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Confused on Retracts for .60 Corsair!

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Old 04-11-2018, 08:34 AM
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vwcalbug
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Default Confused on Retracts for .60 Corsair!

I have a Top Flite Gold Edition kit I've started building, and I need to make a decision on gear. I have been researching for weeks and I just don't know what to do! It just seems like such a crap shoot, plus a lot of data I found was old, or changed. I'm going to summarize what I think I know and I can use some advice on which way to go. Appreciate the help.

The only real limitation is I want electric, I want nothing to do with air.

1) Robart 615E: Should drop right in, but I don't read anything good about them, lots of issues and concerns for durability. I expect my model to be 11-12 lbs when done (1.20 engine, retracts, glass/paint). They are pricey, but I'm willing to spend money. I think they came out with an updated version, it seems like most issues discussed are older. Are these good or not?
2) CJM also mentioned in the kit instructions. I have a pneumatic set, but I don't want to go that route. They seem to be shut down. I contacted them through email, no response, their number is disconnected. Down and Locked will retro them for $350 (crazy!).
3) E-Flite 60/120: This seems to be a very strong option at a good price. There are some positings about issues, but limited. Most people seem to think they are great and they also seemed to have an updated model in 2015. This seems to be my best option, any concerns with that?
4) Lado Tech: Was horrible when they came out, then sold to a french company. Seems to be pretty well regarded, probably most expensive?
4) Down and Locked: Seems like they are great, not a ton of info out there, but no rotating version (coming July 18 per them)
5) Electron: Seems good, not a ton of info out there, no rotating version.
6) Shulman: Can't find much info/reviews on them. No idea on price/lead time.
7) VQ: Highly regarded but just seem like a modified robart retract? I'm concerned about it fitting into the wing of the .60. I think it's too big for me.

So really for electric it seems like the options are Robart, E Flite, Shulman and Lado. I'm willing to pay, but expect quality and reliability. How would people rank these are best options (regardless of price)? To me it seems like:

Lado
E Flite
Shulman
Robart

Does that sound right? Can anyone provide more insight or anything I missed?
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by vwcalbug View Post
I have a Top Flite Gold Edition kit I've started building, and I need to make a decision on gear. I have been researching for weeks and I just don't know what to do! It just seems like such a crap shoot, plus a lot of data I found was old, or changed. I'm going to summarize what I think I know and I can use some advice on which way to go. Appreciate the help.

The only real limitation is I want electric, I want nothing to do with air.

1) Robart 615E: Should drop right in, but I don't read anything good about them, lots of issues and concerns for durability. I expect my model to be 11-12 lbs when done (1.20 engine, retracts, glass/paint). They are pricey, but I'm willing to spend money. I think they came out with an updated version, it seems like most issues discussed are older. Are these good or not?
2) CJM also mentioned in the kit instructions. I have a pneumatic set, but I don't want to go that route. They seem to be shut down. I contacted them through email, no response, their number is disconnected. Down and Locked will retro them for $350 (crazy!).
3) E-Flite 60/120: This seems to be a very strong option at a good price. There are some positings about issues, but limited. Most people seem to think they are great and they also seemed to have an updated model in 2015. This seems to be my best option, any concerns with that?
4) Lado Tech: Was horrible when they came out, then sold to a french company. Seems to be pretty well regarded, probably most expensive?
4) Down and Locked: Seems like they are great, not a ton of info out there, but no rotating version (coming July 18 per them)
5) Electron: Seems good, not a ton of info out there, no rotating version.
6) Shulman: Can't find much info/reviews on them. No idea on price/lead time.
7) VQ: Highly regarded but just seem like a modified robart retract? I'm concerned about it fitting into the wing of the .60. I think it's too big for me.

So really for electric it seems like the options are Robart, E Flite, Shulman and Lado. I'm willing to pay, but expect quality and reliability. How would people rank these are best options (regardless of price)? To me it seems like:

Lado
E Flite
Shulman
Robart

Does that sound right? Can anyone provide more insight or anything I missed?

I'm going to add notes as I come across more information. Lado's are only 90 degree rotation and e flites look like they stick out the bottom of the wing.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:11 PM
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Chad Veich
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Based on all the research you have done I'm sure you have probably realized by now that you are not alone in your search and, to date, there really isn't any solid answer where electric retracts are concerned. In my opinion you have, by eliminating pneumatic gear from the search, robbed yourself of the only truly reliable set of retracts suitable for this airplane and that would be those from Sierra Giant Scale.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:55 AM
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More notes for anyone reading this:

VQ's recommendation was Robart 615E's. I found that surprising, but I think I read that somewhere else as well.

Shulman was outstanding in responding. He called me a few minutes after I submitted my email questions. This seems like a good option, fits well, 100 degrees. But I haven't found much information into their reliability/reviews. Anyone have inputs?

