2DogRC Axon Micro Aces P-51 Electric ARF Review

Michael Heer shows off the Axon Micro Aces P51D from 2DogRC!

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Introduction


Wingspan:15"
Wing Material:Depron foam
Fuselage Material:EPP foam
Weight:18-20 grams
Length:13 3/4 inches
Transmitter:Spektrum DX7
Receiver/ESC:ParkZone Vapor brick PKZ3351
Battery:3.7V Dualsky 110mAh
Motor:7mm pager motor
Prop:4 blade included
ESC:Part of the brick
Manufacturer:Axon
Available From:2DogRC
Price:$54.99

I had been looking for something different to add to my indoor Heer force that I could fly in front of my house in calm conditions when I spotted the Axon Micro Electric P-51D on 2DogRCís website. It comes with an EPP foam fuselage and Depron wing and can withstand a few dings here and there. It also comes with its own motor and four bladed propeller. The heart of the plane is the ParkZone receiver/ESC/servo brick that can be bought separately or salvaged from a ParkZone micro. This is a Bind N Fly that can be controlled by any Spectrum DSM2 transmitter.

Kit Contents

Kit Contents:

  • 15" Depron foam wing
  • Horizontal stab/elevator
  • EPP foam fuselage
  • 7mm pager motor for power with an included 4 blade propeller
  • Control rods
  • 3.7V Dualsky 110mAh single cell Lipoly battery
  • Instruction manual

Items I supplied:

  • ParkZone control rec/ESC/servo brick
  • Spektrum DSM2 DX7 transmitter
  • Battery charger
  • Hot glue
  • Regular CA
  • Five minute epoxy

Assembly

Fuselage

The fuselage comes already formed with the motor already mounted and ready to connect to the Parkzone brick controller. The real assembly for the fuselage is in mounting the brick controller in the proper location for balance (see "Radio Installation" and "Flying Basics" below) and adding the horizontal stabilizer/elevator to the fuselage (see "Tail" below).

Tail

The vertical stabilizer and rudder come as part of the fuselage (rudder was taped in place) with a control rod already attached to the rudder's control horn. The horizontal stabilizer comes with carbon fiber rod for stiffening installed, and the elevator is part of the stabilizer with an installed tape hinge. It is painted on the top side and a control horn is already installed on the bottom of the elevator. I slid the horizontal stabilizer into the slot in the fuselage cut for it. I had to momentarily bend part of the elevator to get it into place. I slid the control rod into the fuselage and attached it to the control horn via the Z bend in the control rod. I did not glue the horizontal stabilizer in place per the instructions until after I had installed the receiver brick and made sure the control surfaces were centered.

Connecting the Motor to the Brick

The motor that came installed in the fuselage had a connector plug that DIDN'T plug into the ESC on the receiver brick. The instructions discussed using a double male nano connector or two wires to connect the motor plug to the brick's ESC plug. I didn't have a double male nano connector and "The Shack" didn't know what I was talking about when I called them, so I improvised my connection based on the instruction manual recommendation of two wires to connect the motor to the brick. I stripped the end of a small wire and inserted it into one side of the Brick's ESC connection and then cut the wire. I cut the second wire to the same length as the first wire. I plugged the motor connector onto the two exposed wires and gave the motor a trial run to make sure it was running in the proper direction. I put a drop of hot glue onto the two connectors to hold the connection in place. This was really very easy to do, and the hot glue held the two connectors together but could be easily removed if necessary for any reason.

Radio Installation

Three separate radio bricks are mentioned as possible controllers for the plane: the receiver for the Ember/Vapor, the Walkera brick and the new AR6400 brick used with the Parkzone Ultra Mini Sukhoi.

The control brick gets mounted at a diagonal inside the fuselage. Using the picture in the instruction manual as my final position, I attached the control rod from the rudder to the rudder servo on the brick on my "Vapor" receiver brick. I next connected the elevator control rod to the elevator servo on the brick. I adjusted the location of the brick so that the rudder was in the neutral position. (See Flying Basics below before installing the receiver.) I had my transmitter and receiver both on to confirm that they were centered and that the rudder was in what I thought was the neutral position. I adjusted the location of the horizontal stabilizer so that the elevator was in the neutral position. I double checked that the rudder was centered and used hot glue to glue the brick into position on the left side of the fuselage. When the glue had cooled, I checked again that the rudder was centered and that no parts of the control rods or the servos on the bricks were rubbing against anything. I glued the right side of the brick to the underside of the top of the fuselage. double checked that the horizontal stabilizer was in proper position with the elevator in the neutral position and then glued the stabilizer in place. The radio was installed and the rudder and elevator were both in the neutral position with the receiver controls centered.

