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Sneak Peek: Top Flite Giant Scale F4U Corsair, part 1

Sneak Peek: Top Flite Giant Scale F4U Corsair, part 1

Well, I finally cleaned up my workshop so I could start getting serious about my new project build, the Top Flite Corsair ARF. This giant scale airplane has a 86.5 inch span and it comes with most of the major assemblies built and covered with matt finish Monokote. Out of the box everything looks really well put together. I’ll be posting several highlights as this Online-Build-along continues and it looks like it is going to be a very easy build. While waiting for the review plane to arrive, I spent some time getting hardware and other needed items in hand so the build would go more quickly! Also, as you will see, I have a few Scale hop-up and make-overs planned so I’ll address those later as well.

What’s In the Box!?

What’s really neat is that this model comes with its own assembly stand and a large foam matt to use during assembly. This is a nice touch as it will greatly reduce hangar-rash during the build. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve marred a model’s surface while putting it together. This is a very thoughtful addition to any plane.

You can fit out the outer wing panels on top of the large foam pad that comes with the kit. I think I am going to keep the pad for other projects down the road.

For power, I will be using the DLE 55cc gas engine. It comes with all the mounting hardware including aluminum standoffs and it features electronic ignition. I’ve heard good things about the DLE brand so we’ll see how it performs bolted to the Corsair.

The engine does come with its own muffler, but the Corsair’s instructions also recommend the J’tec Radiowave wrap-around Pitts muffler (JTCG1035) for installation in the Corsair. This muffler fits without making any modifications to the fuselage or firewall.

For the Radio Gear, I am using the  Futaba servos recommended in the instructions and the Futaba 8FG FASST Transmitter, and the 8-channel, Futaba R2008SB S.Bus capable Receiver. The Corsair instructions are very detailed and show everything with photos, so this should be a no-briner when it comes to installation.



Overall, the Corsair is very well put together and all the glue joints were very sound with plenty of glue in the joints. There were no dents or damaged parts and the box was very well packed. The fiberglass parts all are painted and match the Monokote covering nicely. The wing center section is very ruggedly built and reinforced for Robart 90 degree rotating retracts to bolt right into place.

The outer wing panels plug into the main center section and are supported with aluminum spar sections in each panel and carbon fiber alignment rods.

I like that the tail section comes assembled and all the control linkages are internal! The hardware is all installed ready to be assembled to the pushrods!

While on the subject, all the control surfaces are installed and hinged at the factory saving a lot of work.

Another nice touch is that the Corsair comes with a cockpit detail kit and the parts are made of painted, lightweight plastic. To this I am adding a scale pilot figure from Best Pilots in the form of a 1/5-scale Pappy Boyington. I think he will add a lot of life to the Bent-wing South Pacific warbird. I have him in my workshop and I can swear I hear him yelling at me to finish building his airplane!

Finally, to round out this intro to the build, I will be adding a scale 3-blade hamilton Standard static popeller to make the Corsair look all the more real when sitting in on the flightline. You can see how I built that on the MAN website.


Well, That’s it for the intro to this great looking warbird build. Stay tuned as I will be updating the build often! Cheers. CLICK HERE TO GO TO PART 2.

Updated: July 16, 2015 — 3:45 PM


Add a Comment
  1. Nice start Gerry. I look forward to the build!

  2. Thanks Mike! And down at WOD you are more than welcome to fly it when we get together!

  3. I will be watching for any tips I just got mine last week. Now I am just waiting on the robart eletric retracts

  4. I have also started mine. I have all the parts and am currently at the engine installation part. I look forward to your scale additions to this bird.

  5. The build, once you get started goes pretty quickly! If you have all your gear ahead of time and stay organized, you can really make quick progress.

  6. this is very nice but build at least to me means a large box of parts with me doing the assembly the sanding the painting and the set up of radio and fuel system and all the rest just a comment from an old time builder started models in the early 70’s i have 3 corsairs one of which is a d&b fiber glass fuselage 60 + inches built up wing retracts flaps full cockpit and a 90 Webra 2 cycle engine

  7. PLEASE… stop calling it a “build” you are putting together pre-fabricated sub-assemblies. Builds start with a kit!!!

    1. Build is defined as: to make something by joining parts.
      Kit is defined as: set of parts for assembling, a set of things for use together

      Now I agree with you Thor R, it is not as many parts as a “true kit” come with or a scratch build, but you just don’t pull a fully ready to fly Corsair out of that box. Gerry still has to spend a number of evenings putting this Corsair together and because of that it dose qualify as a build.
      Now if Gerry calls it a “Kit Build” I will slap him for you. 🙂

      1. Amen John, Arf’s are by no mean’s a throw together aircraft. I’ve done Corsair Kit’s, both
        require time. Obviously kit’s much more. I do
        Arf’s due to my M.S.& Parkinson’s — which turn’s
        a Arf almost into a Kit !! lol I spent 22 yr’s in the
        USAFand 12 yr’s as a crew chief on B-52’s — so the hobby is a passion with me.

        Gerry, my next Corsair will be you’re 86″ bird,
        i’m currently working on Top-Flite’s smaller version, it’s a replica of the 86″ — but considerably smaller. Joseph Loop

  8. Thanks for the support John. Overtime work is work in my book. No it is not a “Kit Build” as was my Florio Flyer 60 “Build-along” elsewhere on the MAN site. But please!!! You guys! A “Assembly-Along” just sounds stupid as a series. Also, just for the record, I did not actually solder and assemble the Futaba radio or any of the servos, nor did I forge the metal in the DLE 55 engine. ;^) Seriously, I hope you guys find more of value than a difinition of a Kit or ARF. Hello, the world has changed since the 1970s – 80s. Very few kits are being produced today. Like it or not, the hobby has changed. I think we actually have a post somewhere on the MAN site discussing that specific topic.
    Either way, the Corsair “Workshop Build-Along” will continue!

  9. Gary, thanks for the review.. A ARF of this size does require alot of time and care to make it right,, and it’s no where near as simple as assembling a trainer arf. I find the larger planes usually take alot more time than the mfg. states to be correct. I look forward to future articles.. you do great work and thanks again for contributing. Terry

  10. I just want to fly. Why doesn’t this company take the next step and offer a version that only requires us to install our receiver and attach the wings and tail?

    As a foamie flyer (how many foam corsairs are there these days?), I would only be tempted to spend the big bucks on this beautiful model if I knew everything was installed correctly at the factory.

    And by the way, that great pilot is a must is a bird this size.


  12. I am a new member of the R/C airplane hobby. only 7 months in the ARCS flying/model club and I find that I enjoy ‘building’ more then flying .(at this time) I have magazines that I read every month. I am learning small builder tricks here and there. My question to you is,,”where can I find books and magazines that show explicit methods on building R/C model airplanes?”I do know there are many builders that have written books that show “how-to”. I do not know where to locate these books outside of the general public R/R model magazines. Can you help me?

  13. Tommy, The airage store has building tip and tricks (Several books) That I have enjoyed for years.. Have a look

  14. I agree with Thor R!!!!!!!!!

  15. will a dle55 with the rear muffler work better?

    1. I would stay away from that rear muffler as it will vibrate apart. Happened to me and a bunch of people I know

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