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View Full Version : How Sweet It Is!! My P-51 Flew Today


Grasshopper
04-09-2006, 11:09 PM
Well, She finally got the wind beneath her wings today. I maidened my PZ P-51 and it was SWEET!!!!! I must say it would not have gone nearly as smooth if I wouldn't have had all the help from everyone here.

I broke in the motor last night, checked and rechecked everything and got to the field at 7:00 this morning. It was a balmy 38 degrees with frost all over the ground but the winds were dead calm. Just what I'd been waiting for.

I range checked her, said 3 Hail Mary's and chucked her skyward. I'm not sure if it was the cold giving me the chills or just plain nervousnous but I think the neighbors heard my knees knocking together. I hand launched her at full throttle with the controls set on low rate. There was more than enough control and I would have hated to try this on high rate. She made a slight roll to the left and after a minor correction on the stick she climbed out straight as a a string. Once in the air, I could relax a bit and got used to how she handles. No problems what so ever. It needed a slight bit of right trim and a little down to keep her from climbing at 1/2 throttle. I circled the field several times in both directions and then practiced approaches. Found out you gotta bring this one in a little hotter than my J3 but she came in nice and flat. A few feet off the ground, I killed the motor flared it a little and she sat down perfectly. I went back to the car to change my shorts and flew her 4 more times. I did several lazy loops, rolls and low fly bys and tried the controls on high rate. There is a noticeable difference in controls on high rate. I spent most of the time just flying in big ovals to get used to her.

To make a long story short, She Flew Great!!!!!! I put her away and got out my J3 and it was like moving in Slow Motion. Still alot of fun though. Man I gotta say, Maiden flights are nerve racking but what a rush!!!
If I didn't have so much to do and the batteries were charged, I'd go out again this evening. It's 75 degrees and very calm. It hasn't been like this for the last three months.

Thanks to everyone for the help with this. I honestly couldn't have done it this well without all the help. After all the horror stories I've heard about crash and burn PZ P-51 maiden flights, I was a nervous wreck. I'll keep flying this one while I'm getting ready to do it all over again with my E-Flight P-47 in a few weeks.

Thanks again.............Man I Love This Hobby!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom

watt_the?!
04-09-2006, 11:20 PM
nice one Tom!!! well done mate.

i flew the P51 a while back and thought it was a bit mushy myself....but that's pretty good for a learner plane...expec tthe P47 to react more quickly and crisply.

I love these threads!

Tim

BTW where is Ozarks?

Twmaster
04-09-2006, 11:24 PM
WooHoo! Good go Tom!

Grasshopper
04-09-2006, 11:34 PM
The Ozarks are in Southwest Missouri

firemanbill
04-10-2006, 12:47 AM
Way to go grasshopper, sounds like you got the pebbles from the masters hand:D

Are any of you old enough to remember that???

Grasshopper
04-10-2006, 12:48 AM
Aahh Grasshoppa......when you can snatch the pebbles from my hand....it is time for you to go.

Twmaster
04-10-2006, 12:59 AM
Way to go grasshopper, sounds like you got the pebbles from the masters hand:D

Are any of you old enough to remember that???

<me raises hand>

Sky Sharkster
04-10-2006, 12:24 PM
Good News, Tom! Never doubted you for a minute! It took some nerve to launch it youself, buddy. On first flights I like to have a launcher so my hands are right on the controls. Those first few seconds are the worst! But you did great! Well, you're in now, there's no turning back.
Ron
P.S. "Kane" was the Grasshoppers' name, right? Name of the show..."Kung Fu" or was it "Kung Pao"? David Carridine? Ahhh, getting old!

Grasshopper
04-10-2006, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the kind words Ron. I believe it was Kane and the show was Kung Fu. Although, Kung Pao is a Chinese chicken dish, it is probably closer to what I really was tossing that bird in the air yesterday.

crxmanpat
04-11-2006, 12:53 AM
Tom,

That's great news! And it just so happens, that I successfully maidened mine yesterday too. That is, unless you call the first flight of 5 minutes of wild loops with a 45* full throttle landing a successful maiden :p Lets just say I have plenty of spare parts if the need arises.

I made the first flight yesterday with the 9C pack that came with the kit, then went home to read up on conversion to lipo and brushless. I decided to just go lipo with the stock motor, made a deans connector, and flew it again using my TP1320 3S lipos. Two more good flights, with a little more authority from the motor. I now have 2 packs of TP2100 3S in the mail for this bird.

