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1/8 scale TopFlite Corsair Mods

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Old 08-14-2003, 10:11 AM
  #26  
Rocketman612
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Default Rudder Mod

This is the modified Rudder per CorsairJock's instructions. I'm about to place the Carbon fiber strip and ply. The 1/64 lite ply covering the hing gap is 1/2in wide and extends 1/8 in. Thanks for the tip. Pete
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Old 08-14-2003, 01:26 PM
  #27  
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Default Full-size exhaust

To help with CJ's scale exhausts, here are some pictures of the exhaust on the full-size Marine's Dream (FG-1D).

Left side...
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Old 08-14-2003, 01:27 PM
  #28  
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Default Scale Exhaust

Right side...
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Old 08-14-2003, 01:28 PM
  #29  
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Default 1/8 scale TopFlite Corsair Mods

From under the cowl...
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:38 PM
  #30  
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Default Finished Empenage Mods

Well that 1/64 ply was tricky to shape around the top but well worth the effort. Pete
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Old 08-20-2003, 12:49 PM
  #31  
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Default Wing Tip Modifications

OK, FINALLY, the wing tips. The Top Flite Corsairs have many inaccuracies, but by far the biggest is the wing tips. I would hesitate to say that these mods are the most important ones however, because we view aircraft from the side more often than from directly above or below. Nontheless, this is a very noticeable deviation from scale, and should be corrected if possible. For those of you out there who haven’t built the tip area yet, it relatively easy to make them right. If your’s is built and finished already, this will be more difficult but not impossible.

But before I go to far, a big thank you goes out to RocketMan for posting pics of his rudder, which he modified according to suggestions from this forum. Fantastic job, Pete. Very scale looking AND sturdy enough to survive those occasional tip overs. I noticed that you also added some 1/64” ply to the fin to cover the hinge area. Again, VERY well done.
Also thanks to Juice, for adding pics of full scale exhausts. I noticed that the bevel appears to be more than 45 deg, maybe more like 60 deg. Oh well, I don’t think too many will notice if you go 45 deg, but if you really want to be true to scale, you could always sand them down some more.

There are actually 2 separate wing tip mods in these next few posts: the first concerns the airfoil in the wing tip area, and the second concerns the wingtip outline. It is not necessary to do one in order to do the other. And in fact, if your aircraft is already completed, it would be very difficult to do the first mod, but the second one could still be made without too much trouble.

I’ll start out with this drawing of the tips as viewed from the front. What should become evident is that the outline of the top of the outer wing panels are absolutely straight from the root (of the outer panel/ wing fold line), until it rounds downward at the very end (tip) to meet the underside. This is true not only at the spar, but all the way across. In other words, you should be able to lay a straight edge on the spar, or the trailing edge, or the rear spar area (where flaps and ailerons meet the wing), and see no gap until the very end of the tip. Of the 2 Top Flite versions, the ‘red box’ is the worst, but both of them have the top drooping beginning several inches from the tips.
To correct the Gold Edition, wing ribs T-7 need to be modified (before assembly) by trimming about 1/8” all the way across the bottom, 1/32” from the upper spar notch, and 1/16” from the rear alignment tab. This should get you pretty close, you can check by assembling and using a straight edge to see if the tops of all ribs line up, all the way across. Some sanding (with a hobby/ straight sander) will be required to make T-7 be properly aligned with the other ribs. Making this correction will also add a slight washout effect, making tip stalls less likely. It is not necessary to bring the tips to a point as shown on the scale view. Doing so makes the mod more difficult, and will result in a tip that is more easily damaged. The option is yours. However, I do encourage you to at least make the top straight, and make yours closer to scale.

You should also add a piece of balsa about ¾” x ¾” x 1 1/2” long to the rear of the leading edge stock, into the ‘corner’, butting up against T-7 (if you have not yet sheeted the wing). Sand to match the airfoil, as you will be sheeting over this. This is needed because of the additional rounding of the leading edge profile which is needed for the next mod. Without it, the sheeting can be sanded too thin when the correct profile is done.
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Old 08-20-2003, 12:51 PM
  #32  
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Default Wing Tip Modifications

