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Old Nov 03, 2009, 01:24 PM
swede
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United States, UT, Vineyard
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Build Log
Top Flite Gold Edition P-51D KIT Conversion to P-51B

There's a Top Flite ARF build thread here, but I haven't found a build log, or conversion thread for the KIT yet.

I got the plane after much of the building was completed, so this will be more of a conversion and finishing thread. All comments are welcome and encouraged. This is the largest plane I have done like this and I'm sure I can use all of the help I can get.

I've had it about a year and I have been debating about if I wanted to finish this plane, or sell it and get an ARF. After looking at both options, this will definitely be more work, but I think it will be the less expensive alternative of the two.

I am the third owner of this plane. It's been in a mostly built condition for five years or more. I was given the plane for free from a good friend on the condition that I just finish it.

It has spent the last several years in garages and getting shoved around. It has developed quite a bit of hanger rash before I got it. One of the elevators was broke. Several holes have been punched in the balsa and balsa has been broken off of other places. Robart air retracts have been installed for the mains and a retractable tail wheel.
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 01:57 PM
swede
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I was helping a friend move a few weeks ago and one of his movers ended up breaking the elevator completely off. I looked at it last week and decided it wouldn't be that difficult to fix, so I started fixing it.

One thing turned into another and I ended up fixing most of the breaks and damage to the balsa and found some other pieces that had been broken off and put it all back together. The Robarts are air up/air down. I dremeled holes for the wheels to fit and attached them.

I have had extremely good luck with Hobby City's motors, ESC's, servo's and batteries. I am planning on getting all of those from there. Unfortunately I have had really bad luck with that other "Hobby" store.

This is the motor I was thinking about. I was also thinking of 8 cells by running two 4S5000 in series. I'll be lucky if this thing is under 10lbs. This motor should give me a little room if I go over.

Here's how it looks now. I found a conversion kit to make this a "B" model. Attached is the scheme I liked the most, so I will be converting this to a B model.
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 02:52 PM
swede
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The motor will run well on 6 or 8 cells. It has been suggested that I use 6 cells to keep weight down. The weight gain to go from 6 cells to 8 cells is 8 oz. Even with the added weight, I'm thinking I may need the power so this will fly well. I fly near 5,000 ft elevation, and typically need to add a little more oomph to get planes to fly decent here. Will the trade off of 8 oz for the extra power be worth it?

Since I am the third owner, some of the paperwork is missing. There is nothing included with what I have that recommends servos. This will be full house with flaps, and probably a park servo to run the actuator for the retracts. Some local flyers that have similar size planes have recommended Hitec HS-475HB's for everything. Advantage Hobby seems to have a good deal on those servos, so I may get those.

One questionable topic is the aileron servo. The Top Flite Gold Edition kit is set up to only run ONE servo for the ailerons. Since the aileron linkages were installed and the wing is already covered, I think it would be quite a hassle to remove them and install dual servos. For the center servo, it gas been recommended that I use one with metal gears and over 100oz of torque. What do you think?
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 07:04 PM
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Your motor choice is good. It gives you options. If you find that you are grazing the prop on takeoff or landing(say if your using a 16x10 like recommended on the motor specs)...then you could drop to a 14x12. You'll gain a lot of speed without much difference in amp draw relative to the 16x10.
Considering that its a buildt up kit and not an ARF(which tend to come out heavier), it may be possible to keep close to 10 pounds. My ARF version of the TF P-51 weighs 10.5 pounds with a saito 125 when dry(no fuel).
With an electric setup, you usually end up heavier. So...Im estimating probably cloer to 11 pounds or slightly more. But...remember, your carrying that weight the entire time. With a fuel plane...Im taking off at probably 11.5 pounds when you include fuel and that gets bled off weight wise. So at landing, by guessing anyhow....im probably at 11 pounds with the remaining fuel.
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 07:08 PM
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Oh ...almost forgot. The color scheme you chose...which i also like.....happens to be the exact paint scheme on the KMP/ESM P-51B. I own that plane also, but havent built it yet.

I did, however, use that paint scheme as inspiration when I built the 150 size H9 P-51
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 07:12 PM
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As a comparison, this is my TF .60 ARF P-51 with slightly modified color scheme.
If I were to do the plane again, Id use electric. I will be doing that on the ESM P-51B.

I have also had good luck with hobby city motors, batteries, etc.
Keep up the good work denial
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 07:52 PM
swede
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahloq View Post
Oh ...almost forgot. The color scheme you chose...which i also like.....happens to be the exact paint scheme on the KMP/ESM P-51B. I own that plane also, but havent built it yet.

I did, however, use that paint scheme as inspiration when I built the 150 size H9 P-51
That looks awesome. I hope mine turns out looking half that nice. As far as the blue where the green was, I've found it in that scheme too. This one has the same tail markings, so It may not be historically accurate. I haven't decided for sure if I want to do green or blue. I have some time yet before that comes around.
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 07:59 PM
swede
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahloq View Post
Oh ...almost forgot. The color scheme you chose...which i also like.....happens to be the exact paint scheme on the KMP/ESM P-51B. I own that plane also, but havent built it yet.