Pardon me if I have not followed any other threads you may have had on this bird, but what setup are you using? Stock motor and NiMHs, or did you do any conversions?

Pat

Grasshopper
04-11-2006, 02:58 AM
Hi Pat,

Glad to hear it went well. I'm using a totally stock set up. It flys really well for now but I'm also considering changing to Lipos once I get used to it. I have two 3S 2100mAh 15C lipos and a charger due to arrive this week. I've never used Lipos and ordered them for my E-Flight P-47 I'm working on. I'm also considering changing out the rest of the system inthe future. I ordered a Spektrum DX6 due to arrive tommorow for the P-47 and it would be nice to have both the P-51 and P-47 on it. What all did you have to change in the P-51 to go to lipos? I have the connector that came with plane but that's about all I know about it.

redgiki
04-11-2006, 04:29 AM
What all did you have to change in the P-51 to go to lipos? I have the connector that came with plane but that's about all I know about it.
All you have to do is pull a jumper on the ParkZone receiver for it to change the low-voltage cutoff to match LiPos. You don't actually have to change the jumper if you time your flights. But it's useful to make sure that dead-stick safety net is available if you fly too long.

The LVC just shuts off the motor when the voltage reaches a predetermined level. The control surfaces continue to respond. Usually, after you've reached cutoff, you can drop your throttle to zero, and then fly around at up to half-throttle or so without the LVC immediately kicking in again. However, when the LVC does its job, it's basically a big stop-sign saying "Land Me Now!"

I haven't intentionally flown a plane all the way to cutoff in over a year now. I decided that I wanted to measure the amp draw on all my birds, and then used the following formula to figure out my maximum full-throttle flight time:

Amp-Hours of Battery / Amp Draw = time in hours

As a sample, I'll plug in the values for a stock Stryker with a 3S 2100mAh LiPo and the 5.3x3.3 "Lipo prop":

2.1 Amp-Hour Battery / 10.4 Amps WOT draw = 0.20 hours

0.20 hours * 60 minutes = about 12 minutes

So on my stock Stryker, running on a LiPo, I set my kitchen timer (taped to my transmitter) for 12 minutes, press Start, and fly. When the timer dings, I bring her down.

The formula fails for brushed motors which have burned out bushings, or power systems which are otherwise experiencing unusual high-amp-draw conditions. Thus you always want to have a low-voltage-cutoff which is LiPo compatible on your ESC if you can, to cover that kind of problem. I try to avoid dead-sticking my P-47 and ParkZone Typhoon; both of them behave much better landed under power. You saw the same kind of behavior in your P-51, I'll wager! They like coming in hot.

That said, I like to practice dead-stick approaches a lot. It's made a few mechanical failures and LVC cut-offs non-events. I fly at an altitude and attitude which would allow me to recover dead-stick if I need to, pretty much at all times. It doesn't make me a flashy flyer, but it does make me crash rarely, despite 2-3 flying sessions a week and numerous in-flight incidents :)

(Exception: I was trying the ParkZone gear with brushless motors using a little device called a Brush2Less. Nifty device. But I don't recommend going brushless on ParkZone equipment without upgrading the servos. They aren't strong enough, as a full-speed power-dive shows...)

In-flight accidents this year:
* P-47 wing covers coming off repeatedly. I just lose aileron control on one side, and she gets very squirrely on the approach. I don't use the wing covers anymore for this reason.
* P-47 canopy coming off (I didn't have it all the way down. My bad. Still flies OK sans canopy.)
* P-47 elevator hinges detaching on one side. Flew crazily, but came down in one piece. Important safety tip: don't graze the side of your leg on an underhanded throw.
* P-47 battery slid back, throwing off the CG. Landed fine. I am good about checking the Velcro now :)
* P-47 landing gear kept ripping off on landing. Final solution was a really strong epoxy session.
* Prop and spinner coming off my Typhoon (dead-stick landing, heh!)
* Stryker turfed (twice; I let a friend fly once. Complete re-kit. Second time, I was evaluating the Brushed2Less. The ParkZone servos didn't have enough torque to pull up after a long dive. Not a complete re-kit, as the whole thing was totally Monokoted, and EPP foam + Monokote == flying brick.)
* Burned out bushing in Wild Wing motor (trashed a Lipo, the bird came down smoking. It's only a $1.25 motor, but an expensive battery. I'm re-thinking this value proposition.)
* J-3 cub Turfed (Just a broken prop; I was teaching a friend and let him get too low before taking transmitter back.)
* Wild Wing Turfed (was letting a friend fly, and forgot to tell him about the 400 foot range on those GWS 6-channel receivers). 1 Lipo ruined.
* J-3 Cub lost prop and spinner (another dead-stick. I now exclusively use new lock nuts or e-flite spinners + locktite to hold on my props, rather than trusting the washer/nut assembly these things ship with.)
* Slow-Stick turfed (in-flight motor failure on launch. Once again, a friend was flying it. Just have to replace a broken prop and burned-out motor.)