Next is the profile from above/ below, and this is where the inaccuracy really shows. This is a scale drawing of the upper left wing tip. Print it out (see printing directions below) and lay it over your plans, and see how far off it is. Especially noticeable is the lack of rounding on the leading edge.
This is why you need to add the balsa behind the leading edge near T-7, as stated in the previous post.
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Old 08-20-2003, 12:55 PM
  #33  
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Default Wing Tip Modifications

This last drawing is of a template I have made, which can be used to make wing tips which will be substituted for the ones that came with your kit. The original leading edge stock should extend beyond T-7 if you have not yet installed it, and the part made from this template should butt up against that leading edge. If you HAVE assembled your wing, and leading edge has been cut off even with T-7 (as per Top Flite plans), just make the tip piece bigger to include the leading edge area marked on the template.
It may be possible to use your original tips and just reshape them according to this template. Notice that I have also marked the navigation light location.

A final note on these wing tip mods: I go to the Toledo show every year, and over the past few years I have seen a few Top Flite Corsairs entered in the staic display contests. These Corsairs for the most part had very good detail and displayed excellent craftmanship. One even had the wing rib stitching very well done. BUT, how I recognized these as Top Flite Corsairs, is because depite all the attention to details, the builders failed to notice that the Top Flite wing tip shape was incorrect, and thus failed to correct it. I felt it was really a shame to put so much effort into a scale model, and fail to notice something like that, which would have been easy enough to correct.

This drawing, like the others, is 1/8 scale/ actual scale size for Top Flight (and Royal) .60 size Corsairs. In order to print it correct size, you may need to download it first, then open it in a program such as Adobe Photo Deluxe, and print it from there. It may require cropping and/ or rotating in order to fit on a 8 1/2" x 11" page.
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Old 08-25-2003, 10:07 AM
  #34  
crash pad
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Default 1/8 scale TopFlite Corsair Mods

Can the TF Corsair be glassed and painted? If so what approx weight do you end up with and what power plant would be reccomended.How thick of fabric should be used and where can construction be lightend?
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Old 08-25-2003, 11:41 AM
  #35  
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Default 1/8 scale TopFlite Corsair Mods

you can glass and paint anything you want that isn't a closed structure(OOPS, I MEANT OPEN STRUCTURE), mine's at about 7 pounds without engine, so she'll end up with about 10lbs all up. i'm going to use the RCS 1.40. carving out the inside holes in the formers in the aft part of the fuz will lighten her up a bit, and keep the tail light so you don't need nose weight you should be fine. I've heard they fly ok up to 13 lbs.
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Old 08-26-2003, 04:17 PM
  #36  
KevinKRC
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Default Top Flite Flying Tendencies

Very interesting Thread, lots of good info.

I have a Top Flight 1/8 scale Corsair with an Enya 80 2-cycle, retracts, & flaps.

I was wondering if the plane flys with or without much rudder input when built straight out of the box.

I have two test flights on my plane and it has been very slow and difficult to turn. My last flight wound up busting up the wing, so I have a couple of months to think about what I did wrong.

I've been flying for over three years and have test flown allot of aircraft I have built, but this is my first warbird.

I'm thinking my turns were not coordinated with enough rudder and I therefore had problems getting the plane to bank and turn.

I had High & Low rates set to the manual, I needed High rates just to keep the plane from flyiung into the next county.

Anythoughts? I'm listening.

I love the plane too much to give up, but I am too upset to fix it right now.

KevinKRC
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:10 PM
  #37  
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Default 1/8 scale TopFlite Corsair Mods

