Corsair82: 82% F4U-1A Corsair

Corsair82 Update April 2013

It has been a few years since I have updated the Corsair82 website. Iím sure some have concluded that I have given up on the project. Well, I am here to say the Corsair82 is alive and well.

My last communication was in February of 2011. At that time I was still recovering from having both of my knees replaced (see Tonyís New Struts). My knees are fine at this time and I am glad I did it.

In my last update I mentioned the problems I was having in getting the landing gear built by a machine shop. The first shop had my prototype from 2006 to 2009. That machinist had too much going on and returned my prototype to me, as well as the money I had paid in advance. He also sent me some parts he had made.

NowÖthe rest of the story.

In 2009 I was directed to a machine shop in northern Illinois. The shop was recommended by a few trusted friends. After conferring with the shop owner, I brought my prototype to that shop and hoped it would be built soon. It took a few months to get things organized and to make some changes. Initially, some very nice parts were produced. Then things slowed down. The shop owner became non communicative. I was very worried about losing the prototype, as that was all I had to go on to get the landing gear built to aircraft quality. Because the shop owner stopped returning my calls, I was forced to obtain legal counsel.

Basically, it cost me about $7000 to get my prototype back. I got the money I paid him up front back, as well. I did not get any parts or drawings back. I never talked to him, as the lawyers did all the talking, so I still donít know what the problem was. This all came to an end in February of this year.

So, basically I am right back to square one with the landing gear. Six years of waiting on machine shops and all I have is the prototype. I really canít go any further in construction of an all composite airplane without landing gear mounted in the center section of the wing and the center section mounted to the fuselage. The fuselage tends to lie on the floor when there is no landing gear. It is also very hard to taxi test in the no landing gear configuration.

Now I have a new plan. I have decided to use a tubular frame inside the composite fuselage. The composite skin will no longer be structural. Using this method, I can mount the wing spar to the frame and mount fixed landing gear to the spar. I will be able to build and install all of the other components and systems and then cover the whole thing with the composite fuselage skin. I will make the landing gear bay in such a way that I can later retrofit the retractable landing gear. I should be able to taxi test and maybe even fly the prototype airplane this way. Hopefully I will have the retractable gear built and installed before that time. I currently have a guy drawing up the whole thing in a ďCADĒ program. I think that stands for computer aided design. <\p>

Right now I am trying to find a frame from another airplane that will fit so I donít have to build one from scratch. The Grumman AG Cat looks like the most promising frame, but it will be a bit too short. I might have to make some modifications to it, but that will still save a lot of time.

I have also been working on getting the fuselage molds into shape in order to make the new fuselage skins. A change of building technique and slightly different materials will be in order, but not a real big change.

Well that is where I am with the never ending construction of the Corsair82. I hope to have some pictorial updates soon, but that is dependent on obtaining the fuselage frame.

Thanks for all of your support.

Tony Pileggi

A note to my supporters: (Feb 2011)

I would like to thank those of you who have been following my progress building the Corsair82. As you all know, I have not updated the website in a few years. I would like to take the time to explain the inactivity caused by two main events.

The first event was the destruction of the other project I was a partner in, the Nakajima Ki-27. That project was destroy by a hangar fire set by burglars. The loss of time and money invested in that project really took away my motivation to build airplanes.

The second event happened at about the same time. While cleaning up the destroyed hangar and getting ready to rebuild it, my knees started to fail. I got to the point where I could barely walk. This was a result of traumatic knee injuries I sustained when I was young and stupid. Double knee replacement soon followed. I also have to admit to getting a bit lazy during the recovery period.

A small roll in the inactivity can also be attributed to the problems I have encountered with having the landing gear built by a professional. While I was able to built the prototype, I am not good enough at machine work to build an aircraft quality landing gear system. The machine shop that helped me with most of the prototype parts was going to build the whole system for me. I delivered the gear to that shop in mid 2006. After three years, not much work had been accomplished. I finally got the gear back in late 2008. In mid 2009, I delivered the gear to another shop in the northern part of Illinois. It took us quite a while to get things together to get under way, but now the gear parts are shaping up nicely. The new landing gear parts will be the subject for the new update for this web site.

On a different note, I need to apologize to a number of you for not answering emails. I am always slow to answer emails due to the sheer volume of email I receive. (I only answer the serious emails)

The hard drive in my computer crashed and caused me to lose lots of email I had intended to answer. If you were one of those whose email went unanswered, and if this note did not answer your question, please email me again.


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