MY GWS P-51 Maiden Report... - RC Groups
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Jan 06, 2003, 10:53 AM
Freak Member
Aldur's Avatar

MY GWS P-51 Maiden Report...

Well, well, well! This past Sunday (1/5/03) I met the SCF (Seminole Crash Fest) Boys for our Sunday fun fly. I had my P-51 ready to go and what follows is a flight report and notes from the build and setup.

*** SETUP:
I was ready to go, really excited, and nervous. Lucky for me we had two expereinced P-51 flyers there. One of which is Allen, who happens to work at one of the best LHS'es in our area, 'Archies Helis and Hobbies'.

Allen helped me setup the P-51, and work on a problem I was having. It seems that my ESC (GWS 100) was failing on the heavy load placed by 4 servos, one of which is a Naro HP, for the retracts. The Naro was binding on the gear, and causing problems. We disconnected the gear servo, and set the gear to hold down so I could still ROG and fly.

As you will see, without Allen's help, I would have surely packed it...

A few taxies and I was ready. Everyone cleared the line, and Chuck (AirwarriorBelgy) reminded me of the $10 bet he had that I would pack her, first flight.

ROG, a little rudder adjustment, up to speed, little elevator, and she was up! I was lost in the moment, and very excited. Allen was there coaching me, and again without his help I surely would have messed it up.

She was screaming along, I was supprised at her speed. First major problem: She had a horrible tendency to go up. I was puching hard down elevator to compensate. Allen was able to trim down for me as I flew.

I throttled back, and worked on turning her back to me. I was too far away and was worried that I might lose her. I was struggling to keep control and away from a stall.

After two laps I had had enough and wanted down. I took my time and was able to bring her in nice and soft on the grass without damage.

I went up a seond time with close to the same results only a rougher landing. I tore off the bottom part of the tail and the control horn, but was able to fix her at the field.

o CG. The CG was set as stated by GWS, and I am SURE they are wrong. I will add weight to push the CG forward a bit. I have read others with the same problem and solution.

o Elevator. SUPER touchy. Make sure you have minimal throws set for this part, or you will pack her. I have seen suggestions of exponentional as well, and I plan on using it next time out.

o Gear. I will redo my retracts with new push rods. It seems I used a push rod that was too thin. I will simply redo with a bigger piano wire.

o ESC. The GWS 100 ESC is too small for my setup with a Naro HP for the retracts. I wil be upgrading to a Castle Creations Pixie-20P. The CC P20 will do 20/25A and weighs close to the same as the GWS 100.

o Elevator pushrod. I will reset the elevator pushrod to make sure that the elevator is neutral and slightly down, to allow me from trimming down so much.

I love it. All in all, it was a super fun build and I really loved detailing her. I expect a much better flight(s) next time out, and I will be happy to colletc the $10 from Airwarriorbelgy for a successful Maiden.

I will repost here upon my send flight out, and let you know how the modificaitons worked out.

Attached: Photos... I will be adding some more detail this week. I realy did have fun researching the paint schemes, and working on the look. Lots of fun!

See you soon!
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Jan 06, 2003, 10:54 AM
Freak Member
Aldur's Avatar
Please note my helmet color scheme, and name tag...
Jan 06, 2003, 10:54 AM
Freak Member
Aldur's Avatar
From the front...
Jan 06, 2003, 10:55 AM
Freak Member
Aldur's Avatar
From the top...

Jan 06, 2003, 11:01 AM
(aka Cliff Lawson)
Wright Flyer's Avatar
Great looking plane! (and flight report)

(but major sense of deja vu with the CG location thing - after the GWS Zero fiasco you'd have thought they'd get it right for the P51 - maybe the GWS test pilot likes to live dangerously with a very rearward CG?? Or maybe they didn't edit that paragraph of the new manual and just used the previous Zero text?)

Jan 06, 2003, 11:09 AM
Registered User
dave morris's Avatar
two things regarding pitching up, this relates to the zero and I guess the same on the P-51 (which I have but not finished yet).
1) the elevator is sensitive, very little will do you.

2) the elevator should be set so the bottom is flat, which looks like it has a little down set into it.

After adjusting the zero for 1 and 2 above I have noticed the pitching up is much less and the CG is not as critical. I belive what is going on is with the elevator set to look like neutral there is actually some up, this couple with any excess throw makes for a wild ride.

just my .02 cents
Jan 06, 2003, 11:38 AM
so what throws on controls are recomended for the GWS p-51?

and finaly does one follow the CG in the book?

