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Old 05-15-2004, 07:19 AM
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Default RE: Hanger-9 Corsair ARF Mods for more Scale/ Accurate Appearance

To answer a question; I will be using a Top Flite cowl. I feel that it will be much easier to make it scale looking, and fits the fuselage closer. As stated earlier, the Hanger 9 cowl is a little over-sized for the fuselage, which is fine for helping to hide engines, but I'm gonna go for a more scale look.

On another question: I have posted pictures and description of my air system installation on my Top Flite Corsair. The post is in the 'Top Flite Corsair Mods' thread (click on link in 1st post in this thread).

Last question regards wing loading: I have seen several Top Flite Corsairs that weighed 12 lbs and more. The owners of these claim they fly great, and they usually have much more power than Top Flite calls for. Some claim the heavy ones handle windy conditions better than the lighter ones. All of this is a subject which could be hotly debated, and I hope it doesn't happen here. I personnaly prefer to keep mine as light as possible, and for several reasons. One big reason is that a lighter plane imposes less stress on landing gear, and many of us are well aware of the fragility of retracts, especially the rotating type that we must use on Corsairs. To answer the question: based on what I have sen with Top Flite Corsairs, and the old saying 'Given enough power, anything can fly', I would have to say the a Hanger 9 Corsair could probably be made to weigh that much also (12 lbs), and still be considered to be a good flyer.


I have decided that the center section issue will be my first mod, and it is probably the most difficult.

I began by removing all the covering from that section, and proceeded to re-design. As a bonus, my methods will also give the wing some positive incidence. The project turned out to be easier than I thought.

Next, I bolted up the center section to the fuselage and used a ruler to determine the minimum distance between fuselage side and wing center section end (how far the section extends beyond the fuselage, on the top of the wing, at the closest point). I found that a large area from the spar area forward was about 3/16" extended. I decided to remove the section from the fuselage, then marked 2 lines, one one each side (left & right), each line 3/16" from the edge of the sections (where the outer wing panels are to be attached), all the way around the airfoil.

Next, I re-attached the center section to the fuselage, and marked the top of the center section where it mated to the fuselage, aft of the spar. From the spar forward, the line drawn earlier (3/16" from edges of center section) where close enough to the fuselage for me.

I removed the section again, put a fresh blade in my X-Acto knife, and proceeded to cut through the balsa sheeting, following the 3/16" lines (actually, just OUTSIDE the lines, be sure to leave the lines on the center section) from the spar forward, and the drawn lines aft of the spar. The idea is to have the center section become flush with the fuselage sides when it is attached. Better to remove too little tha too much, as sanding will be required to get it precise anyway.

The center section is capped on both sides by a plywood (3/32"?) rib, which has a laser cut balsa rib glued to it on the inside of the section (oddly, the 2 balsa ribs were of different thicknesses on mine). In the areas of the 3/16" lines, the cuts will likely be thru these inner balsa ribs. Also, after going as deep as possible with the X-Acto knife, I used a fine tooth hobby saw for cutting through the spar, leading edge stock, and trailing edge stock. The object is to completely cut away the caps, while leaving enough of the center section to allow it to be flush with the fuselage.

When the caps are removed, time to sand: a flat sanding bar was used here. I sanded the area from the spar to the leading edge up to the lines, making sure that when done, I was able to set the section on a flat surface ( such as a table), with one end up, and other end should be setting flat on table, with no rocking and no gaps from spar area to leading edge. If everything is done properly, the outer wing panels should butt up to the center section evenly from the spar to the leading edge.

When I was satisfied with the forward portion (from spar to leading edge), I proceeded to sand the area aft of the spar, following the drawn lines on the top, and maintaining the same end angle as the forward area. This requires a good set of eyes. When done, the wings should butt up evenly from the leading edge to the spar, then a gap should develop which tapers to about 1/2" by the time it gets to the trailing edge.

This is much easier to do than to explain, hope I'm not loosing anybody.

Next, I sanded the plywood caps so that they will fit within the center section sheeting. This eventually required me to cut the caps into 2 pieces, so that one piece fit in front of the spar and the other behind it. I glued the front cap sections into place in the center section, keeping them flush with the sheeting edge. Next, In glued the rear portions of the ply caps into the center section, beginning at the spar and allowing it to bend gently to follow the contour of the center section. When the glue has cured, it may be necessary to do some additional sanding, to make the caps flush.

In order to trial fit the wings to the center section, I had to remove 3/16" from each of the (2) spar/ joiners, on the end which goes into the center section (the spar/ joiners are NOT symetrical: one end must go into wing, other into center section).

With the spar joiners in place, and outer panel held on, I am able to 'rock' the wings around the spar. This is necessary in order to alter the wing incidence, AND have the wings line up properly with the center section. The trailing edge of the outer panels need to be about 3/8" lower than the trailing edge of the center section. When mods are completed tho, all trailing edges will meet. This is because the trailing edges of the outers will be built up: about 1/2" added to fill the gap. This 1/2" will rise to meet the center section. Do not glue anything together yet, I have many mods planned for the outer wings, and will be easier when they are not attached.

I have changed my mind on retract selection: I will be using a set of CenturyJet retacts which I bought about 5 years ago, and modified to use RoboStruts. This is a time consuming and expensive modification, so I am not recommending the modification of the CenturyJets.

So, that's all for now.
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