Joshua Orchard's Balsa Corsair Build!

by FliteTest | April 26, 2018 | (10) Posted in Projects

Known for his immaculate scale airplane builds like his Bugatti 100p, Joshua Orchard has done it again. Recently he's been putting together a balsa wood Corsair kit complete with all the details you could possibly imagine! Here's a rundown of his build. 

Starting with the wings, the frame was assembled and then skinned. This Corsair was a kit so all of the wood was supplied in the box. 

With the wing mounted, the Corsair takes on more of a familiar shape. 'It’s always a big moment in balsa builds' said Joshua on his Facebook post

These spit flaps look a nightmare to wire up, but Joshua managed it somehow! 

With the wings attached, the tail assembled and the canopy balanced in place, the aircraft is beginning to look darn impressive. 

Now that's a beefy motor. 

This radial engine is a 3D printed model that fits around the outrunner motor. 

As well as the larger static details, there are a whole bunch of neat features that function just like on the real airplane. One of these is the retractable tail wheel. Just take a look at the complexity of this mechanism. Most of the framework is 3D printed. 

One of my favourite details is this sweet sliding canopy mechanism! You can see a video of the finished cockpit here.

With the important areas masked, it was time to glass the aircraft. Joshua talks a little about this process in this video if you'd like to find out more about this technique. 

Next comes the riveting phase of the build. Just take a look at the intricacy of this! 

Head on over to Joshua's YouTube channel if you'd like to learn techniques like this. He also has lots of great videos explaining advanced techniques like glassing and priming scale models like this one. 

After the rivet detailing process was complete, it was time to slap some Corsair blue on this warbird. 

So, there you have it, one beautiful Corsair model completed and ready to take to the skies. 

You can check out Joshua's taxi tests on his video here

Joshua is currently taking his Corsair to SEFF for its maiden flight. I for one am sure looking forward to seeing this bird take to the air! If you're now wanting a Corsair project of your own, but without the massive commitment, check out or FT Mighty Mini Corsair kit on the FT Store. This way, you can work your way up to the big balsa builds like this one! 


Joshua's Bugatti Project

FT Mighty Mini Corsair that you can build

Mini Corsair build video

Article by James Whomsley

Editor of

Instagram @jameswhomsley


Jackson T on April 26, 2018
That is an awesome plane Josh! Great job.
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Willsonman on April 30, 2018
Thank you! More to come on this project so keep an eye on the build thread in the forum.
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Willsonman on April 30, 2018
To be clear, at the time of this article, the airplane is only flight worthy, not complete. I still have yet to complete the cockpit. It will be detailed out with all the panels, functional yoke, rudder pedals, and throttle lever. I have other small details to also add. So, she is still a work in progress.

On further note, She did have her maiden flight at SEFF. I'm still in the process of putting together the video footage but it was a spectacular flight, though brief.
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Jackson T on May 1, 2018
Thats awesome!!! could you post a link of the build thread?
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Willsonman on August 31, 2018
Sorry! I just saw this...

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Jackson T on August 31, 2018
Thanks! Late is better than never! Has it flown yet?
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Willsonman on August 31, 2018
Of course! You can the entire build series along with flight videos on my YT channel playlist.
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Jackson T on September 1, 2018
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Joshua Orchard's Balsa Corsair Build!