I'm suddenly realizing why I am broke and have a garage full of planes, only 2 of which are flying right now :)

Grasshopper
04-11-2006, 05:00 AM
Do the Lipos fit in the battery compartment? In your formula above, what is WOT draw? How do I know what the motor draws?

redgiki
04-11-2006, 06:10 AM
I use a shunt to determine my amp draw. Basically, you have to get your multimeter in series on the power path. For stuff below 15 amps, my multimeter can handle it. It was 10.4 amps on my Stryker's brushed motor using the 5.3x3.3 prop included with "B"-series Strykers.

When I'm building the power system, I usually do a few bench-tests, and some electrical tape does the job. When I'm evaluating it after installation, I have a "shunt"... I have two opposite Dean's plugs on a wire. One of the two wires has the multimeter wired in series on it.

I need a better solution for higher amp draw, though.

I don't know that it's something you need to worry about. I'd say just fly at wide-open on your plane until LVC one time, with a timer running. Look at your timer when LVC kicks in, and then just plan on timing your flights for a little less than that.

The Thunder Power 3S 2100mAh (and compatible packs, like the ones you bought) work perfectly as drop-in batteries on the Parkzone Stryker, Typhoon, P-51, and ME-109. And, of course, the E-Flite P-47D. Plus a bunch of other planes. They are just a good, narrow form-factor that has a lot of applications. I want to buy four more or so :)

crxmanpat
04-11-2006, 07:02 AM
Tom,

Redgiki beat me to all the answers, but I would like to add just a bit more information.

To convert your P-51 ESC to handle lipos, just open up the cover on the ESC/Rx combo (unfortunately, you will need to cut off the zip ties) and remove the jumper from position 3 (your manual shows exactly where that is on page 9). Your LVC will then be set to about 8.8 volts. A little low for a 3S lipo if you ask me, but I believe that is still within a safe range. Like Redgiki says, don't fly until the engine quits. You can definitely tell when performance is dropping off, so it's best to land then when you still have some juice left.

Yesterday I was using TP1320 3S lipos. They fit in the battery compartment just fine with room to spare. And so should the TP2100's (they're not any wider, just thicker). As for the connector, what I did was make an adapter by taking a male tamiya plug and adding a deans micro connector to the other end. I use deans micros for all my batteries and charger, so that is my standard connector. I then plug the adapter into the plane so that the deans connector hangs out of the battery compartment. I will provide pics for this tomorrow evening as it is too dark now.

Pat

QKAme
07-23-2006, 03:35 AM
Hello Folks.
I'm totally new to electric RC, but have been flying glow RC for 3 years now.
Since I really don't know enough, I figured that it was best to buy a RTF.
Flew my P51 for the first time tonight. It's completely stock, as is, out of the box.
What a blast!! It may not be really aerobatic, but it sure is pretty in flight!
Definitely have to get an extra battery pack.
Quess I better get serious and start to learn all of the "technicalities" of this form of the hobby.

:)

Grasshopper
07-23-2006, 03:43 AM
Hi QKAme and welcome to the wonderful world of electrics! You are dead on about the P-51, not real aerobatic but still a lot of fun and yes, they do look good in flight. If you are truly going to get into electrics, I would suggest getting some 3S 2100 lipos for the P-51. It will make it fly with more authority and will also work with your next brushless set up. Oh yes, you will get another one. This hobby is like eating one potato chip. I'm just about to switch my P-51 over to lipos since I'm down to one battery for it. Eventually, it will be gutted and a brushless set up put in it too.

Congratulations on your flights and welcome!

Tom

firemanbill
07-23-2006, 04:10 AM
Funny how these old threads pop back up...:D I saw this and thought Hey Tom got a new plane!:o

Welcome to WF and electric flight QKAme! Hope you have many more great flights to come.

