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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jensen Designs LLC
2508 SE 152nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98683