days and that was before the wind died down enough for a maiden flight. That was the only defect I found in my entire plane. The pin might have worked with the elastic band on it as well but not something i wanted to chance.

Wing

The one piece wing also came fully assembled and required no assembly by me. I only had to attach the three supplied Y-harnesses for the ailerons, flaps and landing gear. I slid the wires into the hole for them in the bottom of the wing saddle and then fit the wing to the fuselage. The wing was secured in place with the four supplied screws that were all the same size. Again I used my own 2mm long Allen wrench although a normal length wrench would have worked as well. With the wing firmly secured in place I flipped the plane over and plugged the aileron, flap and retract Y-harnesses into the Spektrum receiver that came installed in the fuselage. The wing was now installed.

Fuselage

The fuselage came with the motor and ESC installed in place as well as an installed servo for the rudder which was fully connected to the rudder and an installed servo with control rod/ clevis for the elevators. I described attaching the horizontal stabilizer above as well as attaching the wing. The only remaining part to attach was the propeller. Here I had a short delay as I found the propeller nut to be a very tight fit initially. When I tried to practice screw it onto the propeller shaft the shaft turned and I couldn't get it on with the propeller and its hub in position. Here I used a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the propeller shaft in a still position with the propeller off. I was able to install the propeller nut and after installing and removing it a couple of times I was able to screw it on with out the propeller shaft turning.

A two piece plastic propeller hub is supplied to install around the center of the supplied four blade propeller. It snapped into place and supplies the proper spacing for the propeller out from the motor to clear the cowling. With the propeller on the shaft I was able to now screw on the propeller nut without the propeller shaft turning. Final tightening of the nut was performed with a small screw driver through the two holes in the propeller nut to get the nut on nice and secure.

Radio Installation

The Spektrum receiver came installed in the fuselage with the tail servos and ESC already connected. I had to connect the Y-harnesses as described above in connection with the wing attachment. A binding plug was supplied in the kit and I installed it in the proper slot in the receiver and bound the included receiver to my DX-9 Spektrum transmitter.

Horizon Hobby supplied me with a three-cell E-Flite 2200mAh LiPo battery to power my Corsair. I charged this battery with my own charger. I added a small piece of Velcro that I supplied to the bottom of the battery and installed it almost all the way forward in the fuselage. It was secured in place with the Velcro and the two Velcro like straps that came already installed in the fuselage. This battery powered all aspects of the plane. It also balanced the plane on the recommended Center of Gravity of 73mm behind the wing's leading edge. There is room to move the battery back if a slight large battery is used rather then the recommended 2200mAh battery. All of my flights were done with the recommended battery and the plane balanced on the recommended C/G

Completion

Many kits have some small detail parts to attach in place such as a decorative scale antenna or a scale pitot tube for determining the speed on the full size plane. This kit had those and also had scale mufflers installed under the cowl and included a pilot with a decal based instrument panel. However, in this kit these parts came already installed on the Corsair and the added details make the plane even more enjoyable to look at on the ground. Below are pictures of these parts installed as they came in the kit.

Two drop tanks were also supplied in the kit and they simply slide onto their mounts on the bottom side of the wing. I have taken pictures of these "tanks" installed and have flown with them in place. Fly with or without them as the choice is yours. I found they did add some drag and slightly slowed down axial rolls. I will fly without them most of the time as i like the plane's looks better without and she is slightly faster (IMHO) without them. Again the pilot is free to fly with or without them and she can certainly fly with them installed.

Testing the Flaps, Displaying the Drop Tanks and Testing the Landing Gear

After binding the plane to my transmitter I tested the flaps and the working 90 degree rotating retracts. They worked perfectly right from the start. My flaps are on a three way switch and the top switch position has the flaps up in normal flight position. The middle position deploys half flaps which is excellent for landing. The bottom switch is the down position for takeoff. The effect of the flaps is discussed below in the flight section. The drop tanks slide on and off rails under the wings and removal is displayed in the video below. Finally, the video shows the retracts in operation.

E-flite's 1.2m Corsair's Flaps, Drop Tanks and Retracts - RCGroups (1 min 45 sec)

Flying

Basics

This Corsair is a six channel plane with proportional control of the throttle, ailerons, elevator and rudder. It has 90 rotating electronic retracts and flaps with three flap panels per side and with a three position switch on the transmitter the flaps have three positions. Using my Spektrum DX-9 transmitter the flaps worked perfectly with a full up, mid position and full down position as discussed above. For landing I don't deploy the flaps until I am down to half throttle and I experienced no ballooning of the plane at that throttle setting even when fully lowering the flaps. The retracts also worked perfectly and required no adjustment by me of any setting on my transmitter.

As for the normal flight controls I found I wanted a little more rudder control due to my flying in some heavy winds that were often cross runway. I simply programmed the rudder to 130% movement rather than the standard 100%. I found I was perfectly happy flying my plane with the other controls at 100% movement and had no need for dual rates or expo. A less experienced pilot may want to program in lower rates for the ailerons and elevator. The instruction manual recommends 70% for low rate movement. An intermediate or better pilot will most likely want full rates all the time as I did.

With many of the flights in strong cross wind conditions The AS3X stabilization system built into the receiver was given a real test and it did a great job of correcting for undesired directional changes caused be the gusting winds. They were sometimes observable by me when I was watching closely as I knew what I was and wasn't doing with the transmitter sticks. The wing tip facing towards the cross wind would get pushed up or down and the AS3X corrected for it immediately so I didn't have to make those corrections. I really appreciated this feature in the gusty flight conditions.

Some dawn patrol flying was done in still air but most of the flights have been in spring winds of 10 plus miles per hour with gusts at times up to 20 mph. The plane handled the wind much better than I did when shooting my demo video posted below but some AS3X corrections might be seen and I was very unsteady with my camera. I used You Tube's steady option for my video.

