Tower Hobbies F4U Corsair RxR 39" Review

Review by Nicholas Turner, Staff Contributor

In-Depth Review:

 

Assembly

Assembly of the plane is easy. Slide horizontal stab into position, connect elevator pushrod, screw horizontal stab in place with supplied screw. Feed aileron servo wire through the opening on the fuselage, use supplied nylon bolt to attach the wing. Insert your RX. Attach prop and prop adapter. Balance plane.

 

I deviated here. Before assembling anything I made a checker pattern template and painted the rudder to have a yellow tip with black and white checkers. I have a family who loves Skipper Riley from Disney's "Planes" movie more than Dusty Crophopper and I promised if I ever got an R/C F4U Corsair, I'd paint it like Skipper. I also don't like my plane looking exactly like someone else's at the flying field. Painting the foam wasn't bad; I used Testors acrylic paint and some latex water washable paint (sample size found at

Home Depot or Lowes Home Improvement) with a small paint brush. The panel lines and contour does add a degree of difficulty when using the template. I found it was best to use the template to outline the squares, let that set, then fill in the squares and tweak lines as needed.

 

After the paint dried I assembled everything per the instructions. My biggest issue was the prop adapter and prop hub not clamping down tight enough. After many frustrated minutes, I realized the adapter was either longer then the threaded hole in the prop hub or the prop hub wasn't drilled and tapped deep enough. Fortunately I found three washers around the house that fit the prop adapter. Putting these three washers in front of the prop provided enough length so the prop hub tightens down the prop adapter on the motor's shaft. The prop adapter is strictly held on with pressure, so getting the prop hub correctly is essential.

 

I had read where CG was very hard to obtain with the recommend 3S 1800mAh lipos without opening the firewall and shoving the pack forward. Being I am using 3S 2200mAh lipos, I was hoping to get CG without gluing nose weights since I am not a fan of cutting the firewall unless really needed. Unfortunately with a 3S 2200mAh pack I still had to epoxy two AA batteries and two ceiling fan blade balance weights to the nose to get CG at the forward end of the CG range. Being my first R/C F4U Corsair, I wanted the CG forward for stability purposes. The plane has panel lines at the endpoints of the CG, which makes it really nice for checking. I always put at least a little black dot with a permanent marker on each wing where the CG should be in case of future repairs.

 

TX setup threw me for a loop initially. I'm a Spektrum user primarily, and it had been some time since I last programmed anything in detail on the Futaba 6J. So I had to convert my brain over to thinking Futaba's way of labelling channels. The AnyLink v1 I have does not work with my Spektrum DX8. Once I starting thinking Futaba, setup was a breeze. I did have to reverse throttle on my TX, which is pretty common for Futaba.

 

This was a Christmas 2014 gift from my wife and kids, and I had to wait exactly a month to maiden the F4U. The day of maiden was picture perfect; blue skies, no wind in the morning, temps in the mid-40s (F) and rising. Preflight control surfaces checked out. Range check passed.

 

Flight

I am opting to leave the landing gear off since the tail wheel is fixed and I don't like fixed landing gear on my warbirds, especially the famous fighters that had retracts. The ESC has to be armed each flight, so I moved my stick to full throttle, waited for the beep, then brought the throttle stick back down. After getting the second beep/set of beeps I tested throttle to ensure everything was working right. The Corsair has plenty of power based on the pull in my hand at full throttle.

 

Flight #1

For the maiden flight I pointed the plane straight out in front of me and gave it a toss. This caused the plane to torque roll left, but I corrected and prevented a crash. After this initial excitement I gained altitude and worked on trims. Only about 5 clicks of down trim were needed. Level flight is easy to maintain and the plane went where I pointed it while only needing around 75-80% throttle input. After about two minutes of level circuits I climbed altitude to four mistakes high, reduced throttle and held up elevator to create the stall. I did a double take; the Tower Hobbies F4U just slowly dropped its nose when it stalled. With the stall out of the way I started performing scale aerobatics on low rates: aileron rolls, loops, Immelmanns, Cuban eights, split s, etc... With enough airspeed and throttle input hammerheads can be performed. The plane performed them all with authority. I set my flight timer for 6 minutes, and with one minute left I started shooting approaches. This F4U, carries speed and lands hot, with no landing gear, the plane stops abruptly on the grass and assumes the typical warbird nose down look.