KevinKRC, sorry to hear about your accident and I sincerely hope that you find the time to repair her and the desire to try flying her again. In answer to your question regarding use of rudder, YES, I use the rudder all the time now, and it has become natural. One MUST use it for takeoffs, and anytime the power is brought up while the aircraft is slowed down, and even during climb-outs if you want to maintain straight ahead heading. Many times, I actually use a little opposite rudder when turning left (right rudder) to keep it from diving while turning, and use right rudder while turning right.
This Top Flite Corsair is my second Top Flite one (first one was crashed after 3 years, due to abusive/ non scale maneuvers) and my third Corsair. My first Corsair is a DynaFlite FunScale 40 one, very similar to the Great Planes FunScale Corsair (kit version, NOT the ARF). I still have and fly this first one (7 years old, over 1,000 flights), it was easy to build (compared to the Top Flite), lighter (5 1/2 lbs), and easier to fly. Altho easier to fly, it taught me the need for using rudder and becoming a rudder pilot. Previous to this Corsair, I tended to use rudder for takeoffs and certain acrobatics. But by flying this Corsair, I learned to use it all the time. I now recommend that anyone desiring to get into warbirds should get a FunScale warbird first, such as the old DynaFlite FunScale ones, Midwest, or Great Planes ones. I recommend that you try one, Great Planes makes a fine FunScale Corsair (again, NOT the ARF) which you could learn a lot about warbird flying with, and then you could return to your Top Flite Corsair a little wiser.
The Top Flite Corsair, like most warbirds, has a heavier wing loading than most sport planes, and therefor needs more room to manuever, something else to keep in mind before you fly your's again.
The picture is of my Saito .50 powered Dynalite FunScale Corsair, parked in front of a P&W R2800 powered FG-1D.
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:12 PM
  #38  
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Default Adding Scale Antennas

Here is another item which can be added to an already completed Corsair: the antenna aft of the cockpit. You 'red box' Corsair owner/ builders already have this, as a plywood mast is included with your kit and shown on the plans. This was omitted from the Gold Edition versions.
Nearly all full scale Corsairs have an antenna mast in the location shown on the picture below, however, the shape varies somewhat. Many also have an additional mast ahead of the cockpit, you will need to check drawings and/ or pictures of the specific Corsair you are modeling your's after to determine if yours need the forward mast.
I chose this picture because it also shows an antenna wire exiting the fuselage, aft of the canopy and to the right side of the fuselage. Altho I have better scale drawings available, nearly all of them show the left side of the fuselage, and therefor do not show this where this wire exits the fuselage. This wire is also typical of most full scale Corsairs.
The reason I mention this wire is because I have my receiver antenna wire exiting at the same location, thereby adding some authenticity to it.
This drawing is NOT to scale, I don't know what scale it is, but it should give you a pretty good idea of the proper locations. The drawing is of an F4U-1D. Many of the earlier Corsairs had more of a 'whip' antenna instead of the mast, but in the same location. Such an antenna could be made from music wire, or a small plastic tube like the ones used with aerosol cans.
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:13 PM
  #39  
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Default Adding Scale Antennas

I had planned to have scanned picture of the 'red box' plans showing the rear antenna mast. However, I just discovered that my scanner is not working, so I will have to wait to post that picture.
The choice of material to use is up to you. Top Flite uses 1/16" thick plywood for the antennas in their old 'red box' kits. I used 3/32" thick spruce on my first Top Flite Corsair (#102), but this time I found a semi-flexible plastic material about 1/16" thick. This is rigid enough to maintain it's shape, but flexible enough to bend (and not break) should my plane tip over on it's back.
As shown on Top Flite plans, the antenna extends 2 1/8" above the fuselage, and is 5/32" wide at the base. Mark a point 1 1/2" down, from the top of the antenna. The area between this point and the top is tapered (on the rear side), to a width at the top of about 1/8". I like to start with a piece about 3" long, so I have about 7/8" inserted into the fuselage. I make the mounting slot in the fuselage tight, so that I don't have to glue the antenna into place, thereby allowing easy replacement if it ever breaks or becomes damaged.
When you have made your antenna according to the above dimensions, you can do some sanding to give it an airfoil/ streamlined shape.
Altho the mounting location shown on Top Flite (red box) plans is 9 1/4" from the leading edge of the fin to the leading edge of the antenna, a more scale location is farther back: about 8 1/2" from fin leading edge to antenna mast leading edge.
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:15 PM
  #40  
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Default Adding Scale Antennas

One of the benefits for me in doing this series of 'how to's is that I am adding some of these mods as I go along, to my own plane. This picture was taken on Labor Day (2003), and shows the recently installed (8/30/2003) antenna on my #167 Corsair which has been flying all summer and has about 80 flights on it now. I had hoped to post an in flight picture, but this turned out to be a rainy Labor Day.
Note that my receiver antenna wire exits the fuselage in a scale location. I installed a clear plastic control tube internally, to feed the wire up to that point. The control tube I am reffering to is the type that is used with Sullivan and/ or Dubro flexible (braided steel wire) control sets.
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Old 09-01-2003, 02:48 PM
  #41  
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Default Cowl Flap Lines

This modification adds scale cowl flap lines to the standard, Top Flite cowl ring. The procedure is intended for use on a cowl ring which is NOT attached to the cowling. It could be performed on an assembled cowling, but is certainly easier to do on an un-assembled one. If your Corsair is completed, you could always just purchase another cowling and ring set. I think Tower sells them for about $15.


