Kit Review on the Klien "American Beauty" P-51 Mustang from Hobby-Lobby - RC Groups
Thread Tools
May 19, 2004, 09:07 PM
Registered User

Kit Review on the Klien "American Beauty" P-51 Mustang from Hobby-Lobby

I have been requested to post this review here on RCGroups.

So here it goes.......................
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
May 19, 2004, 09:08 PM
Registered User
I've been given the opportunity to review the new Klein American Beauty Mustang from Hobby Lobby.

This airplane is not for beginners, but I am going to approach this review from the standpoint that a person who is a experienced RC pilot, but new to electrics would find this review helpful.

So, without further ado, what's in the box?!

The American Beauty Mustang is a sport scale brushless powered aerobatic airplane.

The kit is an ARF and features all balsa construction. It kit is very complete and comes with most of the necessary hardware and a very extensive decal sheet. The first general impression of the kit is very nice. The airplane is covered in an aluminum covering. All of the control surfaces are pre-hinged. The rudder and elevator are pre-hinged with the covering and the ailerons are pre-hinged with tape. This system of hinges works well with electrics and nothing else needs to be done here.

One dissapointment with the kit is the instructions. The instructions have eight color pictures which are very helpful in locating the radio gear and various other items. But the written instructions are very poor. Obviously something got lost in the translation. They call both the rudder and elevator "rudders". And are really not clear about how things are suppose to go together. This is something that Hobby Lobby might want to consider rewriting and supply with the kit.

As I have said though, this is not a beginners kit. Anyone with Kit and ARF building experience will have no problems building this airplane. The pictures supplied with the instructions should be enough to help you through the more involved steps.

Here is a picture of the kit contents:
Last edited by latch66; May 19, 2004 at 09:13 PM.
May 19, 2004, 09:15 PM
Registered User
Here is a picture of the very complete decal sheet:
May 19, 2004, 09:19 PM
Registered User
Hobby Lobby has done a fine job of suppling all the things you will need to get this airplane flying. If you buy the complete outfit, you will get:

Transmitter/Receiver (Hitec Laser 4 w/ 555 Receiver)
Servos (Three HS55's)
Brushless Motor (AXI 2808/16)
Brushless ESC (Jeti Advance 30 amp)
Battery (8 cell 1700 Nimh)
Charger (Hitec Peak)

Other items included in the "complete" outfit are:

Prop Blades
Prop Yoke
Prop Adapter
5 min epoxy
Set of Sermos Connectors

Here is a picture of some of the items included in the "complete" outfit. I do not need a transmitter or a charger, so they are obviously absent from this picture.
May 19, 2004, 09:21 PM
Registered User
One of the first things I like to do when building an electric airplane is to get as much of the soldering done early. This allows me to be able to solder as many connections as possible "off" the airplane and to do a check to make sure everything is working correctly. This will also allow me to start getting the battery cycled a few times on the bench while I am building the rest of the airplane.

You will need to solder the connectors to the ESC, the Battery, and the motor.

If you ordered the "complete" outfit, you will be soldering the Sermos connectors on the ESC and on the Battery. Here are some general things you will need to make sure you get right when soldering the connectors on the ESC and the on the Battery:

1. Be sure you get the polarity right. (+ to + and - to - when the ESC and the Battery are connected together)

2. Concerning the Battery, particularly with the Sermos connectors, make sure you work on only ONE lead at a time and completely finish that lead before you go to the next. You will need to solder the metal clip to the wire lead and then attach the plastic cover. If you fail to do this you might accidentally "cross" the leads (allow metal to metal contact on the leads). If this happens the Battery will immediately give all the energy it has and this can start a fire.

Jeti supplies three connectors which need to be soldered to the motor. The connectors will plug into the connectors already installed on the Jeti ESC. I actually like this feature, because inevitably I will setup my brushless motor to run backwards and I will have to swap two of the wires. Using the connectors makes it easy to swap the wires.