 

Flight #2

Hand launch was tamer as I didn't throw it as hard, still had to compensate for some roll to the left. This flight I flipped on high rates, on my Futaba 6J all my rates are tied to one switch. I could easily tell a difference with elevator and rudder. I was disappointed in aileron high rates as it wasn't much of a difference for me. In addition to the scale aerobatics I tried out snap rolls. The Corsair wanted to keep rolling in the snap, so I won't be doing these often. On strafing runs I immediately noticed the sound of the wind whistling over the airframe. I loved this sound and found myself want to do more diving passes for the sound. I'm really glad I painted the rudder as it shows up extremely well.

 

Flying Day #3

I had about a two hour period between the previous flight and this flight. Winds had picked up significantly to 5-10mph with higher gusts. Prior to the flight I dialed in more throw on the ailerons in high rate. This hand launch was uneventful as I pointed the plane into the wind and let it fly out of my hand. Aileron high rates this time are satisfactory and a significant enough of a difference to matter. The rest of the flight panned out well and tame. I did noticed a little bit of a tip stall as I was trying to slow down for an approach and made a tight left hand turn to go around.

 

Checking the batteries post flight, there were each around 3.8V per cell and only needed 200-250mAh drained to get down to safe storage voltage. Each flight was approximately five to six minutes long with scale like flying.

 

Conclusion

The Tower Hobbies F4U Corsair Brushless Rx-R is a winner for the intermediate and higher skilled pilot. The standoff scale of the plane removes many horrible characteristics the F4U Corsair is known for, while keeping the scale appearance. I can't wait to bring this plane out to my local Academy of Model Aeronautics club as well as other clubs' warbird events that allow electric aircraft.

I will give the plane a couple of minuses for the following: tailwheel is fixed, scale location though, having to add a considerable amount of nose weight to a stock setup, and in particular case the prop adapter not fitting the prop hub properly. All of these minuses are easily overcome by the experienced modeler. Despite these minuses the plane stands out with the amount of scale detail, authentic WWII color scheme, fantastic performance, the size is just right for having a plane at the ready, and the assembly at the field is quick and easy if one does not have the space to store it with the wing attached.

- Is this plane for a beginner?

  Absolutely not. F4U Corsairs require intermediate to advanced skill sets.

- Will this plane 3D?

  Absolutely not. It's a warbird, they aren't designed for high G moves, and it's not powered to do so. It’s designed to be flown in a scale like manner.

 

If you are interested in a parkflyer sized R/C F4U Corsair, the Tower Hobbies F4U Rx-R is one to highly consider.

Equipment Used:

Futaba 6J with Tactic AnyLink v1

3S 2200mAh 30C lipo

Tactic TR624 6ch 2.4GHz SLT Rx

SuperTigre ESC to t-plug adapter on ESC

Pros:

- A lot of scale details

- Authentic scale color scheme

- Panel lines

- Rivets

- Dummy radial engine in cowl

- Easy assembly

- Excellent flyer

- Easily removable landing gear

- Secure packaging

- Cowl held on with magnets

- Easy to follow instructions

Cons:

- SuperTigre connector for ESC

- Fixed landing gear

- Fixed tailwheel

- Having to add close approximately two ounces of nose weight to a stock setup

- Right side of the fuse under has a significant dent right out of the box (pictured above)

- Plane is not designed to be taken apart often without unplugging aileron servo wire from Rx or adding an extension to the Rx

- Prop hub wasn't drilled and tapped all the way to the top, or the prop adapter was too long

- Double sided tape on ESC had come loose off the foam