Taking Off and Landing

I always like to make scale like takeoffs with my warbirds and this Corsair is no exception. By running the motor up in a somewhat scale like manner she not only looks quite real she gave me no problems with side or rotational turning on takeoff. I didn't try any snap takeoffs but if I did I would want to be ready with rudder to counter any possible torque roll that might be displayed. Again this was not an issue with my takeoffs nor with takeoffs by Chris that all were performed in a slowly accelerating scale like manner.

Landings are best made with the motor running and slowly deaccelerating through touch down. Based upon observed flight when turning the motor off in the air she drops a bit faster than I would want for a motor off landing. With power on she has been a very nice landing plane and fairly smooth on landing. There has been a couple landings with bounces but they were in the highest wind conditions and wind gust might have played a part.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

This Corsair does very nice rolls even with gear down. Having gear down and the drop tanks on does slow down the roll a little. Loops can be as big as you want them when the battery is fresh and a combination of rolls, tight loops and 1/2 rolls when flying down the runway give a nice impression of how she could dog fight. With my rudder throw she also does very nice hammer stalls and half pipes. She can perform every warbird maneuver that I attempted and looks good doing them without the optional drop tanks.

Is This For a Beginner?

While the plane has no real vices I would not recommend this plane for a beginner. With so many excellent trainer planes available from Horizon Hobby I would want to save this plane for after a pilot has become skilled in flying, especially with takeoffs and landings.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

As discussed above it was windy when this video was shot and I was not as steady as I would have liked to have been so I used the stability option on You Tube and that and AS3X adjustments show up a bit in the video.

E-flite 1.2m RC Corsair in Flight - RCGroups.com (3 min 17 sec)

Conclusion

The plane can be assembled in fifteen minutes and the hardest part of the assembly was tightening the propeller nut as described above. It also took me a couple tries to properly line up the screw to secure the horizontal stabilizer in place. I can transport her fully assembled in the back of my Prius but she is a quick assembly at the field with only four screws needed to secure the wing in place.

I liked all of the little detailed features that came already installed including the scale antenna in the fuselage and the pitot tube in the wing. In the air I especially like the three panel flaps when deployed and the pilot in the cockpit. On the ground the four blade propeller is a nice scale detail. I flew her at mixed speeds and 7 1/2 - 8 minute flights left the battery still at 11-11.1 volts so more air time was available if needed. Best of all she looks great in the air! Whether just flying laps or doing a string of aerobatics she looks beautiful. With the sun low and behind me the plane does have a shine from certain angles and I found I would fly my patterns to avoid that shine as I like the colors without the shine much more.

Flying her sensibly: scale like takeoffs and powered landings I had no problems handling here not did Chris or another friend who has bought one. She looks good and flies great. I thought the 1.2m T-28 flew well (and she does) but I prefer the Corsair because I love her looks and her handling. I strongly endorse this plane for intermediate of better pilots.

Pluses & Minuses

Pluses

  • Very quick assembly
  • BNF Basic so no battery or charger that might not be needed
  • Both wing and tail can be quickly removed for transportation and storage
  • Lots of nice details included in the plane including the molding
  • Flies great or the above points wouldn't mean much
  • I can transport her ready to fly in my Prius

Minuses

  • When a squadron of these Corsairs flies together they all look alike

Thanks

This plane and an E-flite battery were supplied to RC Groups for this review and we want to thank them. I also want to thank my friend, Chris Tapangcura, for his assistance in getting the in air media and our editor for her assistance with this review.

Last edited by Matt Gunn; May 31, 2016 at 05:15 PM..
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Jun 13, 2016, 10:49 AM
Registered User
Totally gorgeous plane. I'd love to have one, but simply too expensive.

Too bad they don't have a stripped down belly-lander, more park-flier friendly version, maybe sans flaps and retracts, for less money...
Jun 18, 2016, 06:49 PM
loves to fly...
I agree Herrsavage,

It'd be cool to see the 1.2m planes with no flaps and retracts. Not only for the lower price point but for simplicity of those that don't care to have landing and take offs. Plus, if you changed your mind later, they could be added later for most likely a premium offering by Horizon (since we known items bundled together often come with a discount).
Jun 19, 2016, 12:46 AM
Smish-smash
Good point but then you'd have folks complaining that retracts and flaps cost extra. Vis: PZ P-47.

The more I see of this Corsair the more I like it, and I liked it to begin with. Too spendy for me right now though.
Jun 20, 2016, 01:43 PM
Maggie is in charge
ncsky's Avatar
Have to agree with all the above. This plane looks fantastic. It would be great to offer these BNF in 2 versions. The loaded up one like this model and a sub $200 one with fixed gear (removable great) no flaps.
That way everyone is happy within their budgets.
I think they would sell even more planes this way.

Just my .02
Jun 22, 2016, 03:04 AM
Registered User
Zverymuch's Avatar
One vice of the model is no removable cowl on this model to do any sort of motor work You literally have to cut the nose off.
Jun 22, 2016, 09:37 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsky
Have to agree with all the above. This plane looks fantastic. It would be great to offer these BNF in 2 versions. The loaded up one like this model and a sub $200 one with fixed gear (removable great) no flaps.
That way everyone is happy within their budgets.
I think they would sell even more planes this way.

Just my .02
Exactly.

They want €300 for this plane in Europe. I could literally buy two Durafly P-47N's for that, shipped. The Freewings cost 200 max. To name just a couple examples. I could get a 1400 FMS for €260ish.. €300 for a 1100-1200 foamie warbird is unrealistic.

Nice plane, but simply too expensive.


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