ESM P 51 D Mustang - RC Groups
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Apr 19, 2011, 03:15 PM
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Build Log

ESM P 51 D Mustang

I know other build logs have been done but I'm extremely excited about putting this plane together. Instead of crowding the forum on yet another build log on a plane thats been covered I'll be doing this one in the blog so thoughtfully provided by rcgroups.

I would appreciate comments from all as I work through the kit. Its an ARF but as you all know from the previous build logs posted they are pretty well done with minor issues. So come on into the blog and follow along, I'll do my best to answer your questions and post a ton of pics as I go. Each of us come up with unique solutions to problems we run into on any kit we do. One thing I'm going to take a close look at is at the retracts and the strength of the mounting point.
I want this area really strong as I fly from a grass field that isn't axactly table top smooth..

Anyway..see yall there

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Apr 20, 2011, 02:27 PM
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once again hats off to tbm and esm. Ups not only safely deliveredit but the box was unmarred in any way. Was marked top load only and fragile. She arrived without a scratch, dent, ding, or break.

Some changes have been made compared to others though..gone are hinges that troubled so many people who first got the mustang..the flat hinges on ailerons and elevator have been replaced with BIG ca style hinges that look thick enough to stop a bullet. The only thing using the flat hinges now are the flaps and I suppose that couldn't be avoided..I will pin these during the build.

Just a quick little mock up to get an idea of her size..thats a 60 inch plasma tv in the background to give scale..She's a big gorgeous lady she is

Now I just got to order the engine, the retracts, the regulator for the batteries, the batteries, servos, find an air retract tail wheel thats the right size if I can, an rx and a much better tx,, the zinger prop and I'm about two months out. I had been thinking about a repaint but seeing her in person is much different than online..the red rudder and the red and yellow on the nose give nice differentiation at a I'll probably leave her as is..which means I might have time to figure out some sort of cockpit..not a full cockpit but somethingthe tank and servos are right under where the cockpit would have to go and knowing my skills its best to leave the servo tray alone LOL

I hope to have her flying by first of i want to call in to work so I can get started...LOL

I'll try to do a review of the kit as I go. First impression is this is a top notch, top quality kit. People have had problems with notches and holes being drilled out of alignment..not so on mine..looking her over everything is where it should be..the covering is immaculate on the panel lines or rivets but in the air they won't be missed..the ailerons and flaps fit into their respective wing cut outs like gloves as do the rudder and elevators..the wings are incredibly light and strong and the plywood spar is an extremely tight fit..for the mock up I really had to work it to get it slid in..thats not a bad thing but a good took some prying to get the wings back apart to put them back in the box..not something I want to do too many times..the glue joints in the wing look well done. ESM's quality control was really paying attention when this one went down the line. Next on the wings begin..drilling for the dowels and epoxying in place..I'll probably rough up the spar a bit with some steel wool to give the epoxy a bit more surface area to bite into. Drill for the dowels in the wing and get the wings epoxied together. Then it will be wait for parts time..robart hinges for the surfaces and retracts.

Last edited by twmonroe; Apr 20, 2011 at 04:14 PM.
Apr 20, 2011, 05:12 PM
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Apr 20, 2011, 05:48 PM
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mgrande11's Avatar
Apr 20, 2011, 06:45 PM
dweeb7944's Avatar
Very cool.

Looks like you got one of those 'Snap together' models.
Apr 20, 2011, 07:00 PM
Registered User audience...guess I'll have to take lots of pictures when the building starts.

Lol @ the snap together model...wish it was that easy...I'm at work thinking about a possible way to make the wings seperate for ease of transport...but considering the high wing load stronger is better methinks

Apr 20, 2011, 07:15 PM
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mpope1's Avatar
Looks nice! Good luck with it, its a really nice flying warbird!
Apr 20, 2011, 07:27 PM
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Hi all, I have just made a start on the B model version of the 51, I agree, all the bits look good, I have an RCG 26 for mine and the ESM retracts are due soon,
I have the ESM P-47, with a DLE 30 and the ESM retracts, it is very nice to fly, looks good, heaps of power and speed. I glassed the inside of the firewall and a bit in around the retracts. pull the retracts apart and Loctite all the screws and bolts and so on, I will be using the adjustable Robart retract valve
beware of the book C of G, from what I have read on other posts it is way too far back, like about an inch too far tail heavy.
cheers, Oldtimer.
Apr 20, 2011, 07:42 PM
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Myself and mpope1 have had a long discussion on this in PM..and thanks to him I think I'm way ahead of the curve so, hopefully, issues that have been run into by others will be addressed correctly from the get go as I go through.

Oldtimer, cg for the mustang by consensus of flying models out there is at the spar to 1/4 inch in front of the spar..I'm aiming for on the spar..we get a lot of wind down here in San Antonio of late so a little more nose weight is more gooder.

