'Bent-winged bird', 'Whistling Death', and 'Spirit of Okinawa' are three of the most recognizable names for one of greatest warbirds of WWII - The Chance Vought F4-U Corsair. This aircraft saw military service from 1942 until 1979 (finally retired in Honduras), but there are some that survive in flying condition yet today.
There are a lot of RC Corsairs on the market - from very large to micro sized! Tower Hobbies has added another F4-U to the ranks with their latest: The F4-U Corsair Rx-R. What makes this plane so special? What makes it stand out in the crowd? Some people will like its size. Some will like the inexpensive price-point. Yet others will be attracted to the fact that it takes about 30 minutes to get it ready to fly! Simply add a receiver and a battery, and you're ready for take-off.
But enough from me... Let's open the box and see what's inside!
Channels Used: 4 total - Aileron, Elevator, Throttle, Rudder
Control Throws: LOW
Elevator, up/down: 1/4" (6mm) 9°
Ailerons, up/down: 1/4" (6mm) 9°
Rudder, right/left: 3/4" (19mm) 13°
Control Throws: HIGH
Elevator, up/down: 3/8" (10mm) 12°
Ailerons, up/down: 3/8" (10mm) 14°
Rudder, right/left: 1" (25mm) 21°
Items Needed To Complete
4 Channel Radio (min) w/ Receiver
3S 11.1V LiPo Battery
Phillips and Straight Screwdriver
The Corsair arrived in a plain white box with a single large sticker. Clearly, Tower Hobbies spent less on the box than some other manufacturers, but still let you know what's inside. With the cover removed, I could see that the plane was secured in foam cradles and plastic bags. Upon removing the Corsair from its box, I found that the plane was unscathed during shipping!
Inventory was taken, and no parts were missing. I could tell by the very low parts count that this plane would go together in no time.
There were several features on the Corsair that I really liked! All of the decals were pre-applied, a magnetically attached cowl with dummy radial engine, the one-piece inverted gull wing with pre-installed servos, and TONS of panel lines molded right into the foam!
All of the included electronics are pre-installed in the fuselage as well - this saved a lot time!
Adding to the scale details are a painted pilot figure, an instrument panel, and an aluminum prop hub.
The instruction manual is very
informative. The illustrations are clear, and the written instructions are easy to follow.
The only way that installing the tail could get easier is if it were done at the factory. The assembly was slid into place, secured with one machine screw, and the pushrod was attached to the control horn. That's it - the tail was done!
WING ASSEMBLY AND
Wing assembly started with mounting the pre-assembled landing gear. They were pushed into slots in the bottom of the wing. The aileron Y-harness was then run through a hole in the fuselage, and the wing was mounted using a single nylon bolt. Per the instructions, I only tightened the bolt one final turn when the head of the bolt touched the light ply washer.
A small section of the included hook-n-loop strip was secured to the interior floor of the fuselage, followed by the 3S LiPo battery. The receiver was then mounted right in front of the wing bolt - this left plenty of room up front for battery removal. The wires on the included electronics were more than long enough to reach the receiver!
I slid the cowl back in place, and the magnets held it securely. The aluminum prop hub and prop were installed, followed by balancing the plane.
One really nice thing Tower did is to put a panel line on the wing right at the recommended CG! With the battery placed as far forward as it could go, I still had to add two ounces of weight to the inside of the cowl. Don't worry, the manual states that this can be done, and the Corsair didn't even notice the extra weight in the air. But we'll get to the flight report in just a few minutes!
Normally, I don't have the best of luck, but the weather was really nice - I had just finished assembling the The F4-U the previous morning! So, the plane was loaded in my truck and off to the field I went.
Winds were light (7-10 MPH) at the field, but blowing directly across the runway, from the North. This is when I would have liked to have had a steerable tail wheel. The torque of the outrunner motor, combined with the crosswind, made taking off to the East nearly impossible as the plane weather-vaned into the wind. I tried a Westerly departure, and found that the crosswind and the torque cancelled each other, and the Corsair shot straight down the runway! In a matter of 30 feet, at half-throttle, the Corsair was climbing out with authority.
I added some down trim and right aileron trim to get her flying straight and level. Immediately, I was enjoying the flight! Flying a warbird can be an all-encompassing task, usually due to a high wing loading. This was definitely NOT the case with this Corsair! She flew much more 'sport plane' like, feeling light but stable. Even with winds of 7-10 MPH, the Corsair flew very nicely!
"OK", I thought, "Time to give her a workout!" Full throttle will not set the world on fire, but she moved across the field quickly. I really liked doing high speed passes just a few feet above the runway!
I tried all of the basic aerobatics - the Corsair handled any maneuver the full-scale 'bent-winged bird' could do. The low and high rates were spot-on correct, and she pushed through aerobatics with ease!
Before landing, I slowed the Corsair down - with plenty of airspace beneath her. I could not believe just HOW slow she would fly! With minimum airspeed determined, I brought her around for a landing. Again, I was just a little apprehensive, due to her warbird lineage.
Landing was so easy, I almost missed it! I was so busy concentrating that she just settled in without any trouble. I kept about two clicks of throttle on until she crossed the runway threshold, then pulled the power back to zero. The flight was done, and it was FUN!!!
When I got the Corsair back to the pits, I checked my battery - A five minute flight required about 50% of the 1800 mAh 3S LiPo. Subsequent flights were limited to eight minutes, but a 10 minute flight would not be completely out of the ordinary.
One more thing I'd like to mention... Since the main gear plugs into the wing, they can simply be removed - this makes the Corsair look even better in the air!
Check out the video to see
the F4-U Corsair in action!
Well, all that's left is to wrap it up. The assembly was one of the easiest I've ever completed, she flew very nicely, she'll fit in a smaller SUV without disassembly, and she looked really cool in the air! I was a little bummed out about the fixed tail wheel, but I then reminded myself that this airplane is receiver-ready for less than $125.00! I can live without the tail wheel for that kind of price!
I'll give the Tower Hobbies F4-U Corsair Rx-R 'two thumbs up'! This one will be hanging around for quite a while!
P.O Box 9078
Champaign, IL 61826-9078