The drawing below was made by me to show where cowl flap lines should be. If you are able to print it out to the correct size, you can place your cowl ring over it and use the black lines to indicate where the cowl flap separations are. Make a mark on the ring by each black line, then draw a line thru each mark, perpendicular to the rear of the ring. Use a fine tooth hobby saw to make a notch on each line. The top most section is NOT a cowl flap: Corsairs did not have cowl flaps on top, so forward visibility would not be further impaired. Cut those 2 notches all the way thru, and gently bend the top section down so that it is in alignment with the cowl (front section). For even more scale accuracy, you could trim about 3/16” all the way around from the rear of the ring, as scale cowl flap size is about 1 1/16” long. This might however, make the distance between the cowling and wing root noticeably to great, as the Top Flite Corsairs have the nose extended slightly to make it easier to fly (longer moment).

This drawing, like the others, is 1/8 scale/ actual scale size for Top Flight (and Royal) .60 size Corsairs. In order to print it correct size, you may need to download it first, then open it in a program such as Adobe Photo Deluxe, and print it from there. It may require cropping in order to fit on a 8 1/2" x 11" page.
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:00 PM
  #42  
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Default Cowl Flap Lines

The picture below is of the cowling for my uncompleted ?red box? Corsair, which I am finishing as a U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20) based F4U-1D. The cowl flap lines have been added (removed?), and are highlighted by the flat black paint which I used to fill in the notches. I painted these areas black so that they will appear darker (and more noticeable) when the Corsair Blue spray paint is applied over the rest of the cowl. The cowl front section was also shortened by ? inch before attachment to the cowl ring, to make it more scale.

Notice how the top flap area has been gently bent downward, so that it will better blend with the fuselage and cowling profile. An alternative to bending the top: after the slots have been cut , AND top area shortened to about 1/2", AND after attachment to the cowl front, you can then use a "T" sanding tool to sand that area until it becomes flush and at the same angle as the front of the cowl.

Remember, Corsair pilots had a difficult time seeing over the nose when they were in the landing pattern (and all other times, for that matter), so they didn?t need no stinkin? cowl flaps popping up right in front of them to make things worse.

After this picture was taken (awhile back), I trimmed about ?? from the rear/ top area, where it needs to blend into the fuselage.
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:01 PM
  #43  
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Default Cowl Flap Lines

This picture is one I downloaded from somewhere, awhile back. I liked it so much that I set it for my desktop background. It is a painting of Maj. Herman H. Hansen, Jr’s F4U-1D, obviously preparing to land on his carrier: the U.S.S. Bennington. This is the aircraft that my ‘red box’ Corsair is being patterned after. But the reason I posted it is because it shows many, subtle details that are not normally visible in most WW II era photos. In particular, notice that the cowl flaps are slightly open (more open than the Top Flite cowl flaps will appear to be), AND that the cowling top does not have cowl flaps AND blends perfectly into the fuselage.
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:14 PM
  #44  
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Default Cowl Flap Lines

Another pic of my 'red box' Corsair fuselage.
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:49 PM
  #45  
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Default 1/8 scale TopFlite Corsair Mods

Just thought I'd say thanks for this stuff. I have yet to build my Corsair as I'm waiting on the Sierra retracts. I have opportunity now to really plan out the scale modifications before I start thanks to your work.

Keep it up!

Mark
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Old 09-06-2003, 02:20 PM
  #46  
shupack
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Default 1/8 scale TopFlite Corsair Mods

Jock, great looking cowl! you got the mechanics of it right, but your history is a bit off. the early corsairs (F4U-1) had cowl flaps the whole way 'round, but the operating pistons leaked oil onto the wind-screen, messing up vision. these were wired shut in the field to prevent this, and the mod to a smooth transition on top was incorporated on the F4U-1A, along with the bubble canopy and taller tail-wheel strut, all designs to improve forwad field of vision. I'm sure the lack of flaps popping up helped with forward vision too..
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Old 09-06-2003, 02:21 PM
  #47  
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Default Thanks

CorsairJock,
Thanks again for a great thread on how to fix up the TF kit. My Corsair is on hold for the Sierra retracts. I will post pictures of the wingtips before covering and whatever else including your excellent MGP's. I just received the 90 deg header pipe for the RCV90 so I can keep the muffler in cowl and run a silicon tube to a scale exhaust location. Trying to be weight conscious and keep it simple.

