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Corsair Tailwheel Upgrade, Earl Aune’s Scale Gear with Tail-hook

Corsair Tailwheel Upgrade, Earl Aune’s Scale Gear with Tail-hook
If you are building a Corsair from one of the Top Flite ARF kits, this upgrade will add lots of static scale points. This impressive scale retractable tailwheel with tailhook unit comes from my good friend and scale modeler, Earl Aune.
(Above) Gear Extended
(Above) Gear in the retracted position
Involved with scale competition and the U.S. Scale Masters Association for many years, Earl build an impressive Corsair and scratch-built his own functional, retractable tailwheel assembly complete with tailhook. Several years back Earl also hand built tailwheels for Nick Ziroli, Byron Originals and Bob Holman Plans for the Corsair, Hellcat, Zero, Mustang and Skyraider, but the hand building and assembly took over 3 hours apiece!  This took all of his “spare” time plus the orders kept coming in such that he was soon overwhelmed and burned out.
This past year  however Earl built himself his own CNC system and he commented that this made a huge difference! Now, all of the pieces actually fit precisely together instead of having to be hand sanded to fit which took most of the time. So, Earl is thinking about cranking up his Tailwheel business once again with his new manufacturing capability to produce the gear for the 86 inch span Corsair.
The gear is fully steerable and comes fully assembled with the tailwheel. The linkage locks the gear in the down position to relieve the retract servo from any loads or forces. Overall, the unit is very nicely made and looks great! The tailhook is also functional in that you can use a seperate servo to raise and lower it. And the geometry is just perfect for scale looks and functionality.
He asked if I wanted to try retro-fitting the tailwheel unit to the Corsair after the review and I just could not refuse the offer. It will take some modifications to the ARF to make it fit but it does look like it is doable. If you are interested in Earl’s classic Tailwheel assemblies, you can contact him at the address below: of send him an email at:
Earl Aune
Jensen Designs LLC
2508 SE 152nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98683
Updated: March 20, 2017 — 2:52 PM
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  1. That is an awesome looking tailwheel, I can see myself doing “carrier” landings on the runway at my local club.

  2. That is really nice. My question is, how are the doors set up?

    1. Hey thanks for your comment. The gear doors for any scale airplane are a project all onto themselves. Earl’s gear do have ball-links attached that you can use to attach linkage to open and close the doors. However, the geometry to get the doors to travel and function properly with the proper end points is a trial and error exercise. Also, there are other methods like spring loaded paddles that the tailwheel pushes up when retracted that in turn pull the doors shut, so the whole project is up to you.

  3. Very nice looking assembly!!! I have plans to build a giant scale Corsair in the near future….and this would fit nicely!!

  4. I just finished the Top Flight 85″ gold edition built up kit painted like the real one “RED DOG XII”see it on youtube crash land,My bad! Next project is the Top Flight Giant Corsair and I must have this tail wheel set up! It looks AWESOME !

  5. I.E. Gear doors. Thanks for the reply Gerry, I will keep trying. Looks like the key word is “project”.

  6. Is the Corsair in this article the TopFlight ARF?

    1. Yes — same one! Look for the review in a future MAN.

  7. lovely work, i see you are doing a version for smaller corsairs, namely the ESM/YT version, any chance of one for me, and post to the UK?

  8. i at least expected a reply

  9. Hi all, just checking into this thread. Thanks for the compliments on the tailwheel, they are a lot of work but are certainly worth it when you are after the scale look and function. I can make them in any size. Also I am making available the scale tailwheel for the Hellcat, Zero, Skyraider and Mustang. The Skyraider and Mustang fold forward as an interesting note. Just shoot me an email to start. Cheers, Ear

  10. Oh boy, just found your tailwheel. I have the plans for the Franz Meier Skyraider and plan to start construction the first of the year if not sooner. It is a 75″ wing span model, so somewhat smaller than the Ziroli 100″. What information would you need to build a tail wheel assembly for my bird? What is the power source to activate it? Servo or air cylinder or either? This looks like the ticket to have a fine tail wheel assembly for my Spad. Thanks for a reply. WS

  11. I have a Cy models Bearcat 97 inch wingspan. Will your tailwheel work in that plane? Is it simple to install? Thank you

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