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F4U-1A Corsair from ParkZone

By Matt Gunn
Published: January 14, 2013
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Product: ParkZone's latest warbird, the F4U-1A Corsair, is a sport-scale rendition of one of the most iconic aircraft to take flight in World War II. Made with patented Z-Foam technology, my sample of the F4U-1A was lightweight and durable, and it performed well when flown to scale or pushed into sport aerobatics. 

The Corsair is currently available in two typical ParkZone versions: the Bind-n-Fly (BNF) and the Plug-n-Play (PNP). Both will include a 15-size brushless motor and 30-amp ESC, as well as aileron, elevator and rudder servos. The BNF version will also include a 3s 2,200-mAh 25C LiPo battery, an AR600 6-channel DSMX receiver and a 2- to 3-cell DC variable-rate LiPo charger. Note that no transmitter will be included with either version of the Corsair.

The F4U-1A Corsair has replaced the previous F4U Corsair RTF, with the most visible addition being two large drop tanks located on the belly. Furthermore, optional retracts and flaps have placed the new F4U-1A into a class of complex foam aircraft that have just started to emerge in today’s market. Only in the past few years have manufacturers started offering more than just 4-channel foamies.

Performance: After installing the optional retracts and flaps, I can say it was a refreshing change to pull the gear up after takeoff and drop the flaps when turning from downwind to base. The installation of the flap servos and electric retracts wasn't difficult, adding only 30 minutes to the overall assembly time, providing all the more reason to outfit your Corsair with these useful extras.

In the air, the F4U-1A Corsair behaved like any other ParkZone warbird; loops, stall turns, aileron rolls and even lazy-snap rolls were possible thanks to the proven power system and rigid design of the Z-foam fuselage and wings. Takeoffs required a quick application of power to get the tail up and prevent ground looping, while landings were relatively uneventful with the flaps deployed and a little throttle to control the sink rate.

Marketing:
With a number of ParkZone warbirds currently available, choosing which ones to stock in your store will come down to how much room you'll have on hand. However, being the newest foam fighter in ParkZone's fleet, it will make sense to have one hanging with retracts and flaps installed as well as a few boxes on the shelves.

At first glance, the large drop tanks will immediately tell customers that this won't be your average 4-channel Corsair. On closer inspection, the sight of working landing gear and flaps will usually be enough to pique their interest.

Your hobby store should carry a few sets of 10- to 15-size 90-degree rotating main electric retracts (No. EFLG120) and a few pairs of SV80 flap servos (No. PKZ1081) on hand to go with the of the Corsair. Since the F4U-1A won't come with a transmitter in either version, an affordable 6- or 7-channel Spektrum radio package such as the DX6i or DX7s will be the perfect companion at the counter.

Many pilots have cut their teeth on the ParkZone T-28 and Corsair, and for years both warbirds were available as fixed-gear models with no flaps. Now that the trend toward complex foam aircraft has arrived, those who honed their skills on the Trojan will be likely to continue their training with ParkZone's latest models, such as the F4U-1A Corsair BNF or PNP.

VITAL STATS
Product: F4U-1A Corsair
Maker: ParkZone
Stock number: PKZ6080 BNF, PKZ6075 PNP
MSRP: $389.99 (BNF), $279.99 (PNP)
Availability: Horizon Hobby

BOTTOM LINE
• Fair-priced, with many options
• Sporty flying characteristics
• Great next step from T-28