Also I can't believe your wife let you skate through the summer without putting another coat of stain on the porch Take care, Pete
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Old 09-06-2003, 02:37 PM
  #48  
John in Boston
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Default Here, here! Thanks for all your contributions to this interesting and helpful thread

Corsair Jock (aka Jim),

I received the D&B F4U-1D Corsair kit in the mail from Donnie yesterday. It's just like you and he said...what a nice kit! He sent the thing loaded with so many extras that I feel like a spoiled kid or something.

Got no excuses now... gotta build her!

I plan to do her as an FG-1D operated postwar by a USN reserve unit here in Boston...VF-911, based at NAS Squantum, Massachusetts in the late 1940s/early 50's.

I am fortunate to know a number of the men who trained and flew them, and so this project is in their honor.

Glossy Sea Blue overall, Orange aft fuselage band, big white numbers and SQUANTUM lettering all over the place, and a giant Z on the vertical tail!

Everyone's contris here will help me get a move-on, even though it isn't the Top Flite kit, and so will that Royal Corsair build-thread sparked by the infamous Dionysuss-Bacchuss. :-)

Thanks,
John in Boston
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Old 09-06-2003, 11:44 PM
  #49  
CorsairJock
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Default Thanks to ALL for your support and encouragement

Subject title says it all, I'm glad there are some out there who getting some use out of these posts.

kram51: Thanks, and don't get started too soon 'cause there's lots more coming. In a few weeks I'll address another very important issue for those of you who have just begun your projects, concerning keeping your engine cooler and at the same time making your Corsair more scale.

Shupack: I stand corrected, and I recall reading your info before, maybe in a Squadron/ Signal book. So these cowl flaps apply to F4U-1A and later models, as Shupack has stated. Thanks for the info. ALSO, I share your sentiments about Mustangs: Over done and over rated, and the only one to build (if I ever did) would be a P-51B. The one thing that set Mustangs apart from the rest was it's range, otherwise it is no better than most other fighters of the day.

Pete: these are the same pics from a year ago, progress on the 'red box' Corsair is at a standstill lately, while I work on other projects (but NOT putting another coat on the deck).
Can't wait to hear how those RCVs turn out, still thinking of getting one but I want to try the .60.

John Rood: It's good to hear someone's finally gonna build that great kit, BE SURE AND POST PICS when it's done.

I've been out to the club flying site since early this morning (right after I posted the cowl mods), got some wonderful late summer flights in, really got my Top Flite Corsair 'tuned in' now with my computer radio (9CAP), just the right amount of up elevator when the flaps go down and trhottle is reduced to make greasing those landings in seem easy. Looking forward to next summer now, I do some traveling (mostly to Kentucky) and hope to meet some of you so we can get some formation flying in.

The 'New and Improved' RCUniverse wiped out my response (as well as another's) to the question following this post, in regards D&B. D&B was an R/C model airplane kit maker way back in the 70's (if you remeber that time, you really didn't live it). They made what I consider to be THE BEST 1/8 scale Corsair kit ever made. They also made several other kits, including a Zero and some ducted fan jets. The Corsair kit featured a fiberglass fuselage with built in fin (even had proper scale offset), foam core outer wing panels and stab, built up wing center section and control surfaces, many molded parts (including cockpit kit, radial engine, maching gun openings, clear wingtip lights, etc.), and 1/8 scale drawings which are very detailed and accurate ( in addition to the plans). I loved the idea of foam core outer panels and built up center section, as this provided the oppotunity to make a highly accurate wing while making retract installation easy.

Picture below taken on a very cloudy and cool (55 deg.) but calm Nov. 1, 2003. The only thing I see different from full scale is lack of pitot tube, which WILL be discussed at a later date.
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Old 09-07-2003, 12:21 AM
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Default 1/8 scale TopFlite Corsair Mods

Hey John, pardon my ignorance, but what/who is D&B ??
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