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Old Feb 15, 2013, 12:44 AM
"Auntie Samantha"
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FMS 1450mm P-51B: The Tail Feathers!

The FMS P-51B and her Tail Feathers!



I'm going to start out with the P-51B's rear end, as that's where I encountered most of my problems!

When I first cycled the tail wheel, I managed to get 2 cycles out of it before it went dead, and of course, it was in the up/closed position! This is the first time I've had one of these PZ-15094 mini E-Tracts fail on me, not to mention being concealed by a couple of bay doors. I disconnected the extension and ran the lead directly off my MT-1 multi-tester and still couldn't get it to react, so the next step was to figure a way to get the doors open so I could get in there and extract that little sucker?

Actually it's a pretty simple solution. There is a pin in each door hinge which also retains the torsion spring. By pushing the pins towards the rear of the plane I was able to release the doors and had full access to the tail wheel assembly. Fortunately, I already have a couple of those tail wheel assemblies so there's no problem replacing it, but I am sure that when I contact Philip, he'll replace it, no questions asked.

Now on to the second problem. When I went to test fitting the elevator to the fuse for the Un-Boxing review photo shoot, it wouldn't seat properly, there was a 1/8" gap between the two. When I tried to pull it back out it was stuck. When I finally got it to release, the plastic male piece that was attached to the elevator broke loose and remained in the plastic female piece in the fuse. For the lack of a better name for these two pieces, I referred to them as "Thingies" in the Un-Box review. I'll now refer to them as the "female" & "male" elevator mounts.

It took a pair of needle nosed pliers to get those two separated, and when I did manage to do that, I discovered a vast amount of the notorious FMS rubber cement all over the female mount that is glued in the fuse. It was still sticky and had adhered to the male mount when I stuck the elevator in. If you've ever dealt with this stuff, it's almost impossible to remove, so I ended up having to cut the mount out of the fuse. Once I had the mount in my hands, it was just a matter of getting in there and removing that stuff. If you're lucky enough to catch it just right, you can pulled a whole string of it out at one time.

Because of the expansion properties of GG I didn't want to use it as there are two open holes in the female mount, so I used epoxy to glue it back in. On the male mount I did use GG because there was some torn foam when it pulled off. With both mounts firmly in place the elevator fits nice and snug now.
*NOTE* I would strongly suggest checking that female plastic mount closely before installing the elevator! I've already notified FMS of this problem so hopefully they'll correct it on the production line before it becomes a major issue.

The other problem was, once again, one of those plastic anchor mounts, this time on the vert. stab. The rear mount wasn't pressed all the way on when it was glued, so it too caused a gap between the stab and the tail end of the fuse. Because I couldn't get into it with a knife, I ended up pulling it off, and of course, most of the foam came off with it! There are two of those plastic mounts on the vert. stab and they serve as the anchors for the attachment screws. To insure a strong bond I used a combination of toothpicks, CA & GG. I CA'd the toothpicks in the stab, then applied GG on the foam within the plastic mount, applied a copious amount of water to accelerate the expansion, and then set aside to dry.

I had already cut the rudder off the stab in preparation for re-hinging, so while I waited for the glues to dry on the previously mentioned repairs, I started on my tail beacon light mod. After figuring out a route where I wanted to run the wires, I drilled a 3/16" hole in the trailing edge of the rudder, and inserted a K&S #104 3/16" x .014 X 1/2" alum. tube securing it in place with CA. Once the CA had dried, I started filling gaps with Squadron Putty. After the sanding & sealing process I applied a couple of coats of a mix I made consisting of 80% MM OIive Drab & 20% MM Flat Brown + or - with the air brush.

While the paint dried, I made up the beacon light using a 3mm Flat top LED soldered to a 32" lead of 32ga. wire.

Once all the glues and paints had dried I applied four G/P medium pivot point hinges, routed the beacon light wires thru the rudder, into the stab, then into the rear section of the fuse, inserted the elevator's male unit into the fuse's female receptacle without any aid of a lubricant, and everything fit nice and snug, no gaps!

Now all I gotta do is figure out how I'm going to get those damn pins back in the bay door hinges while trying to hold the torsion springs in place?

~~~~Thumbnails~~~~
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Last edited by Sandancer; Feb 15, 2013 at 09:22 PM.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 06:23 AM
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Review

Nice job on the review, especially the photos, thanks!
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 06:42 AM
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Looks great, but shouldn't the tail light be white?
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 11:00 AM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Originally Posted by Buzzcut2239 View Post
Nice job on the review, especially the photos, thanks!
Thanks!

Gary
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 11:02 AM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Originally Posted by dambit View Post
Looks great, but shouldn't the tail light be white?
Yeah, but I'm out of the white 3mm flat tops. I'm expecting some in either today or tomorrow, and I'll switch them out both on this plane and the BBD.

Gary
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 11:52 AM
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Hi Gary,
Great work & details! Do you use an adhesive on the ends of the GP hinges before inserting them into the foam? Looking to add them to Petie & DD.

Thanks,
Tim
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 12:31 PM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Originally Posted by Dead Bug View Post
Hi Gary,
Great work & details! Do you use an adhesive on the ends of the GP hinges before inserting them into the foam? Looking to add them to Petie & DD.

Thanks,
Tim
Yes, I use medium/gap fil CA because it's not as runny as thin CA. I only apply a drop at the very end of the pins, too much and it will seep out and compromise the hinges.

Gary
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 01:53 PM
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Thank you, Sir.
Tim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandancer View Post
Yes, I use medium/gap fil CA because it's not as runny as thin CA. I only apply a drop at the very end of the pins, too much and it will seep out and compromise the hinges.

Gary
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 02:10 PM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Thank you, Sir.
Tim
You're welcome Tim!

Gary
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