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  1. #1

    New-old stock kit build, Pica RC-38 Corsair F4U

    Hi everyone. Name is Steve. My user name includes my zip code, Scottsburg, IN. Me and the Mrs. became empty nesters about 3 years back, all three kids married, two local and one just an hour and half away in Bloomington.
    I just registered a few days ago. Early this year, I decided to resume model planes, a hobby going back to my youth. As a kid, ca. 1970, I only did control line and free flight. Fast forward, to start, I picked up an engine and n.o.s. kit plane on ebay early this year. I'm sure I'm going about it, cost wise anyway, all wrong. I'm also biting off even more than the bare minimum in the process (it might yet be reversible, but I'm still going ahead with it) by deciding to go the retracts route. I'm getting bogged down in building now because purchased gear that I haven't bought holding me up.

    The kit has servo and air switch mount provisions, but I'm left hanging when it comes to make/model of retracts. I am aware that it requires the rotating style mains. The Robart 615 would appear to be one option. I've also come across an all electric version by E-Flite, the 25-46. Sounds good, getting away from the pneumatics. But I don't know
    if it is right sized for this plane. And a google search on this one pulled up a you-tube video of someone doing a bench test with one not performing as supposed to.

    I may come back and post more questions. This is 1/8 scale, 61" Wing span, the box recommends either 0.46 or 0.61 engine. The cowl measures 7 1/4" diameter. Will even the 0.61 allow a large enough prop? Since I don't have a whole lot in the engine I bought on ebay, any thoughts on going electric powered?

    Being that the kit was from Pica, I don't know how I could go about getting support. My instruction booklet jumps from page 25 to page 27, missing P26. The plans have the names Jon and Morten Tanger on them. Pretty highly regarded from what I see from searches. Does anyone know if either can still be contacted? Has someone else been down this same path?

    Any ideas, help appreciated.


  2. #2
    TomCrump's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    Traverse City, MI
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    Pica is long gone, as a kit manufacturer. I believe that Hobbico owns them, now.

    I would assume that anything that works for the Top Flite Corsair, ,could be readily adapted to the Pica version.

    Any support that you require, is available from like minded individuals, on the net. I suggest the RCU Warbird Forum as an excellent soure of information.

    This PICA kit is not suitable for novice builders, nor beginning pilots. I suggest that you would be better served by building a trainer, and, with the assistance of an instructor, learning to fly it. In the best of situations, a warbird is down the list,

    Learning the basics of building, and the basics of flight, come first. The progession goes from there. High wing to low wing. Trike gear to tail dragger. No flaps to flaps. Lightly loaded airframe to heavy weights, etc..

    Rushing things usually leads to failure. If you take the time to advance your skills, you should enjoy success in our hobby.
    Tom C

    Sig Brotherhood # 120
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  3. #3
    DavidAgar's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Battle Ground, WA
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    As mentioned, Pica is long gone, but not forgotten. I would suggest a post in the scale forum asking for a copy of the instructions. A member of RCU may be able to help. The Pica kits build into nice planes, but are built old school. Lot's of blocks that need to be sanded and shaped and typically heavy. You might want to explore ways to lighten her up as lighter planes fly better. As for retracts, that is a matter of personal choice. I prefer the air operated ones, but others use the electric ones. The electric ones have not been around all that long and the ones that I had were a problem from word go. I have also had bad rotating retracts from Robart. The gear train was loose and the wheels chattered when it came up to speed, but that was quite a few years ago, so hopefully they have repaired them. There are other makers of retracts so there are choices. As for power, go to the high end. To convert to electric, you would need to consult with someone a lot more knowledgeable than me on that subject as I am a nitro flyer. As for questions as you go, feel free to post them, RCU has lot's of members that can help you. As a side note, the Corsair would not be a good plane to start flying with. Once built I would strongly recommend you get a trainer for your first flights. Good Luck, Dave
    If the screw ain\'t loose then things ain\'t normal.

    Dave Agar

  4. #4
    Thanks Tom and Dave for the tips. I promise to take it slow. Luckily I have a boss with an RC flying and a real flying background
    who'se generously donated his glo powered trainer, a trike, high wing, and flight gear. As to the Pica F4U, I've pulled up the Top-Flite
    model manual and while not helpful on construction being a different system, the detail it goes into for the preparation for and actual
    flying blows the Pica manual away. As suggested, I'll hop over to the other forums on scale and warbirds.

    And I'm moving at a cautious snail's pace on the build. Possible signature line, "Failure is NOT an option!"

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