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Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Old 03-18-2013, 08:50 AM
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Default Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

I thought it would be nice to build the Top Flite Giant ARF Corsair stock right out of the box, however, I just could not help wanting to make changes to be more scale! Before I knew it I was removing the MonoKote and fiber glassing the entire plane. I'm going to attempt lots of modifications so follow along, check it out and give me pointers and advice along the way or at anytime. If you have already built and flown yours please let me know any and all out comes and post as often as you like. I really enjoy seeing Corsairs of all kinds. If you have started or about to please join in. Also if you have Corsair building and or flying experience please share.
Old 03-18-2013, 08:53 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

These first eight photos show that I was intentionally trying to put the plane together just as a weekend flyer. I had planned not to do any modifications to the aircraft. I just wanted something quickly to fly.

What happened first was the stock scale wheel being so short and non-retractable I had to make that change. This change lead to other changes and before I knew it I was ripping off the MonoKote and getting ready to fiberglass and I don’t know what was I thinking.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:05 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

For my Corsair I choose the following:

Engine: DLE 55 With rear exhaust: I want to make a scale exhaust system.

Scale dash from www.iflytalies.com

Scale tail wheels (mains and tail) with tail hook.

I plan on using a canopy from Zirolli and I'm currently fiberglass the canopy to make the frame.
I might even make the canopy open. At least manually for now.

HiTec 645 servos

Spectrum DX18

Gear: I'm using Robart main gear and Sierra Giant Scale wheels. I'm using air for the main gear and doors.

I also picked up a Pappy pilot from Best Pilots.

Enlarging the fuel tank. And who know what else. Any suggestions?
Old 03-18-2013, 09:07 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

The stock tail wheel is to short and non-scale. This is one of the main reasons for taking off the MonoKote and this leads me to want to make even more modifications.

I ordered a new tail wheel with hook from Earl Aune. Here is the email address and website that you can check out the tailwheel from Earl. If you want one simply email him a request and he’ll take care of you. He makes other scale tail wheels for other planes as well. All are made in USA and by veterans.

Earl Aune <[email protected]>

http://www.modelairplanenews.com/blo...ir-tailwheels/

The images show how the tailwheel snowballed into starting to remove all the MonoKote off.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:22 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Photos 1 and 2 show how I’m starting to remove all of the MonoKote. It is pretty tricky to get all out. Especially in-between the ailerons and laps.

Photo 3 shows how prepping with tape and wood dowels to plugs the holes. Getting ready to lay out the fiberglass.

Photos 4 through 9 show the process of laying out the fiberglass and using the West system. I use the West system 105 epoxy resin and the 205 hardner.

Photos 10 through 12 show the first coat of spraying a sand-able primer. It’s an automotive sand-able primer that fills in deep scratches and sands easily.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:25 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

After installing the scale tailwheel you will find that in the retract position it hits the fuselage so it cannot retract the entire way. This is the reason for the stock one being so short.
I’ll have to cut out the second set of doors for the scale appearance. Also in the tip of the fuselage, the plastic fiberglass part, has no indentation for the Tailhook. So that has to be created as well.

After cutting out the plastic. I then use that thick balsa wood and shaped the piece as required. Then with a little Bondo Ever Coat I filled in the wood. I’m still not finished shaping, as you can see here it’s almost finished.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:31 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

In photos 1 and 2 you can see the non-scale canopy that comes with the kit. I wanted a more scale canopy so I ordered one from Nick Zorili.
Also to make it even more scale I wanted to create outer frame shell for the canopy. In photo 5 you can see the products that I use from Tap Plastics. The little bottle of mold released paste is used to put a small wax shell over the canopy. Then use the PVA mold release in your airbrush to spray several coats of a very fine mist which creates a bonded shell around the canopy which will not harm it as you lay out your fiberglass.

In photos 6 and 7 you can see that there’s a slight tint to the canopy. Before applying your wax paste and or your PVA shell mold release you need to die the canopy. If you so choose to. I use a Ritz die that you can get at the grocery store. You mix the Ritz dye with water in a pot and heat until it’s very hot then pour over your canopy. This will dye your canopy a small tint. The more you pour the hot dye over your canopy the darker it will become. Practice on a small extra piece first. I had to order an extra canopy for the mistakes I did it first.

