Park Zone P-51, my experience.
I decided to purchase a new parkzone P-51 to form my own and personal opinion after seeing all the threads started regarding this plane. I was also very interested to see how it flew on a stock 480 motor.
Anyways, i'm review form, here is my experience.
First off, the price of the P-51 ($229.99 Canadian) is an exceptional value for what you get in the box. The kit is well thought out and it is apparent that a good deal of time and planning went into this package. The quality is all around good, more than I expected for 230 dollars.
Upon opening the box, the model was well protected and very complete. I did find some minor damage on the wingtip after the first flight, but I did not notice it until I had flown it once so it is impossible to know weather it was shipping damage or box damage.
In the box, you will receive a fuselage, wing, horizontal stabilizer, a transmitter, a charger, a flight battery, 8 "AA" type batteries, an instruction manual, and a bag of hard wear. The bag of hard wear has some screws, tape, a spare prop, plus an X-port extension and an extra lead incase you decide to buy a li-po battery for your P-51. Overall, I was pretty impressed at this stage, the inclusion of the transmitter batteries was icing to the cake.
The included instruction manual is 15 pages long and is very well written. It easy to follow and anyone who can use a screwdriver should be able to get the P-51 together with no problems. I found it amusing that the actual assembly of the airframe accounts for less than two pages. The remained covers pre-flight, flying and trimming.
Before you assemble the plane, the instructions recommend charging the 9 cell 1000 mAh flight battery with the included charger. You will need the battery later on to test and adjust the control surfaces. I plugged in the charger to a cigarette lighter and set the dial for 1.8 amps, which should yield a 40 minute charge time.
Assembling the P-51 started with the main wing. First, plug the aileron servo wire in the extension coming from the receiver. Then the wing is fitted in place and secured with two screws. It takes all of about 2 minutes to attach the wing. Be careful while fitting the wing in place so the aileron wire doesnít get pinched between the fuselage and the wing.
Next the horizontal stabilizer is fitted in place and aligned with the main wing. The tabs lined up perfectly so I didnít need to make any further adjustments. The stabilizer is held in place with 4 strips of the provided tape. Before you place the tape, though, make sure the stab is slid all the way forward in the slot. After the stabilizer is taped in place, the elevator pushrod is secured to the outermost hole on the control horn, which is already secured in place for you.
The basic airframe assembly is done at this point. I had to wait about another half an hour at this point for the battery to finish charging so I could set up the control surfaces. Once the battery was done, I plugged it in and checked the control surface movement, which required no corrections. One of the problems I did run into is that it was difficult to reach the battery connector inside the fuselage so I could plug the flight battery in. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to reach the connector. To cure this without needing a pair of pliers, i cut the cable ties holding the RX/ESC to the forward wing bracket and doubble sided taped it to the side of the fuselage closer to the battery compartment. I was not to keen on two cable ties holding the RX/ESC in place. It puts more straint hat i would like on the curcuit bord, which could be crushed in a crash.
At this point my P-51 was ready for flight. There is no finishing required, all the decals are applied, and the CG is set at the factory. The instructions give you a few tips of choosing a flight area and how to conduct a range check, all good things to ensure a good first flight
Now comes the fun part! I picked a calm evening to test fly my new plane. Once I arrived at the flying field I did one last range check and control surfaces check. Now I have read that hand launching the P-51 can be quite a challenge, and knowing from experience, warbirds like a good strong throw in order to reach flying speed quickly. With this in mind, I powered up and gave it a running heave has hard as I could. Much to my delight, the plane yanked itself out of my hand and was up on the step right away. I had the controls on low rates, and I found myself moving the stick more than I liked to get the plane to do anything. A quick flip to high rates was much better, although I still found the elevator a bit weak on the stock control throws. My first impressions were this plane is very smooth, and the stock power plant hauls the Mustang around with Authority. The time to altitude was fast, and I found half power perfect to level flight. Minimal trims were required and before long, I felt very ďat homeĒ with flying it.
High speed flight:
The P-51D mustang was a fast plane for itís time. The same can be said for this bird, and at full throttle, itís quick. Now donít go thinking itís going to fly like a brushless warbird with 200 watts per pound, but I was pleasantly surprised how fast it was with a stock power plant. In an all out dive, it will really scoot. Victory rolls after a high speed pass look great! At full throttle, I found little trim change from lower power settings, although it does need quite a bit of down elevator in a fast dive to keep it from pulling out. I think this might be related to a nose heavy situation. This often makes a P-51 easier to handle.
The P-51 handles pretty good at lower airspeeds, but itís no trainer. With a relatively high wing loading and a semi symmetrical airfoil, low speeds should be approached with some caution. If you pull back to hard on the stick, it wonít stall straight ahead. It will drop a wing if provoked, but recovery is easy, just making sure you have some altitude to recover. A power off stall without any control input will break straight ahead, and recovery will take around 30 feet of altitude. Use power, not elevator to recover, otherwise it could tip stall.
All basic aerobatics are preformed easily with the P-51. It does long slow rolls from level flight that look very pretty. Loops from level are possible, although it tends to fall off a bit at the top. A slight dive before entering a loop makes for some nice looking 100 foot diameter loops. Split Sí are done without a hitch. All and all, this bird does pretty scale-like aerobatics.
This is once place where I was expecting some difficulty, but I found that the P-51 is quite easy to land. Make your base leg at about 100 feet up with some power, and as you turn onto final, bring it back to about 30%. Once youíre about 100 feet away from yourself, cut the throttle and let it settle towards the grass. Donít go for the low speed/ deep flair landings, you need to keep the speed up and fly it to (no into) the ground. Even so, I experienced no problems landing the P-51. I found that if you bring it in to slow, it tends to fall out of the sky and that makes for rough landings. Thankfully, everywhere that will touch the ground is hard plastic and will survive rough landings pretty well. But so long as you keep a little speed on final, and make the flair smooth, youíll have no problems. Greaser landings look really sweet.
Overall, I was very pleased with the flight performance, itís definitely a tick above the run-of-the-mill ready to flyís. It looks great in the air to boot.
Overall, I am impressed with the Parkzone P-51D. Itís well thought out, goes together quickly, and flyís well. Itís not a beginnerís ship, but if youíve had a plane or two with ailerons under your belt, flying the P-51 will be no problem. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I am enjoying mine.
Good flight preformance
Very easy to assemble
100% complete, ready-to-fly
Incorrect RX/ESC instalation could cause the RX/ESC to become dmaged in a crash.
Motor gets a bit hot after a flight.
Stock control throws to weak for my prefrences.
Edit: Some of you may notice in the pictures below that i added an APC prop. I flew both the stock prop and an APC 10x7 SF. They both preformed roughly about the same.
Last edited by Thomas Manson; Jun 12, 2005 at 12:48 PM.
Thanks for the reveiw.
I cut out the front of the belly scoop on mine to make it functional.
I suppose you could cut an exit hole behind the belly scoop for even
Thanks again for your time.
Last edited by sonic liner; Jun 12, 2005 at 06:51 PM.
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