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Old Oct 21, 2015, 09:05 AM
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Build Log
Hangar 9 P-51 8CC dumpster find rebuild

Hey everyone,

This airplane came out of the trash bin at the field I fly at. Apparently a radio glitch caused the machine to nose dive hard on a full throttle pass across the field.
Damage report: Wing broke apart very cleanly at the center seam. A few of the center ribs cracked, wing sheeting took some damage, landing gear blocks damaged. Otherwise wing panels aren't in bad shape at all. Fuselage looked pretty bad at first glance and everything from the rear edge of the fuse doubler to the firewall needs to be rebuilt. Canopy completely intact, landing gear intact, cowl is tattered, but should be fixable.

First steps: Pieced together the front of the fuse to start getting general dimensions and shapes for the rebuild. Disassembled the puzzle again and started making templates for the fuse doublers and all of the formers. I plan to make this airplane electric, so I changed the design slightly to include a top hatch for battery access. I went as far as to draw up the airframe pieces in SketchUp to better visualize things and catch any issues before I cut things out of wood.

As of 10/20/15 I've cut the two fuselage formers, firewall and rearmost former. All of these pieces are made from 1/8" lite-ply. Firewall will be laminated from two pieces up to 1/4" final thickness.

No idea what motor/ESC will be going into this bird yet, but it looks like it should do well with the 46-size equivalent motors. More to come...
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Last edited by 3axap; Oct 21, 2015 at 01:09 PM.
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Old Oct 21, 2015, 10:14 PM
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I'm not entirely sure it was a radio glitch. I'm leaning toward the aileron servo mount coming loose during flight. Btw guys, this was my plane and when I crash 'em, I go all out!

I can't wait to see the finished product. I can hear all the guys at the field ragging on me already!
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Old Oct 23, 2015, 09:13 AM
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A few more formers have been cut out and fitted. The firewall angle is now set for 2 of right thrust. The original firewall had the motor mount offset from center which suggests that the plane originally had some right thrust. I've also cut out a rough outline of the center wing ribs. Looks like the NTM 42-38 750kV motor will be a good fit for the plane. Planning to set it up on a 4S battery.
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Old Oct 24, 2015, 09:15 PM
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Its raining outside, so the P-51 is getting some TLC in the workshop. The battery tray took a while to sort out, but I think it came out nice in the end. The plywood parts are nearly ready to be glued together. The way this plane is assembled, the tail section can be hung onto the plywood fuse box and the balsa skin will then lock the two parts together. This works out well for replacing the whole front of the fuselage. Checking with the laser level showed that the fuse box lines up properly with the tail section. Once I cut some cooling holes in the firewall, I'll move on to gluing the whole thing together.
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Old Nov 01, 2015, 11:19 PM
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Some good progress over the weekend with getting the wing sections reunited. The first two ribs of the wing panels were damaged, the wing joiner was broken down the center and the sheeting was broken on the top of the wing. After cutting away a lot of the top sheeting, I managed to remove the remains of the wing joiner and the plywood pieces surrounding it. A heat gun does wonders for debonding epoxied parts.

Using the remnants of the joiner and plywood pieces, I drew up some replacements on 3 mm lite ply and used the scroll saw to cut them out. Also ended up making some reinforcement rails for the landing gear mounts. All damaged ribs were pieced together and then balsa doublers were glued on. The wing panels fit back together really well and are now epoxied and curing.

I also scored a Turnigy G46 motor w/ ESC off of Ebay for a decent price.
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Old Nov 02, 2015, 11:05 AM
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Man i wish i had the skill and patience to fix that darn plane. If I did, i wouldn't have thrown it in the trash! Oh and yes, i had to epoxy the gear in to keep them from moving around after a few not so soft landings. Not a great design IMO....
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Old Nov 02, 2015, 11:14 AM
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Damn some of you guys are so damn good at rebuilding planes!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3axap View Post
Hey everyone,

This airplane came out of the trash bin at the field I fly at. Apparently a radio glitch caused the machine to nose dive hard on a full throttle pass across the field.
Damage report: Wing broke apart very cleanly at the center seam. A few of the center ribs cracked, wing sheeting took some damage, landing gear blocks damaged. Otherwise wing panels aren't in bad shape at all. Fuselage looked pretty bad at first glance and everything from the rear edge of the fuse doubler to the firewall needs to be rebuilt. Canopy completely intact, landing gear intact, cowl is tattered, but should be fixable.

First steps: Pieced together the front of the fuse to start getting general dimensions and shapes for the rebuild. Disassembled the puzzle again and started making templates for the fuse doublers and all of the formers. I plan to make this airplane electric, so I changed the design slightly to include a top hatch for battery access. I went as far as to draw up the airframe pieces in SketchUp to better visualize things and catch any issues before I cut things out of wood.

As of 10/20/15 I've cut the two fuselage formers, firewall and rearmost former. All of these pieces are made from 1/8" lite-ply. Firewall will be laminated from two pieces up to 1/4" final thickness.

