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Old Dec 23, 2006, 06:10 PM
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P51-D Park Flyer advanced builds

Hello all. This thread is intended as a place for people to discuss and show their P51-D Park Flyer aircraft. It doesn't matter what brand or make of P51-D model you are building, as long as the aircraft is small scale.
Threads exist that allow discussion of stock builds for various park flyer kits. This thread is not for stock kit builds. It is a discussion and presentation area for individuals who wish to modify their birds beyond a typical kit build.
Any level of builder is welcome here. There are no stupid questions, suggestions or builds. Everyone is welcome to come in and display their skills and builds and to help others to learn how to advance their modeling skills.
Since this thread is specifically for those who want to do scale or simply explore everything you can do with a bird, I ask that people do not belittle the work of others. This thread is for everyone, not for people with a singular goal or opinion. All opinions and ideas are welcome here.
I hope everyone enjoys their visit and participation.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 06:17 PM
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Happy to see this post! I'm subscribing and will be lurking until I get a chance to start on my Laser Arts Mustang build. You've done some amazing things with yours and I hope you can re-post pictures of what you've done to this new thread. It'll blow people away!


Joe
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 06:19 PM
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My P51-D build started out as a kit built by Laser Arts. I believe this name may have changed to Mountain Models. I first built the kit in stock configuration, then chose to build another in a modified form. I am doing just about everything to this bird that can be done and still have her fly well. Here is my build from the beginning.
Here are the beginning stages of assembling the fuselage. An empty frame was not wanted in this build. A full planking of the fuselage is being done. This increases the weight, but it also increases its rigidity and overall structural integrity. It also provides a much smoother appearance as well as airflow.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 06:29 PM
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The planking on this bird is done in two ways. I used 1/32" sheet balsa for most of it. This is easily noted in the flatter areas and gently curving areas. Areas with a much tighter radius are planked with thicker material. As little material as possible is fitted within ribs or bulkheads. This enables the end results to be as thin as possible after shaping. Do everything you can to keep the weight down, by keeping your planking as thin as possible.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 06:32 PM
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turbojoe: LOL! Glad to see you here! I was just in the process of uploading all of the images I have of the build. Feel free to jump in anytime with your build. It will take me a while to upload everything and apply text.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 06:48 PM
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It'll be quite a while before I start mine. I may make the drive north to see the maiden on this beautiful bird of yours. Make sure you post the maiden date. I'll do my best to be there.


Joe
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 06:54 PM
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These four pictures jump ahead a bit. But, they do show the fuselage and tail feathers fully planked. I did not 'skin' anything, because the fuselage and tail feathers are already to scale. Skinning would have made it a bit over sized.
The planking makes the model very rigid and forgiving of impacts, compared to the stock build. I had fractured my stock build many times just by picking it up. This time around, I do not fear the type of handling that modifications require.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 06:57 PM
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turbojoe: I hope I do not disappoint on the maiden! I have built heavy birds before, but none as pretty and detailed as this one. The nerves will be running high that day! I will post the maiden date. Thanks for offering to be there!
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for the new thread!! Keep it going, and let see how awesome this thing turns out.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 07:26 PM
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The stabilizer was a difficult build. I wanted to make it and the elevators an integrated surface with a symmetrical airfoil. I do not want to produce any lift on this surface. I fabricated a special jig to do this.
Using the original kit layout, I added vertical ribs. The jig has slots cut into it, to allow the ribs to sit below the working surface. There are three formers made from sheet metal. One on either end of the jig board and one in the middle. These formers allowed me to shape the vertical ribs with accuracy. When the first side was shaped, the stabilizer/elevator assembly was turned over and the shaping continued. Doing it this way insures that both sides are identical. Or, as nearly identical as possible.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 07:41 PM
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The stabilizer is seen being planked, and then fully planked. It is not easy to do this. It takes time and patience. The arc of the airfoil and the depth of the ribs are what make it more difficult than planking larger areas. It is easy for the planking panels to fall in a bit. Tack the planking panels in a little bit at a time. Once the entire panel is tacked in place, then go back and make sure all seams are glued. I won't glorify this process by saying "go ahead and do it". It is not especially easy and I will be the first to admit that. But, for a planked, symmetrical wing, it is a necessary aggravation. With a little practice, the 'feel' for doing this is obtained and it does become less of an aggravation and more of an elation.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 07:46 PM
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Can someone tell if nose art and name should go on one side up front or both? Or does name go on both and art on one?
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 07:49 PM
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I didn't want to use a wood dowel for the elevator pivot bearing. My bird will be heavier and a greater load will be applied to control surfaces. Something that is lighter and more wear resistant was needed. I decided to use aluminum tubing. The aluminum tube was cut to length, then perforated with holes on the elevator side. These holes are to act as anchor holes, to allow the epoxy to better grip and adhere the aluminum tube to the elevators.
I used my lathe to make the control horn. I wanted all control mechanisms to be completely hidden. The control horn was turned on the lathe to create a disk with a central hub that fits tightly onto the aluminum tube. Precision was needed here, if only as a means to insure a greater sense of security. I then soldered the control horn to the pivot bearing. The solder used is a special 'aluminum' solder. This assembly is then glued to the elevators as mentioned.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 07:56 PM
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countrygentleman: Unfortunately, I am not extremely familiar with the artwork. I do think that special names and art go on both sides of the nose. I will be examining the P51 manual just after X-mas, when my son opens it. It is a gift to him, so it is wrapped up for now. Then, I could give you a more detailed description of proper number and star placement etc. I hope someone here will come forward with this information for you.
By the way, good to have you here.
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Old Dec 23, 2006, 08:44 PM
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The rudder is controlled by RDS. To make the coupling simple and lightweight, I used the lathe to make a lightweight adapter. To hinge both the elevators and the rudder, I used a more scale approach. Shown is a hinge plate made from plywood. It is first shaped, drilled, then saturated with thin CA. Then, the hole is reamed and it is ready for installation. This makes for very strong hinge plates as it is basically fiber reinforced plastic.
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