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Wednesday, 23 January 2008 18:30

Top Flite - Corsair - Built by Stuart Josephs 


Well no one ever said it would be easy & if I had realised just how right they were, I would not have started this one.  The CMP ARF kit would have been much easier but I wanted at least a 7ft wingspan & this Top Flite kit was the only one I could find. The last time I built a plane from a plan & bits of balsa wood, was with my late father and I would have been about 6 years old. 



However, not to be beaten by this large box of wood I'd lumbered myself with last October,  I set to work & over the last few months have made reasonable progress. 

All the parts in the kit are die-cut and need to be pushed or sometimes cut out if they are not free enough.  I did this first and marked each piece for easy matching to the plan.  Small pieces were put in plastic bags & clearly marked. 

With hind-site it probably would have been best not to cut them until needed. 

As you can see from the pictures, the tail sections are constructed & this part was quite easy.

Next came the inverted gull-wing.  Again quite easy to do the basic construction.  I started with the outer wings then built the curved centre section & then joined the three sections together.  And what a surprise, they actually fitted. 

The framework is then to be covered in a balsa skin, which has to be made up from a number of 3" x 30" x 3/8th balsa sheets cemented together. The tricky part is fixing the sheets to the frame.  Lots of CA glue & plenty of pressure required to keep the skin on the ribs.  The most difficult part to cover is the curved gull-wing root. 
Lots of soaking the balsa skin to help mould it to the frame.

The markings show where the hinges are to be drilled

The wing section is now ready to have the final centre top skin applied, then the bottom skins & then the wing tips

This will then take the wing to its full width of 85.5 inches. 

I have to say the kitchen is not the ideal place to build a model this size.

Photo shows the wing servo hatch with a paper tube, which enables easy insertion of the servo cable & landing gear bays

When completed the plane will weigh in at around 24-26 lbs, so it needs pretty hefty landing gear.  The good thing about this Top Flite web-site is that it give an accessories parts listing. (Pity other sites & kit assembly manuals don't do the same)  It uses Robart retracts for the main & tail.  I've bought these from Tower Hobbies in the USA.  As the exchange rate is pretty good at the moment, they have cost roughly half what they would have if bought in the UK.

Well that's it for the moment, still a long long way to go.  When I've finished the wing, I'll make a start on the fuselage.