Im building mine so info would be appreciated...

Jan 06, 2003, 01:42 PM
Freak Member
Aldur's Avatar
Thanks Cliff!

I will check that tonight. I DO believe I set my triagle on the TOP, not the bottom as you have suggested. I will check that tonight and let you know what I see.

6mm - Elevator
7mm - Aileron
10mm - Rudder

However, I would sugget that you cut the elevator in half, or use your computer Tx radio to do it for you with Dual rates, Travel Volume, and some exponential decrease.

CG: I follow what was in the book and hence my report. I will be adding weight tonight, and readjusting CG from there.

I have a friend who did the same and suggests 3/4 inch forward of bamboo. However, I have yet to test his call, and I will be doing my own tonight. Just make sure you test well before you go up.

Jan 06, 2003, 02:01 PM
Registered User
cloudhopper's Avatar
Nice job on your P51,where did you get the pilot and what scale?
Jan 06, 2003, 02:52 PM
WAA pilot #167 (yeah baby!)
Ahawk's Avatar
Great report, Scott.

What's up with Belgy?

***Chuck (AirwarriorBelgy) reminded me of the $10 bet he had that I would pack her, first flight. ***

With friends like that...

Jan 06, 2003, 06:51 PM
Freak Member
Aldur's Avatar
Yea tell me about it, Belgy has an edge to his personality, but once you know him, you realize he is almost always having fun.

The whole SCF crew is gret to have and I have learned SO much from them. I am really glad to have met them, and all because of this place.

More pics coming on the P-51...
Jan 06, 2003, 08:41 PM
Silent Flight
daveWCO's Avatar


Way to go Scott! Thanks for your report. It will come in handy for many of us future P-51 pilots.

*** A few taxies and I was ready. Everyone cleared the line, and Chuck (AirwarriorBelgy) reminded me of the $10 bet he had that I would pack her, first flight.***

Lol! That's priceless!

Jan 06, 2003, 09:00 PM
the journey is the reward
Hammer Head's Avatar

Sounds Like CG problem.

Tail Heavy. You may want to move the pack forward a bit rather than add dead weight.

GWS P51 CG suggestions

Nice pics. Keep us posted.

Jan 07, 2003, 10:53 AM
Freak Member
Aldur's Avatar
Hammer: Thanks for the heads up, I had read it and was very interested in what was being said.

*** CG:
I move all I could last night forward, to no avail. I marked the 17mm CG spot and could NOT, no matter what I tried get the CG at that point.

I tried jamming the batt all the way forward, which it was already. To move it more forward, I'd have to break something, and I am not too keen on that.

I moved Rx and wires as forward as I could, but still no joy. I then added some weight. I ended up adding 14g of lead to the nose. After that I am very close. I can not remember my AUW, but I remember being light when I weighed her.

Also, When I was flying her, I can remember having what I thought of as Ample power. Thos two combined make me think that the extra weight should not hurt me too much. I will re-weigh her and report back.

At this point, reading what I have, and flying her as I have, I would much rather be a litle heavy, with a forward CG rather than lighter with a tricky CG. (was that a run-on sentence?)

Also last night I yanked out the gear, and replaced the gear servo push rods with a much thicker piano wire. I also did not bend the wire at all. I also gave each wire a mm of extra length to assist in the lockout when in the down position. Much better.

Who ever said check the BOTTOM of the elevator was right. My alignment was on the top, not the bottom. I readjusted the elevator pushrod to make the bottom of the elevator control surface even with the bottom of the horizontal stabalizer.

I am sure I will have to re-trim, however, with the CG adjustments and this I believe I will have a much more stable plane.

*** TIRES:
It was suggested that I reduce tire size, as I will not be flying off grass. I have the 2" dubro on right now. It was said that I could lower the drain from the servo, and lighten the AUW by reducing the tire size.

However, upon further review, I would save a little over a gram, and I DO like the look of the larger tires. I think I will fly as is on tires, and adjust again if necessary fter next flight(s).

More later... Thanks all for the help, redirects, and comments.

### Attached: A new pic of some more detail. Note the name tag, and flight counters (zero kills). I plan on adding a zero marker for each flight...
Jan 07, 2003, 11:39 AM
an earth bound misfit, I
Basketcase's Avatar
Congratulations Scott, great job on the P-51 details and a even better job for the maiden flight.

Looking forward to seeing it fly better with the adjustments.


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