Photos 8 and 9 show after releasing the mold from the canopy. I then cut out the basic frame. In photo 9 you can see that I have sprayed the sand-able primer coat to see where areas need to be fixed. This takes time and you just need to be patient.

The remaining photos show how the scale canopy doesn’t match the non-scale fuselage of the Top-Flite Corsair. I’ll have to add material to the fuselage before I start to fiberglass.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:33 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

I’m happy to see the stock cockpit materials provided by Top-Flite. However I want to do even more scale appearance. Now that I’m working so much on the canopy I like to use IFlyTailies.com

The dash and the gun sight are sold separately. In photo 7 you can see that I just placed it in there for location to check it out.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:36 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Now moving onto the tail. Nice to have the rudder removable at this time so I can fiberglas the vertical stabilizer and work on the rudder separately. This will not be the case for the horizontal stabilizer in the elevators. Also if you look closely I decided to put a 1/16 piece of plywood at the trailing edges of the control surfaces. Just for scale looking purposes. I then had to Bondo up to smooth out the surface.

On the tail surfaces I used SolorTex fabric covering.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:42 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

I’m planning ahead before I fiberglas the fuselage. I need to hatch in order to turn on off my power for my ignition and for my receiver and to refuel the airplane as well as to refill the air for the retracts.

The first thing is to place some packing tape right over the balsa wood on the fuselage where the hatch will be. Then simply fiberglass this area and let it dry. The packing tape will act as a mold release an the dried fiberglass will simply pop off. This’ will become the actual little piece that I’ll use for the hatch after I fiberglass the fuselage.

Photos 2,3 and 4 show that I’m starting to fiberglass the horizontal stabilizer. As the elevators are already attached I first had to cut out the trim tabs first make some pieces for those, and then using SolorTex covering cover the elevators. Using masking tape to protect the elevators while I lay up the fiberglass.

Photos 5,6 and 7 show the pilot that I purchased from Best Pilots.com I’m going to use Pappy in my Corsair. I show him here sitting on the wing of my P-51 Mustang from AeroWorks. In the background you can see I’m using another Best Pilots inside my P-51. The AreoWorks P-51 is MonoKote as well and I’m fiberglassing this as well.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:44 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

I’m using the DLE 55 – RA. This engine is with the rear exhaust and seems fit perfectly. The only downside is that in the manual with Top-Flite the drilling pattern doesn’t match. I then had to make my own as you can see in the photos. At this point I don’t think even any additional standoffs will be necessary other than what came with the motor. I’ll be able to better determine this later when installing the dummy engine and cowling.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:45 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

This is the stock tailwheel from Earl. This stock tailwheel has an plastic hub, but a foam tire. The tire is so soft that when the plane is on the ground the tire is compressed almost all the way to the hub. So I’m switching it out with an aluminum hob and a solid rubber tire.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:48 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Here I’m about to fiberglass the horizontal stabilizer. The photos show that I want to cover the opening gaps between the elevator and horizontal stabilizer. I use 1/16” plywood, in strips. I CA this trim to the trailing edge. Do not cover as much as I first did or the elevator will not have enough travel for flight.

I’m using .5 Oz fiberglass and epoxy resin. I thin the epoxy with alcohol until the resin is like vegetable oil.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:50 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Photo 1 is my start on installation of servos. I found that using the longer arms that a raised platform would be necessary to not have the servo arms collide.

Photos 3 through 8 show my almost complete canopy and canopy frame. I now see how much is missing from the fuselage.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:53 AM
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

I start by using a template from the cockpit kit that came with the Top-Flite ARF. Using a piece of styrene plastic I then trace it out I attempt to make what hump more scale. I use the rear of the canopy to confirm the shape.

Photos 7 and 8 show the balsa wood build up and Bondo filler. The fit is good and I think the outline is good. I’m about to glass yet I can still make changes if the shape is not good.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:00 AM
  #16  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

As you might have noticed I'm posting quickly. I have been posting little bits of my build on another thread. I wanted to add more and open the discussion further so I started this thread. I'll continue to add posts and let you know when I'm caught up to today.

However, please feel free to commit on any part.