I checked that the receiver brick was still bound to my Spektrum DX7 and that the control surfaces were centered and operating in the correct direction. I cut off two blades of the propeller per the instructions and fitted the propeller onto the propeller shaft and confirmed the motor was operating in the proper direction. Happy with the motor and radio setup, I was ready to seal up the fuselage by installing the wing.

Wing

The wing is a one piece and made of Depron. It is printed with the color scheme and details for the Mustang on the top of the wing.

I slipped the wing part way into position, and then put the battery connector from the receiver through the hole in the center of the wing and slid the wing into position into the bottom of the fuselage. The battery rests in the radiator intake in the bottom of the wing for easy access. I centered the wing and glued it in place. I glued a small strip of hook and loop material on the inside right of the radiator air intake under the wing and the matching hook and loop tape to the battery as shown below.

Next, I cut the supplied carbon fiber rod in half and trial fitted it as it appeared in the pictures in the manual. I trimmed almost 1/2 " more off each piece of carbon fiber. I stuck one piece into the fuselage where it appeared in the pictures in the manual. I stuck the other end of the first rod into the wing at the intersection of two lines on the wing as shown in the picture below. I glued the rod to the top side of the wing using hot glue and let it dry. When it was dry, I slid the other end of the rod further into the fuselage to get the recommended amount of dihedral into the wing. Holding it in place, I used some regular CA to glue the rod to the EPP fuselage (do not use regular CA on the Depron wing). I repeated the process with the other wing, making sure both sides had equal dihedral which is essential to get the plane to turn properly on rudder control. The process also appeared to give a little under camber to the wing which helps with lift and control.

Downloads

Completion

The last step of the assembly was installing the included propeller. The propeller slides onto the propeller mount on the front of the motor and locks in place with the supplied spinner in front of the supplied four blade propeller. They recommend leaving it as a four blade propeller when using the Walkera or Spektrum AR6400 receiver brick. They recommend cutting off two blades (opposite one another) when using the Spektrum Ember/Vapor receiver.

Balance of the plane front to back is obtained by adjusting the battery location within the radiator cooling intake under the wing. The battery is mounted to the right side of the intake to counter the rotation torque of the motor and then adjusted a little forward or backward inside the cooler based on how the plane is flying.

The assembly took the approximate one hour as described. I used hot glue for all glued connections except the final carbon fiber rods from the wings into the fuselage where I used CA with the EPP fuselage. I later repaired the carbon fiber rod mounts and used 5-minute epoxy with the depron wing/rod connections, and that has held up very nicely.

Flying

Basics

The plane has throttle, rudder and elevator control. In turning by rudder control, it is very important to have the recommended dihedral in the wing so that the plane will turn properly. I made two of these planes during this review and intentionally put more dihedral in the wings of the second plane. The second plane turns slightly quicker but otherwise it made no difference that I could see in the flight performance.

I started turns by moving the right stick in the direction I wanted the plane to turn and then pulling down on the stick for a little up elevator. Then I brought the stick back to center and up to neutral to end the turn. The plane will drop on the low wing side as is normal for rudder elevator planes when turning, and thus, elevator is used to keep the plane level after the turn is started.

Despite my best guess that neutral for the rudder would be going straight back, it turned out I was wrong. The hinge is on the left side of the rudder and the rudder itself are not as thick as the back of the plane. Having the back of the rudder a little to the right as you look at the plane from behind turned out to be the actual neutral position. However, since I was close, I was able to trim the rudder to neutral with my transmitter and still have good turning to the left or the right. I adjusted the subtrim on my Spektrum DX 7 for both rudder and elevator, and it flies hands off in a straight line in calm conditions.

My flying has primarily been outdoors with my Axon Micro Mustangs, but I have had one indoor flight: full throttle a basketball court, and it was more then enough room for flying the plane. At half throttle, it can be very comfortably flown in only half of a basketball court. The half throttle was my preferred speed for indoor flying. I could do figure eights, circles and reverse direction easily in the half a court space. I will be flying this one indoors several times this coming winter.

Outdoors, I can fly it in the street in front of my house. I can go full throttle down the straight-away, turn in the circle turn portion of the street, slow down and turn over the street where trees make the flying space more narrow. It can be flown very smoothly with just a little practice. My first flight was at the park, and I had some porpoising problems because I had the battery a little too far forward. It would dive, and I would overcorrect with up elevator. Once I got the battery in the proper C/G location, all was well. (It took me only two battery placements to find the C/G sweet spot.)

