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Posted by ALL American | Apr 12, 2012 @ 10:18 AM | 25,462 Views
This is my new P51D for flying at the local park when I don't have time to go to my flying club. Its an FMS 1450 mm (57 Inch) P51D Version 6

FMS makes great airplanes but they almost all have some minor issues. So aside from rehinging all of the control surfaces with DuBro pinned hinges which was optional, I found a number of small issues (mostly aesthetic) that I felt needed correction:
  • The blue on the plane was three different shades so I repainted the blue on the cowl, spinner and on the plane. The camera's flash washes out the color which is actually a much richer blue than it appears in the photos.

  • The stripe decals on the top of each wing were crooked so I removed them and painted the stripes.

  • The Invasion Stripes were very sloppy with quite a bit of overspray so I repainted the Invasion Stripes.

  • The entire airframe was dulled a bit with Krylon Matte finish spray.

  • The motor alignment was off to the right and too low and the spinner gap against the cowl was fairly wide. This was unacceptable so I corrected the alignment and gap.

  • A number of minor issues were discovered during a thorough inspection such as, one of the retract's set screws was too small and was not actually securing the strut. Had I not caught this I'm sure the strut would have fallen out during a takeoff or landing. So inspect every screw on your plane!.

  • I use Gens Ace 4S 4000 Mah 25C packs which weigh 15+ Oz. I had to add 1.6 ounces of weight to the tail in order to obtain a
...Continue Reading
Posted by ALL American | Jul 15, 2011 @ 02:34 PM | 28,392 Views
Here's the base retract:

Not too shabby for $16.00!

The E-Flite 10-15 Steering Arm cost about half that.

I think the above listed assembly is a steerable version of this retract

Here's how I modified this small E-Tract unit to fit into the E-Flite P51B's existing tail wheel opening and to steer via a pushrod linkage.

I will add text when I get a chance. For the time being, the photos are self-explanatory


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Posted by ALL American | Jul 13, 2011 @ 11:57 AM | 25,637 Views
I found that the bombs were a bit loose due to the length of the wire loops on the bombs and they hung low on the pylons and swayed from side to side. I also did not like the recommended cable installation. So I assembled my pylons a bit different than the manual had outlined, in order to take up some of the slack and to ensure smooth, bind free movement of the cables.
  • First, I cut two lengths of tubing that my LHS sells as "Antenna Tubing". The yellow tubing that comes with the Sullivan Gold-N-Cable fits perfectly inside of the Antenna Tubing and it also fits perfectly inside of the tubing that is pre-installed in the wings.

  • I cut a 3" length of the yellow Sullivan tubing for alignment purposes and I slid it inside one length of the Antenna Tubing, I placed the bomb inline and then I slid on the forward piece of Antenna Tubing. I CA glued the Antenna tubing in place with medium CA. I was careful NOT to glue in the 3" piece of Sullivan tubing.

  • To ensure smooth, bind free cable movement, I then cut a length of the Sullivan tubing long enough to extend into the ordinance servo bay. I removed the 3" length of Sullivan tubing and replaced it with the longer piece, then I epoxied the Antenna tubing and the Sullivan tubing into the pylon permanently. Once dry, I cut the sullivan tubing so the pylon could accept the ordinance.

    WARNING: Do not glue the Sullivan tubing too far rearward or it will not align with cable hole in the wing!

  • Not necessary, but I Silver Soldered the ends of the cables to prevent any future fraying.

Works great now!

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Posted by ALL American | Jun 30, 2011 @ 02:54 PM | 28,041 Views
EFliteP51BServolessRetractableTailWheel (3 min 17 sec)

My design goals were light weight, ease of installation, it had to fit without modifiying the tail wheel bay opening and it had to steer via the rudder servo with no pull-pull cables.

The E Flite 10-15 nose retract is too big and weighs too much to put in the tail of this plane, so I modified one of the new tail wheel e-tracts that FMS uses in their 57" P51. The total weight of my retract assembly is 37 grams, including the wheel and mounting plate.

This tail retract unit comes stock in the FMS Version 6 and Airfield Version 3 57" Span P51D Mustangs. I had chosen it because I think it is the smallest and lightest servoless retract that is commercially available and it's already steerable. I highly modified the unit to fit into the existing opening and to steer via a pushrod linkage. I will update the blog and outline the process in the next week or so.

Not too shabby for $16.00!

The E-Flite 10-15 Steering Arm cost about half that.

I think the above listed assembly is a steerable version of this retract

1. I made a mounting plate that attaches to the bottom of the e-tract and screws into the P51B's existing tail retract bay without cutting.

2. I modified the e-tract to steer with a pushrod and to...Continue Reading
Posted by ALL American | Dec 14, 2010 @ 12:03 PM | 29,663 Views
Modifications to my Airfield Version 2 P51D (AKA: FMS Version 5)

Click on Photos to Enlarge

Assembled Bird - A work in progress

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Spinner Refit

Trimmed back of spinner with a Dremel Cut Off Wheel for a close fit to the cowl and then machined it on a router table to true it

Polished spinner on buffing wheel


Opened cooling slot in the cowl

Opened cooling slot behind cowl

Opened cooling slot in front of battery compartment to allow cooling air through the battery compartment

Painted all foam behind cowl black

Re-trimmed cowl to remove silly looking right angle

Spray painted the Cowl and Rudder in a matching Testors Red to correct factory mismatch.

Motor: = Stock 600KV

Removed motor

Added Loctite to motor mount screws

Checked for motor shaft E-Clip

Oiled motor bearings

Added a retaining collar on rear motor shaft to prevent the shaft from ever exiting the plane.

Corrected motor mount for proper thrust angle = NO RIGHT Thrust, Just Down Thrust

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Posted by ALL American | Apr 19, 2010 @ 03:40 PM | 24,219 Views
My Harbor Freight P51D isn't flight ready yet but it's coming along.

I really tried to go with the stick mount but I couldn't get my motor to fit inside the cowl. So I removed the cowl, added a ply firewall and mounted a Power Up 400 Sport Outrunner from Heads Up RC. To re-mount the cowl, I epoxied four pieces of aluminum tubing into the fuselage and four pieces of music wire into the cowl. Neodymium magnets hold it in place top and bottom.

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