No idea what motor/ESC will be going into this bird yet, but it looks like it should do well with the 46-size equivalent motors. More to come...
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Old Nov 02, 2015, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasredrider View Post
Man i wish i had the skill and patience to fix that darn plane. If I did, i wouldn't have thrown it in the trash! Oh and yes, i had to epoxy the gear in to keep them from moving around after a few not so soft landings. Not a great design IMO....
Its certainly a ton of work and the patience part is a big player in getting it fixed. I like the challenge and this is by far the worst crash damage I've tried to fix. Without plans to work from, it takes twice as long to piece together, redraw and cut out new parts. Kit-built models are easier in that respect because you can typically find a plan set to work from. Now that the wing is glued back together, I need to lay the aileron extension wires in there and put the sheeting on. I fished some fishing line through the wing to help with this, but I think I'll wait until I actually put the wire in there before covering it all up for good. Less headaches with this approach. In the meantime, I'm waiting on the motor to get here so that I can drill the firewall while its not glued in. Same goes for the wing dowel holes in the fuselage former. Easier to do those when the former is on the table instead of in the fuse.
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Old Nov 02, 2015, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muscleflex View Post
Damn some of you guys are so damn good at rebuilding planes!!!!!!
If you've built a few kits, you can rebuild just about anything. This is the first time I'm having to cut out major pieces of the airframe, but it has turned out to be pretty easy as long as you draw up some templates first. So far I've used about $15 worth of lite-ply for new parts, so there's a potential economics argument that can be made to the significant other about bringing broken stuff home We'll ignore the money spent on the power system, servos, etc
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Old Nov 05, 2015, 08:45 AM
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A bit more progress on the wing. The right wing panel had damage in the wing bolt area and needed to have the sheeting repaired there. I also drilled the new landing gear blocks to accept the wire. While in there, I also removed all of the epoxy from the landing gear groove. A heat gun makes quick work of cured epoxy by softening it up. Once soft, it scrapes away easily. The right wing panel also received its new top sheeting. The left panel is up next and then the wing should be done until covering time. The new Turnigy G46 motor and ESC showed up in the mail too, so I'll be working on the firewall soon. The wing needed to get done before the fuselage is reassembled to allow for accurate drilling of the wing dowel holes in the fuse former.
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Old Nov 07, 2015, 10:58 PM
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Another rainy Saturday, so more progress on the P-51. The wing is officially finished as far as wood repairs go. The wing bolt reinforcement plate has been epoxied on and fiberglass tape has been glued around the center joint. I've also mounted the Turnigy G46 motor on the firewall on some custom length stand-offs. The second former has been drilled to accept the wing dowels and the wing mates with the fuse perfectly now. With all of that completed, the fuselage is now being glued together and the tail section is being prepped for joining to the front fuselage. More pics to come...
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Old Nov 09, 2015, 09:20 AM
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The fuse doublers are now glued to the main formers and the firewall is epoxied in. I checked the part alignment with the rear fuselage and it looks like things are centered and aligned. Also found out that the wing has about 2 washout built in when I measured the angles between the tail and the wing. Wing root is at 0 relative to the stabilizer. I still haven't decided exactly how I will attach the new box section to the old fuselage piece. Originally there was only the balsa sheeting carrying the bulk of the stress at the rear of the wing, but with the sheeting spliced together, it won't be as strong. Looks like I'll be installing a doubler of some sort and maybe putting in a layer of thin fiberglass under the sheeting to reinforce the area.
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Old Nov 10, 2015, 08:07 AM
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Beautiful job, but with all that work, no retracts?

My friend had me flying his pumped OS 120 S version recently and along with an error reading the tank level, was not able to get the gear back up in time before it dead-sticked into the beans. Fuse is relatively intact, but the gear tore quite a bit of the wing structure apart.

Maybe I should get him to send you the wing.
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Old Nov 10, 2015, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar429 View Post
Beautiful job, but with all that work, no retracts?

My friend had me flying his pumped OS 120 S version recently and along with an error reading the tank level, was not able to get the gear back up in time before it dead-sticked into the beans. Fuse is relatively intact, but the gear tore quite a bit of the wing structure apart.

Maybe I should get him to send you the wing.
Thank you for the compliments I've thought about converting this thing to retractable gear, but given that the bottom of the wing wasn't torn up at all, I chose to fix only what was broken. I am also hoping to make this a no headache type flyer where I don't have to worry about bending the retracts on a hard landing or compromise on prop size because of gear height. As long as the spars aren't badly damaged, wing ribs and sheeting is a fairly easy repair. The root joint can be a pain since it has to be very strong, but wing ribs are quick to cut out and replace.
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Old Nov 10, 2015, 03:45 PM
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A number of people have had this plane crash. Most of them are a radio glitch. Plane then twists nose into the ground. I have not seen many landings of this plane. More crashed photos.

I think having the receiver share the ignition battery is a big mistake. Mine has gone back to HH and will move onto something else.
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