Taking Off and Landing

All flights start with a hand launch. A simple, light forward toss was all that was required. Flights ended with either a catch of the plane or a slide to a stop on the grass or indoors on the floor. The Mustang was easy to hand launch and to land.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Mine can perform a very nice Hammerhead Stall. I did a number of them trying to do a loop. It will get to the straight vertical but then stop. If rudder is kicked in to one side, a nice turn down can be made. Repeating that, a half pipe can be performed with some practice. I did perform one loop but it was aided by a gust of wind that pushed it over to complete the loop in Death Valley. This is not an aerobatic performer. It can be nicely flown indoors in a gym or in a good size yard.

Road Trip

I took a car trip from Stockton, CA to Las Vegas, NV and packed the Mustang and a small AA battery powered charger and hit the road about 4:40 in the morning. At dawn, I was at the top of the Sonora pass over 9,400 feet in elevation. The Mustang didn't have much climb at that altitude, but I had a slight breeze coming up from the east side of the Sierras. I flew the plane with full throttle and the benefit of the slope lift from the breeze.

The second stop was Bodie, CA, a ghost town at over 8,000 feet in elevation. In Bodie, the conditions were calm at 8:00 in the morning. My rate of climb was slower, so I knew that the light breeze at the pass had assisted the motor's performance.

The third and final stop during the drive was in Death Valley were it was 106 degrees and there the Mustang flew great... too great, actually. The flight started at about 200 feet below sea level, a little south of Furnace Creek. I had a couple of minutes of very enjoyable controlled flight at full and half throttle, but I didn't pay attention to what was behind me and missed the preliminary sign of a coming thermal.

When I finally noticed what felt like a strong breeze come up in my face, it was actually a strong thermal right behind me sucking in air. It came through to my right as a strong and very visible dirty thermal near the ground but fortunately not a tight dust devil. It was approximately 40 feet wide near the ground and somewhat wider up in the sky, and it was sucking in air near the ground from all directions. The Mustang got sucked in towards the visible core of the thermal and up. The thermal moved away from me with a strong draw of air from behind me. As the Mustang went up, I tried to put it into a dive with the transmitter, and I lost control of the plane.

The plane was heading down range, parallel to a gravel road. I jumped in my car and chased the dirty thermal. I lost sight of the plane for a moment, but I could see the core of the thermal. I stopped and got out of my car and saw that the Mustang was now out to the side of the thermal and drifting down. I tried, but i did not have radio control although I was close enough to be in range. I saw my Mustang come down out in the open desert about 50 yards off the road and fifty yards ahead of me. I walked out and retrieved the Mustang, expecting it might well be totally trashed. The wings had some minor wrinkles, the horizontal stabilizer was bent and the carbon fiber rods from the wings had come loose but they were still in the fuselage.

I easily fixed the plane in Las Vegas the next day but the rudder servo in my receiver brick was no longer working though it was humming. I will install another receiver to get the plane flying If I can't get the rudder servo to work on the Vapor brick.

Is This For a Beginner?

I would recommend it as a second plane.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

This plane is for people who are looking for something new and different to fly with the receiver brick from one of the Parkzone micro planes. Itís easy to assemble and took approximately the 1 hour advertised. It can be flown outdoors in relatively calm conditions and can be flown indoors in a normal size or 1/2 gym. I am very happy with the speed range and Sunday flying characteristics of this plane. It will be traveling with me a lot in the future.

Pluses:

  • Gives new life to a receiver brick from a worn out Vapor, Ember, or Sukhoi.
  • Easy and quick to assemble
  • Can be flown indoors or outside in calm conditions
  • Withstood a beating in Death Valley

Minuses:

  • Carbon fiber rods from wing to fuselage are a little unsightly up close when plane is at rest.
  • Need a BF-109 version for dogfight chases.

My thanks to Dick Andersen for his assistance in videotaping me flying and flying so I could take still pictures of the Micro Mustang. Thanks to our editor, Angela, for her assistance with this review.

Last edited by Angela H; Sep 28, 2009 at 03:55 PM..
Thread Tools
Sep 28, 2009, 07:41 PM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Very nice review, but this plane doesn't come close to the BNF park zone ultra micro P-51. And you get ailerons with the park zone.

But if you have a receiver lying around....na, better keep it to repair the park zone !

Would have like to see if it loops and flies inverted, stall turn ? You tried ?