Tonight after work I will take the wings back out and, using the spar in place in each wing, mark the holes to be drilled for the alignment it will be nearly 2 am, actual drilling will wait for the weekend..Little preparatory steps during the week.

Schedule for the weekend..

Drill alignment dowel holes in wings,
Prep spar for final glueing (light rough of surface with steel wool)
epoxy spar into one wing and then watch epoxy dry ()
Take measurements for robart hinges (LHS carries these I found..woohoo)
Beg almighty checkbook holder for money to buy hinges ()
If previous step successful, begin drilling for hinge placement in all control surfaces where they will be used. (measure twice drill once..less cussing involved that way )
Then epoxy both wings together and watch epoxy dry
Hopefully also get elevators hinged to the stab
get the lines cut for the pull pull and set up..
Then wait on more parts LOL

Last edited by twmonroe; Apr 20, 2011 at 08:19 PM.
Apr 21, 2011, 12:31 AM
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Got a lil bit done tonight..took half day at work personal time to come home and do a bit on her..

Wheel wells are cut and kote on wing cut for them to fit, alignment dowels drilled, ailerons hinged,

One thing I noticed is all the surfaces have two holes drilled in them..perhaps for robarts? with the exception of the vertical tail..the rudder is drilled but it is not..gonna have to find a ruler and devide the distance after drilling the rudder.

Was hinging the hinged..the other..everything dry fit ok but when it came time to ca in the hinges they simply refused to go in the frickin holes..found I had drilled them at an angle some will have to fill them, sand, and redrill..

Wing is permanently joined at the middle..holes to be drilled for the servo extensions and airlines for the retracts..will route them both through the same hole

leading and trailing edge aligned she's a long wing..there is a bit of a gap showing on the bottom of the wing where they mate it was sanded a bit too far on the sheeting..will fill that and paint match it to hide it...looking back at some threads I'm not the only one thats happened to..Its looking better and better for removing the kote and using flitemetal on the wing..I may stuff the gap with epoxy, sand, fill, then paint match it..more on that later..we'll see how it goes when its time to mate the wings to the fuse..

Some shots inside the fuselage as I'm thinking ahead about placement of electronics, air tank, ignition for the 30 CC DLE.

oldtimer, I'd love to hear what you have planned there when it comes to the rx as well as the air valve for the retracts.
Apr 21, 2011, 03:20 AM
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Been sitting here looking at the wing as it dries puzzling about servo extensions to the ailerons and air line routing to the retracts..the wheel wells that came with the kit just look too....smooth. On the real deal the wheel wells were formed by the spar behind them, wing ribs at either end and sheet aluminum joined to ribs and spar around the opening..had the hydraulic lines for the ailerons running through it along the wing spar..of course also the hydraulic lines for the gear came into the wheel well as well.

I'm wondering if one could use the same methodology as the origional, using the unusable nitro tubing that came with the kit to protect the wires of the servo extension and bring it through the wheel well behind a balsa "bulkhead next to the deeper tire well into an opening into the fuselage so they would be sort of functional scale tubes and wiring coming through the well on the "ceiling of it..will have to look at clearance when the retracts get here but would make running the extensions much easier and even though servo extensions only weigh a couple of oz its still a couple of oz towards the nose instead of behind the cg. the air lines for the retracts would also run across the "ceiling" of the well to the retract..a little paint..and functional lines in the wheel wells to give a scale like appearance at a glance..obviously the tubing is thicker than the actual lines on a real aircraft...Looking at the retract mount I definately want to do some reinforcement there as well under the mounting the underlying supports with 1/8th ply for a bit of added strength...


Apr 21, 2011, 08:04 AM
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
I'm surprised that the wing is joined without previously running the servo wires and retract plumbing. Seems like it would be easier to do these things beforehand.
Apr 21, 2011, 02:37 PM
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The manual shows them joined before running string..I ran string before joining...holes just aren't drilled in the top of the wing yet to bring it through. the retract tubing runs right in front of the sparand its wide open to the center of the wing. But like I said..I'm rethinking how its run..

Apr 21, 2011, 09:19 PM
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hi, something I found on another Thread about lining up the engine with the cowl, it was basically, put the engine together, standoffs, sit the fuselage on its tail up against the bench, then sit the engine in place, set the engine up for Right thrust and down thrust if you wish, fit the cowl over the engine and then move the engine around until the shaft is in the right spot for the spinner to line up, mark the firewall and you have the spot to mount the engine, I used that method for the 47, it worked and it was easy because of the big cowl, the 51 cowl will have to be trimmed a bit to suit the engine.
cheers, Oldtimer
Apr 22, 2011, 01:14 AM
Registered User
Thanks bud, good tip..

did you figure out the layout in the 51 for your retracts and rx gear?


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