Here is a picture of the complete soldering work. The ESC is on the left, the Battery is in the middle, and the motor is on the right.
I did not use the Sermos connectors, but rather I used Deans Ultra Plugs. There is nothing wrong with the Sremos. I have used them before and they work great. I currently have two other battery packs just like this one and they are on Deans Ultra Plugs. This will allow me to have three battery packs for this airplane.
May 19, 2004, 09:23 PM
Registered User
One other additional note on Battery packs:

Always use the connector which has the least chance of something accidentally crossing the leads for the Battery pack.

This doesn't mean anything for the Sermos, but for the Deans Ultra Plug this means using the female plug.

In addition, when I store my batteries I always wrap a small piece of electrical tape around the plug. I will also store my Nicd and Nimh batteries "empty". The idea here is that the Battery pack has that much less energy to give up in case something crosses the leads if it is already empty. You can't store Lipo's "empty", but once again, the Lipo's will get the electrical tape around the plug.

Here is a picture of the electrical tape on the plug:
May 19, 2004, 09:26 PM
Registered User
After I got all the soldering done, I then turned my attention to the actual build.

The tail section of the fusalage on my sample had a slight twist. Nothing which a little heat couldn't take out.

I then found all the places where the covering needed to be cut away. There are quite a few.

Here is the side of the tail section of the fusalage. Both sides will need to be done.
May 19, 2004, 09:28 PM
Registered User
Here is what needs to be cut out from the top of the tail section.
May 19, 2004, 09:32 PM
Registered User
Here are the areas which need to be cut from the middle section of the fusalage. Again, both sides need to be done.
May 19, 2004, 09:34 PM
Registered User
And finally here is the front of the cowl.

The "moon" shaped cut is for cooling air to flow over the motor, ESC, and Battery.

Do yourself a favor and "notch" either the upper right, or the upper left of the opening for the cowling just as I have done here. This will make installing the motor so much easier. I struggled for about five minutes trying to test fit the motor until I cut the notch. The motor slipped right into position with ease once the notch was cut.
To cut the notch, I simply used a sandpaper disk on my dremel tool.

BTW: the notch will not be visible when the spinner is on. Particularly if you put it on the right side.
May 19, 2004, 09:36 PM
Registered User
I realized after I got started that I was still going to need a few things to finish this airplane.

I needed the following:
3mm x 8mm machine screws (to attach the motor to the firewall, you will need 2)
3mm washers (to add some right thrust to the motor, you will need 1)
Mini E/Z Connectors (for the control rods, you will need 4)

Here is a picture of what you will need.
May 19, 2004, 09:40 PM
Registered User
The push-rods are next. They are setup to "cross" inside the fusalage.

I just slid them into place and left them. I will go back later and install the "Z-bends" and the E/Z connectors.

I also discovered as I was test fitting the servos, that the rails were just a smidge too close together. Once again, it was the Dremel tool to the rescue. All what was needed was just a slight sanding and the servos dropped into place.
May 19, 2004, 09:44 PM
Registered User
I then went to work on the horizontal and vertical stab.

On both the horizontal stab and the vertical stab, there are holes already drilled for the control horns. I did not care for the location of these pre-drilled holes, so I moved mine to where I prefered them to go.
BTW: a 1.5mm drill bit is perfect for the screws which have been supplied with the control horns.

The horizontal stab installs just like so many other ARF's, just remove the covering in the affected area, make sure it is square, and glue away.

I chose to do the majority of the striping and decal application on the vertical stab before I put it on the plane.
I used the picture of the American Beauty Mustang from the Hobby Lobby catalogue. I thought the red strips on the tail looked neat. I did cut the supplied strip in two width wise to creat two long thin pieces of covering. It was then just a mater of cutting each strip to shape and then pressing it into place. I removed the serial number from the decal sheet and applied it at this time too.
May 19, 2004, 09:45 PM
Registered User
I used some Monokote Trim Solvent to lock down the edges of the red strips.

A word of caution: If you've never used Monokote Trim Solvent, it's rather fumey. Keep your work area ventilated, or you will believe that your dog is having a conversation about Quantum Physics with you.
May 19, 2004, 09:47 PM
Registered User
Here is the tail section. It already looks "Mustangish".

Thread Tools