I did, however, use that paint scheme as inspiration when I built the 150 size H9 P-51
Where did you get the KMP/ESM P-51B?
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 08:10 PM
swede
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Oh, I was looking at the Rhino Batteries on Hobby City's website. There's a 4900mAh 4S that is .5oz lighter than the Flightmax 5000 mAh's. That will save me an extra oz if it comes that close. I have some time still on that decision too.

As far as the color detailing, I am currently planning on air-brushing it. I'm hoping it will be a little more durable than covering and lighter weight.
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Old Nov 04, 2009, 03:39 AM
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Hi Denial. I have the Top Flite giant scale P51 kit, and I too want to convert it to the better looking B model.

I have had no luck trying to order the conversion kit from Top Flite or Great Planes who are supposed to supply it.

I was wondering if you would mind scanning all the wood formers etc when you get the kit so I could scale them up to 1/5th scale?

I'll be watching your conversion closely!
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Old Nov 04, 2009, 11:04 AM
swede
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gree View Post
Hi Denial. I have the Top Flite giant scale P51 kit, and I too want to convert it to the better looking B model.

I have had no luck trying to order the conversion kit from Top Flite or Great Planes who are supposed to supply it.

I was wondering if you would mind scanning all the wood formers etc when you get the kit so I could scale them up to 1/5th scale?

I'll be watching your conversion closely!
I'll call my LHS and see if they can get it in. Would you rather I try and ship the conversion materials to you if I can get them, or just scan the 1/7 version for you? I'll be happy to do either for you. The big appeal to the conversion kit is the canopy. What is shipping like to Oz?

Mine won't be the fastest build. I work for the public and my wife is a stay at home mommy, so I have to ration things so the Mrs. doesn't give it the axe. And yes, she knows about every single plane I have , and is very generous (considering the circumstances) about how much I am allowed to spend.


This is a list of parts and prices from Top Flite's website required for the 1/5 conversion. I'll be happy to try and get you anything you need for it.

PART # DESCRIPTION QTY
REQ. PRICE
EACH
P51GBF01 1/8" x 5-1/8" x 10-1/8" DC TURTLE DECK FORMERS---1-----1.46
P51GW19 1/4" SQ. x 30" BALSA TE SPAR, FLAP LE--------------2-----0.52
P51GF29 1/8" x 3" x 23-7/8" BALSA FORWARD FUSELAGE-------2-----1.30
P51GBF02 5/8" x 3" x 23-7/8" TURTLE DECK BLOCK--------------1-----5.94
CANPY097 CANOPY--------------------------------------------1-----27.61
P51GBP03 INSTRUCTION MANUAL------------------------------1-----5.48
P51GBP04 PARTS LIST----------------------------------------1-----0.22
P51GBD01 DECAL SHEET--------------------------------------2-----13.63
P51GBP01R ROLLED FUSELAGE PLAN SHEET--------------------- 1-----7.79
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Old Nov 04, 2009, 12:04 PM
swede
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Hey kahloq, Do you think the HS-645MG ought to do it for the single servo on the ailerons?
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Old Nov 04, 2009, 04:12 PM
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Denial, that is a very generous offer thank you. I would appreciate that. Are you sure you would want to do that for me?

I managed to get to the point of having all the parts confirmed by great planes, then they ignored my email order and follow up emails and even a fax with my order on it... I have no idea why because the first email I got from them was great...

These were the parts I needed and the prices Great Planes quoted me in March...

P51GBF01 1.000 EA 1.512
P51GW19 2.000 EA .582
P51GF29 2.000 EA 2.354
P51GBF02 1.000 EA 7.335
CANPY097 1.000 EA 29.226
P51GBP03 1.000 EA 5.475
P51GBP01R 1.000 EA 7.962

and their email said...

"You can order by replying to this e-mail, mail, phone or fax.

Hobby Services
3002 N Apollo Dr. Ste. #1
Champaign, IL 61822

If you need further assistance, please contact us. You may contact us by email at partssupport@greatplanes.com, by phone at (217) 398-8970, or by fax at (217) 398-7721. (Please be sure to copy all previous email's into any future questions.) "

Maybe your local hobby store would have better luck, it would depend on price...
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Old Nov 04, 2009, 10:56 PM
swede
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I have them checking to see if they can get them. If they can, I'll see if I can get dimensions and weights for everything and let you know what shipping would be. They get everything in for the same price Tower has on their website. For every $100 I spend, I get $5 off.
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Old Nov 05, 2009, 12:51 AM
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Tower doesn't list the 1/5th B conversion kit on their site though.

I really appreciate your help on this one, well beyond the 'call of duty' as it were. Thanks a million
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