Carguy
Sep 28, 2009, 08:37 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Thread OP
Based on your questions I don't think you read all of the review. As I said I did only one loop and it was wind aided. I tried to do more. It makes a nice Hammerhead stall and I could fly half pipes. It is a nice Sunday flyer and for flying indoors in a half court space you might find it more fun then the ParkZone Mustang as it will fly slower and based on the videos I have seen of the other Mustang it will turn in a tighter space. The receiver brick from a Vapor or Ember won't control ailerons so it won't back up a Parkzone Mustang. It is obviously a very different plane and I hope to have both of them for different types of flying. If you have a worn out Vapor or Ember I think this is a great use of the receiver brick from those planes. I enjoy doing acrobatics but not every plane I fly has to be able to do them for me to enjoy it. I think my review and the video lets you know what the plane can do and you can decide for yourself if it is of interest to you and your style of flying or not. Mike H
Sep 29, 2009, 04:10 AM
Sopwith Camel's Cousin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Heer
... As I said I did only one loop and it was wind aided. I tried to do more. ...
I am wondering if using a Walkera or AR6400 brick instead
(so one can use a 4 bladed prop instead of the 2 bladed prop with the Vapor brick)
would result in more power for loops, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Heer
... It is a nice Sunday flyer and for flying indoors in a half court space you might find it more fun then the ParkZone Mustang as it will fly slower and based on the videos I have seen of the other Mustang it will turn in a tighter space. ...
I noticed that the ParkZone Mustang will have almost twice the wing loading of this '2DogRC Axon' Mustang.

Both have a similar wing area of a little over 50 square inches
(PZ number from the RC Groups review, 2dogRC Axon number from instructions).
But the PZ weighs almost twice as much as the other Mustang
(34.6g versus 18 to 21g).

My guess is that even if you add an aileron servo and change to the PZ Mustang motor, the 2dogRC Axon Mustang will still have a lower wing loading than the PZ Mustang.
Old Sep 29, 2009, 07:03 AM
jpwkeeper
A moderator felt this post violated the following rule: Cross-posting. It is temporarily hidden while jpwkeeper edits it.
Sep 29, 2009, 07:36 AM
Nothing flies like a Pitts
Meshuggah's Avatar
The only possitive thing about this plane is that it can handle allot of beating... looks terrible, and flies the same. If you want it to fly "OK" you have to build realy light (you have to use "the brick"
Sep 29, 2009, 08:32 AM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Mr. Heer,

Maybe I skipped a couple of paragrahs ?

Your answer is very thorough and helps keep things in perspective. Never having flown the two planes, it seems that the parkzone would be more intereresting with both its look and flight performance with the ailerons.

Looking at it more closely, this plane can be of interest with its lighter wing loading and robustness. As a potential buyer for a micro P-51, it looks to me less attractive though.

Carguy
Sep 29, 2009, 09:41 AM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Thread OP
I think it is great we have so many choices and more to come. As stated above I hope to get the new Parkzone as well. I can let friends who barely know how to fly operate the Axon Mustang with pretty good assurance they can have success. I am having fun flying around the birch tree trunks in my normal size front yard.
Sep 29, 2009, 12:48 PM
BadPilot
badpilotto's Avatar
Michael,

Great review and I sure like the honesty that we all do make mistakes, like the alignment of the rudder. Very refreshing! You clearly explained both capabilities and what to expect. There should not be any surprises to anyone who purchases this sweet little flyer.

Thanks

John
Sep 29, 2009, 06:08 PM
Registered User
will3kgt's Avatar
I too like the fact that there's more choices in micro flying. I'm sure both the Parkzone and the Axon Micro will be excellent choices for micro flyers. If I'm not mistaken, there are only going to be 2-3 Parkzones per LHS around the country.
Sep 30, 2009, 07:45 AM
"woof"
You can use the new Brick on these and the motors will perform better. Our goal in making this plane was to have an alternative to your parkzone planes when they get tore up or you get bored of them.

Nice Review!
Mark
2dogrc
Sep 30, 2009, 07:48 AM
"woof"
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpwkeeper
Any chance I could talk you into heading over to this thread:

Difficulty to Fly Rating System

And rating this plane?

It is my hope someday that this rating gets used in the "Is it for a beginner" section.
I would rate this as a "5" on your system.
Oct 04, 2009, 12:07 AM
hln
hln
Registered User
Nice review. I like the low wing loading of this plane but it definitely appears to be underpowered.
Oct 04, 2009, 09:30 PM
"woof"
Underpowered for fast flying outdoors yes. Underpowered for being able to fly in a Half Court gym, not at all! This plane was designed for a nice leisure flight using the components from the Parkzone planes. The plane was also restricted by the Parkzone Brick. It actually had more power with the Walkera Brick, but no one uses that radio system. With the new Parkzone Brick, you will get the same power as the Walkera Brick.

2dogrc
Oct 05, 2009, 01:20 AM
BadPilot
badpilotto's Avatar
2dogrc,

Has anyone tried the Plantraco brick in the sweet little plane?









thanks

John


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