How to Replace the Aileron Servo on the Parkzone Ultra Micro F4U Corsair
Simple Aileron Replacement
There is nothing more fun than flying radio control airplanes on a cool morning with my son. We love getting up at sunrise and hitting the sports field before it gets busy with people.
We fly the Hobbyzone Champ, a great three channel plane, with an upgraded motor (read about how easy it is to make that modification at this link. It is a great 10 minute job that will really add some UMPH to a great little plane.
After a while, we started to look for something a little more challenging and bought the Parkzone Ultra Micro F4U Corsair. In hindsight, this probably wasn't my best choice as the low wing setup coupled with ailerons really pushed the limits of our developing skills. Oh well! Nothing quite like a challenge to keep the hobby interesting!
It's a good thing that these hobby grade radio control planes are made so well. We sure did put this one to the test. After one particularly inept landing on fine gravel, the aileron servo stopped working. We were able to dislodge the particles and got the servo working again (for a little bit at least).
Unfortunately, the next time we took it out, there was no movement at all from that side. Nothing we did could get the long throw servo moving. It was time to order the replacement part.
Parkzone Corsair Replacement Servo
First off, if you are wondering what the semicircular white marks are around the aileron, please check out my article on how to protect them using packaging for eggs. Of course, if I was smart, I would have replaced the servo BEFORE I installed the protection...I realized too late that my bad landing actually damaged the electronics.
A couple of days later, the servo (Part NumberAS2000L) **Thank you Daw for the correct part number!** arrived from Amazon. It was time to get busy.
The first step was to carefully cut the stickers holding the fuselage top to the body. It lifts straight off and will reveal the inside of the plane where all of the electronics are safely housed.
The next step is to remove the pushrod linkages (those are the small diameter metal rods that connect the control horn on the servo flap to the servo itself). You may need to use a pair of needle nose pliers to bend the tip of the pushrod to free it from the mechanism. It is not a big deal as it can easily be bent back into place when you are done.
Use a hobby knife to gently remove the servo from the foam standoffs.
Note: Do yourself a favor and try to keep as much of the foam as possible attached to the wing. If too much is cut off, you will need to build it back up before replacing the servo.
The picture at the right shows the servo cut free of the wing. I kept the wires taped down during this step just to keep them out of the way.
Go ahead and cut the tape at this point to free the wires. I started to pull the tape off, but it pulled up some of the blue coloring of the wing.
Unplug the servo lead from the board. It will be one of the two white plugs on the left hand side. Be gentle because if you inadvertently damage the board, you may have another repair on your hands.
The white plug pulls straight out.
The Hardest Step!
I was lazy and tried to feed the white plug through the small gap between the wing and the fuselage. My stubbornness got the best of me and it took me several minutes to get it aligned just right to pull it through.
Once you get it lined up with the hole, it is easy to gently pull it through.
The servo and wiring are now completely removed from the plane!
Replace with the new mechanism
The steps to put the new servo into place are easy. Follow the directions above in reverse order! There are only a couple of tricks I would recommend:
- Only use a drop or two of CA glue when attaching the servo back to the foam standoffs. That is powerful stuff, and you really don't need to add much.
- Test that the servo is actually working correctly BEFORE you reassemble the fuselage.
- Check the throw of the servos to make sure the left and right ones are operating in equal, but opposite directions and are of similar throw distance.
- If the neutral position of the servo is NOT in line with the wing, you may need to adjust the pushrod linkage. Simply squeeze or pry apart the linkage to make is shorter or longer.
- LASTLY! Install a Servo Protector before flying next time!