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By Heather Mardon

Construction

I found the instructions very clear and easy to understand. The only issues that are noteworthy are as follows:

C.G & Control Throws

To get the C.G to the location given in the instructions I found it necessary to use and 8 cell 830NiMh pack in a 4x4 configuration. This was pushed nearly all the way forward in the battery bay. I used a blocks of foam to locate it and stop it from sliding rear ward.

The C.G is best located by holding the plane upside down rather than right way up. When holding it this way there is less tendency for the plane to see-saw. One of the panel lines on the top surface of the wing is very close to the spar position so can be used as a reference point. There has been much debate on the 'Ezone' whether 6mm ahead of the spar is to far back for the C.G however I found it to be spot on in my flight testing. The control throws are best setup as per the movements listed in the instructions. Do not be tempted to use more elevator throw as it is quite sensitive. A bit of exponential on the ailerons is good idea for the first few flights.

Equipment

tb-batpack-p51.jpg (7K) I setup my Mustang with the following gear

Note: Be careful with your choice of receiver. I do not recommend using the GWS single conversion Pico/Naro units in this model. You may get away with a glitch in a slowflyer but in a faster aerobatic plane a better glitch free receiver is strongly recommended.

Flying

Almost all the flights so far have been from a Rise off grass takeoff. Very short grass is required for this as the wheels are quite short and it's easy to nose over if it catches a rough patch. A little rudder correction is usually required and at full throttle she's airborne in less than 10 metres. Climb out is quite steep, maintaining about 25 degrees at full throttle. I have found she will cruise around quite comfortably at a couple of clicks over half throttle. You need to use a bit more power and up elevator in the turns or she will loose quite a bit of height. Keeping the turns shallow helps here. This plane loves to roll! Surprisingly axial rolls for a low, flat bottom wing. However loops are a disappointment so far, the plane tends to fall out at the top, I think the drag of the undercarriage is the culprit here.

The P-51 is not a fast flyer, installing retracts or removing the landing gear all together would probably increase its speed a bit, but thats not what it's designed for. Cruising by in a low pass and doing smooth basic aerobatics is what its all about, plus looking cool in the air. As for suitability to park flying.... I have flown it both at the local park and our club field. You can fly it at a park however I would recommend having at least 2 x soccer/rugby fields in size as one would be too small.

So far most flights have averaged 7 minutes, with seemingly plenty of juice left in the tank. When the present round of bad weather clears I hope to do a duration test and will report back with the results.
I recommend that any potential buyers of this kit already have some experience flying a full house aircraft, this is not a beginners plane.

p51-climbout.jpg (8K) p51flyby1.jpg (7K) p51flyby2.jpg (4K)

Conclusions

The kit quality seemed good, all parts lined up. The only criticism I would have is that there's gaps in the foam beads in a few places where the pressure has not got high enough in the molds.
I do not understand how it would be possible to get the thing to balance with a 7cell flat pack with out adding weight to the nose. The best bet is go for 8 cells and reduce the prop size to 9x7. A good all round park fly warbird. As long as you do not expect full 3D performace and Knife edge capability I think you will be pleased!

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