So I think I'm down to 615E or Shulmans.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:13 AM
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Chad Veich
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Just my .02 cents but I have a hunch you may be waiting for a very long time for the 615E's to finally hit the market.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:41 PM
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I have the VQ ARF 60 size P-40, 62".80 span (not yet finished), it's a bit smaller than the Top Flight 60 model, my fuselage is some 3+ inches shorter than Top Flight's.

Eflight's 60-120 size retracts,,
well I asked and asked and researched rotating retract's off and on for about 9 months until I came to a decision, and that decision was that the Eflights do not have any more complaints against them than any other brands, so I stopped looking and bought a set of them. the rotating system is smart and very simple, no gears meshing into the side frames that will wear out like other brands have. my set work very smooth, and the machining is good, but they need to extend slower to look more scale when activated. the shaft you mount your struts on is 5mm, so you may need to modify the struts you buy. the Eflights are owned and patented by Horizon. BTW, the complaints I read about the Eflights in the forums and saw on YouTube are 4 and 5 years old.

note that the Efligh's (60-120 size) frames and mounting pattern are most likely a bit smaller in size than other brands that are rated in the same size..

the Eflight Corsair struts,,
are light and really nice, but they are too long for my P-40 and you can not cut them shorter, so I had to send them back and buy the Robart 3/8 struts, they seem ok but there has been 2 complaints in the forums about them, their mounting set screws are really short (sorry I don't know their OD size), so I plan to use longer set screws and maybe the next size larger OD, they should hold better, I'm hoping their "insets" are not too hard to drill out to 5mm.

note that I am not telling you to buy the Eflights !! I am only telling what I know about them.

good luck !!
Jim

Last edited by the Wasp; 04-17-2018 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 05-05-2018, 02:24 PM
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I have a set of Lado retracts in a Top Flite 60 size P-40. So far they have worked ok. I had a set of the early Robart 60 electric rotating gear in a Corsair. They were junk. I finally converted them to air, replacing the electric motor and gears with an air cylinder.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad Veich View Post
Based on all the research you have done I'm sure you have probably realized by now that you are not alone in your search and, to date, there really isn't any solid answer where electric retracts are concerned. In my opinion you have, by eliminating pneumatic gear from the search, robbed yourself of the only truly reliable set of retracts suitable for this airplane and that would be those from Sierra Giant Scale.
Not so fast, personally, I'd invest in Darrells gear (Sierra) and have them converted to electric by Down and Locked (Mitch Scott). Now you have the Best of the Best. I agree with you on pneumatic gear, that's so 1980's Electric gear is the only way to go, just ask any turbine jet pilot or any giant warbird pilot for that matter.
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by STUKA BARRY View Post
Electric gear is the only way to go, just ask any turbine jet pilot or any giant warbird pilot for that matter.
I'm not sure that you would find consensus among either group that electric gear is better than pneumatic. I see many flyers among both groups that still prefer pneumatic for its reliability and ease of maintenance.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:27 AM
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I'm not sure that you would find consensus among either group that electric gear is better than pneumatic. I see many flyers among both groups that still prefer pneumatic for its reliability and ease of maintenance.
Agree 100%
All of my jets and giant scale warbirds have had reliable pneumatic retracts. No need to switch to finicky electric gear.
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:31 AM
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Well, I am another jet pilot who has learned to detest electric retracts! I do not use them on any of my turbine jets. I know there are some of us who are using electrics but I am not one of them.

I can't tell you how many times I have had to pull and replace electric retracts because they just decide to quit working! And before anyone goes there, I am way past the stage where the gear gets punished on landings. Abused gear on hard landings is definitely NOT the cause of their failure.

Chad's recommendation of the Sierra Giant Scale retracts is dead on. None finer or more reliable. A bonus is that their set of rotating retracts was designed specifically for the Top Flite .60 Corsair.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:18 AM
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A few years ago I helped a friend put a TF Corsair together and had the opportunity to compare Shulman Aviation, Eflite and a set of Hobby King retracts.
​​​​​​​The Shulman were crappy at best, identical to the HK retracts but for $200 more. The Eflite retracts were very nice and is what we went with. Incidentally, the struts that csme with the Shulman retracts would bind when closed, we sent them back to Shulman for adjustment. When they came back they were really bad, they had taken a file and ground a clearance notch. They looked like ****.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:21 AM
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BTW, 3 years later the Eflite's are still working perfectly, not a single failure after dozens of flites.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:06 AM
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I keep thinking of people telling me how simplistic and maintenance free air is while I'm rebuilding retract valves, mixing up dish washing liquid so I can find leaks and trying to get the kids to be quiet so i can listen for hissing and wondering if my compressor is in the garage or the trailer while I'm at the field with just my truck.

FWIW I had about 200 flights on one of these with Robart 615 air and robo struts w/o any more aggravation than I would expect but if I were doing it today I'd go electric.
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