Thanks.
Old 03-18-2013, 10:03 AM
  #17  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Both wing tips have been glassed on top and bottom. They also have been sanded then coated with one coat of primer. Then sanded again. I shall need to repeat it a again.
Photos 2 through 7 show how I’m attempting to cover the gap at the flaps. I used a strip of 1/16” plywood, same as on the elevators and ailerons. If there is a better way please share. I had to use a straight edge and trim the covers on the ailerons as I glued them extending to far and I was not able to achieve enough up aileron. Also all control surfaces required sanding and shaping to operate correctly. This is difficult as there are pre installed.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:05 AM
  #18  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Glassing the mid section. I first cut out a rough shape of glass I’m using .5 Oz. I’m not going for strength as the plane was made with MonoKote covering. Even with .5 Oz. it makes the plane much stronger.

I thin the epoxy resin until it is like vegetable oil with denatured alcohol. I keep the denatured alcohol open and close as it is necessary to keep adding as you go. I use a $.50 disposable brush and use it 4 or 5 time over before it must be tossed away. During the application of the resin the brush will become thick and dry. I use a cup of alcohol to dip and clean often.

Now that the wing is completely covered onto the fuselage. I have the right side, top and bottom left.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:07 AM
  #19  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

As I was glassing and getting to the end or the bottom I decided that the plastic inserts for the exhaust had to go. I did not know at first how I was going to do this. As I was looking through my stock pile of wood I came across this large block of Balsa wood.
I then took my Dremel tool and cut out (as straight as I could by hand) a block shape into the bottom of the fuselage and firewall. Then a block proximally 3.5” X 1.25” X 1.5”. This took lots of trial fits and sanding little by little. I was a little care free as I knew I was going to use some filler and then fiberglass. Once the blocks fit well enough I then used a large dowel and wrapped some 80 and 120 weight sand paper and went at it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:10 AM
  #20  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

I test fit the cowling and I’m happy with the fit. After glassing and taking a little time to view with some of the major parts put together, I have decided to make a scale exhaust. Some how?

Well this is the end of glassing the Top-Flite.
However, now onto SANDING and SANDING!

Then some fun parts in adding panel lines!
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:11 AM
  #21  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Well I got a little side tracked. Did anyone notice my photos in some of my last posts where I have a center drop tank? Well, I want to add this tank and make it drop-able, however, I’m not sure how to mount and make it release at the moment. Thinking about dropping it made me think about it breaking and that I will have to repair it all the time.

So I have attempted to make a latex mold so I can make as many as I want.

The photos one, two and three show covering the two halves of the drop tank with Laytex. This took two days to cure fully due to the thick areas in the corners.

Photos five and six show the outer shell required to assist the latex to hold it’s shape.
Photos six, seven and eight show my new molds ready to try laying out new fiberglass and se how it comes out.

Photo nine shows my first half. I pulled it out of the mold before completely cured. That is why there is that dent in the side. I’ll have to make another one and go slower.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:13 AM
  #22  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Ok now back to the ARF Corsair and the canopy. These photos show after sanding and sanding I laid three strips of 1/16” black pin stripping tape. Then with three coats of bondo filler and more sanding this is what it looks like. Maybe a little more sanding and the canopy will be complete.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:14 AM
  #23  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Here I’m hooking up the tailwheel. For the tail hook I used the red and yellow golden rod. The yellow fits perfectly into the white outer tube guide that is already installed. This tube guide is there for the retract, however, with this scale tailwheel the retract is located in the center so I’m using this guide for the tail hook.

For the retract I’m using a 4-40 rod and the red tube as a guide. I’ll show this soon.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:16 AM
  #24  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

These photos show how I made dummy scale exhaust pipes. I used 11/32” brass tubes. Cut three and then silver solder them together. I’ll make a mount and attach them to the firewall.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:18 AM
  #25  
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Default RE: Corsair F4U-1A Top Flite Giant ARF Modifications

Now that all the fiber glassing is complete everything needs to be sanded. Photos 1 through 5 show that after general sanding the resin with 80 grit paper to remove the hight spots, I use a pencil to locate areas that need Bondo filler.

Photos 6 through 12 show different stages of sanding and primer. The primer shows all areas that require fixing. Once I spray the primer on I used 120 grit paper and them 220 grit. Then another coat of primer. Once smooth (well smooth enough) that’s when I’ll start making my panel lines.
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