|Wingspan:||28" / 711mm|
|Wing Area:||154 sq. in. / 9.918 sq. dm.|
|Weight:||4.5 to 5.1 oz.|
|Length:||23" / 584.2mm|
|Wing Loading:||5.52 oz/sq. ft.|
|Receiver:||Corona RP4SI 4 channel synthesized|
|Battery:||Dualsky 450 mAh 7.4 volt LiPo|
|Motor:||Dualsky Xmotor 2812RTR-27|
|ESC:||amp within the Xmotor|
EPP may be the combat material of choice in an environment meant to destroy your enemy, but it also makes for some great lightweight airframes with light wing loading that are just fun to fly. The P-51 offered by 2dogrc.com is one of four in a combat sport airplane line. The Me-109, P-47 and Fw-190 each have a different profile, and at a price around $35, they make it pretty easy to grow your warbird hanger. I coupled my P-51 with one of 2dogís Xmotors with a built in ESC.
The P-51 is a kit plane. It arrives in a bag and includes the necessary build components. Instructions and decals are downloadable. The BudgetRC website provides some great information including combat fighting rules, build tips, photos and even audio files of what the real P-51 war bird sounds like.
Assembly begins with paint! The instructions suggest you use ďDollar StoreĒ enamel, and I would agree; It is cheap and you will use a lot of it. The purpose in painting is not only for looks, but the dry paint also improves the EPPís rigidity.
I really liked the laser cut parts and how each part has cut-outs that fit perfectly into receiving slots, ensuring good alignment.
The wing is EPP and flat. All the components have crisp, accurate cuts. The wing uses two spars and one more carbon reinforcement stick on the underside. Instructions are provided as a template so that one can be used to lay-up the spar so it is square, and mine worked perfectly. You can cover the template with wax paper so that the glue does not stick. A lite-ply gusset is applied over the carbon joint and makes a very strong connection
These spars then slip into the wing and glue in place. I used Ultimate Glue, but a word of caution: this glue is not anaerobic and needs air to set. I used plastic over and under the wing to keep it from sticking to the table and weights to keep it all flat. The next morning it was still not set on the underside next to the plastic.
The ailerons install with derm hinge tape. I also used micro hinge points for strength, but the derm tape holds very well. Use Ĺ inch or ĺ tape, and seal the top and bottom. Be sure you flex the control surface before you install the tape.
The fuselage is the heart of this structure and provides the strength for flight. It is very flimsy until you complete the build. Start with the tail support. Again I used Ultimate glue, but EPP is CA safe so medium CA works well too.
The motor mount needs to be attached. It has a slight right offset.
I installed the motor, but needed to expand the mount about 1/4 inch around to fit the Xmotor. I used only two screws to hold the motor.
To finish the tail, I first split the Depron side supports and then fit them into the correct pockets in the EPP fuselage, and it fit perfectly. I installed the fuselage decals before I installed the side supports. Pins help hold the support halves. Glue as you go, but remember: the Depron is not CA safe!
The tail requires the use of a round carbon rod to attach the two elevator control surfaces. Once complete, you will have to split the rudder to slip the elevator into the correct position. This may seem odd, but the split seals right back.
I mounted one of the servos into the fuselage so that the servo arms extended out both sides. I used medium length arms because it doesn't take a lot of throw to fly the P-51 but they do need to be outside the fuselage.
The carbon linkages for the ailerons glue to the lite-ply control horn. I used hot glue. Just ahead of the control arm, a short piece of supplied heat shrink tubing acts as an articulating joint. Once at the servo arm and after making sure the servo was centered, I used another piece of tubing and slipped it onto the servo arm and then onto the linkage. I had to use hemostats to spread the tubing until it would slip over the servo arm. I heated the tubing with the tip of a soldering iron and used some thin set CA to complete the bond.
I installed the elevator servo using hot glue. The tail linkage is longer and uses some supports along the fuselage, so donít force this linkage or it will break. There is actually a longer support aft of the fuselage.
No control movement settings are provided so use your own judgment. I had to back off the control throws, and dialed in some expo since the P-51 is very quick. With high rates I think it has a zero turning radius and instantaneous movements. I doubled the high rates for the low rates.
I also experimented with the props and finally settled on a 6 X 5.5 (5.5 amps) to maintain my amperage below six amps. The 7 x 3.8 (6.4 amps) and 8 x 3.8 (7 amps) inch props were producing higher amps, but with throttle management they would still be OK.
I also flew with a FM receiver which is not a good idea for combat unless you can place the antennae out of harmís way.
I coated the surfaces with CA and let it dry before I installed the hook and loop, and it stuck better to the EPP.
The BudgetRC P-51 flies very well. It is a slow flyer so it's easy to keep close but it can turn on a dime and is capable of flying is some wind; The day I took the video the wind was just under 10 MPH.
It does not have vertical performance, but rather a gentle climb and plenty of speed. I flew most of the time at just above half throttle.
It is a hand launch plane with just a gentle underhand toss. The suggested CG was perfect. It climbed, looped, rolled and flew inverted with no problems. I can see why this is a great combat plane.
You have to appreciate a design that allows you to do a full complement of aerobatics but at the same time can fly slow. Close in combat should be a blast and realistic to boot. I do know these planes can take beating; Videos I have watched just showed both planes falling out of the sky with no damage. Perhaps the last one to hit the ground wins!
These planes are pretty quick, so someone with some flight time would be OK. On the other hand, the durability is outstanding, and they're less than $100 - why not.
You have to have one of these even if you don't fly combat. They are perfect parkflyers and because they are so controllable they are great indoor flyers. I believe they will handle a lot of abuse. You can also paint them in your own color which means you have many more options than just warbirds.
As he says in the review: "The BudgetRC P-51 flies very well. It is a slow flyer so it's easy to keep close but it can turn on a dime and is capable of flying is some wind; The day I took the video the wind was just under 10 MPH."
It buffets in the wind and turn are exagerated in the wind. Into a head wind it basically can come to a stand still. I fly the plane all the time. It handles so well it just fun to fly. Inverted flight while not in the video is excellent too. I want to do some combat!
If you burn out the esc it is easily fixed. You open the can, unsolder the motor wires and pull the ESC out. We sell replacement ESC's that you can solder back in. If you want us to replace it we can do that as well.
We have not had any of these burn up yet. Most people are aware enough to not over prop them. Or they just are afraid to have to replace the ESC.
This motor won Best New Product at the Prague model show and displays the kind of company Dualsky is. They don't just copy everybody, they design!
I am glad you enjoyed the plane, I am off to fly my P-47!
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