We, Me and my son, have a GWS P-51 and have a blast with it as well.:D

hawkeye64
09-18-2006, 01:00 PM
flew my pzmustang about aweek ago stock setup it flew well the hand launch was a little awkward the first time but all in all it flew well have flown several times since so far so good.I also took my pz cub and stryker the cub looked like it was standing still i wish the mustang was a bit more responsive like the stryker. would control horn adjustments improve the mustang a little? one more thing i highly recomend the typhoon from parkzone it is a blast. thanks for letting me ramble....

Grasshopper
09-18-2006, 02:46 PM
Hey, you're over here too,

I still haven't converted my P-51 over to Lipo or brushless yet. I haven't tried changing the control horn adjustments on it, but that would be something to try. After flying my E-Flite P-47 and AK Spitfire, there's just no comparison. The P-51 just seems to be sick when it flys compared to them. The only reason I've left the P-51 on the stock set up is because it gives me one more battery to fly without using up all my Lipos at the field. I've got 3 planes on my 3S 2100s, building a 4th now and just found out my P-38 is shipping next week and it will use 2 of them so I'm going to be battery poor here pretty quickly.

Still love the looks of the P-51 in the air though.

I am pH
04-11-2007, 05:57 PM
So I finally got to fly my p-51 for the first time the other day. I have had it for almost 3 months, but the weather has been cold, crappy, and windy. I was really nervous because the only other r/c plane I have other flown is my hz supercub. I was especially worried about the landing! Well, not to fret, the first to flights I have had were great! I'm glad I didn't launch at high rate, I would have crashed it for sure! the high rate was a lot more touchy than I anticipated. I switched to high about 3 minutes into the flight and sicovered the rolls to be too fast for me (for now) and then righted the plane about 3 feet from the ground at full speed. I landed to slow the first day I flew it, it dropped quick from about 1.5 feet from the ground. It was totally fine, but still wasn't ideal for me. the next day I flew it I was doing all kind of fun aerobatics, and when it came time to land I eased the power to about 25% and then did a moderate dive to keep a little speed and then pretty much landed with no power and hit some grass at about 25mph where it came to a perfect stop. I was really suprised at how much speed is needed to land this plane, but I'm also used to my supercub which can be landed at zero throttle w/o any probably whatsoever. I've heard a lot of crap for the pz p51, but I was thoroughly impressed. If you want a plane that behaves like a $500+ plane, go buy a $500 plane, but don't whine about the p-51 performing the way it does for $150. i think parkzone and hobbyzone make great planes for the money. I love that all the parts are replaceable and cheap! So yeah, the P51 can be flown just fine after flying a really basic elevator/rudder trainer without too much to fret. Its not a first plane, but makes a great second, but seriosuly...it simply looks awesome...

pH

Bill G
04-11-2007, 06:41 PM
That's a good feeling to bring a P51 back in one piece, on a maiden.
Unlike my GWS P51 that I bought when I was still on the Slow Stick.:eek:
It lives on, in pieces used in other scratch builds.:D

KQAme, from what it sounds like, you are in a good position now. I learned all the technicalities, but still didn't have a chance in hell of flying a P51.:eek: It's a lot more fun to go about it in the order that you are.

Bill

fezz
04-12-2007, 01:05 AM
calm. Just what I'd been waiting for.

...I range checked her, said 3 Hail Mary's and chucked her skyward. I'm not sure if it was the cold giving me the chills or just plain nervousnous but I think the neighbors heard my knees knocking together. Tom

That's great.

i suspect it doesn't matter how experienced you are - you're always sh*tting bricks before a maiden.

I hand launched her at full throttle with the controls set on low rate. There was more than enough control and I would have hated to try this on high rate ...
Thanks again.............Man I Love This Hobby!!!!!!!!!!!!!

smart.

RandolphNav
04-12-2007, 01:20 AM
Glad to hear...still mad that mine crashed several days ago...but i flew my pz spit yesterday and had a blast. I could tell that it had a hard time doing certain maneuvers that the pz p-51 could do very easily. Really miss my p-51 :(

Grasshopper
04-12-2007, 02:20 AM
Funny how these old threads come back up. I enjoyed flying my P-51. Never even had so much as a hard landing with it and then sold it. It seemed like every hand launch was a new experience and you never really knew what it was going to do. If I had to do a PZ warbird again, I'd probably go with the Spit. I still think they all look good in the air.

crxmanpat
04-12-2007, 04:34 AM
i suspect it doesn't matter how experienced you are - you're always sh*tting bricks before a maiden.
Joe,

It's funny that you say that. For my last maiden, the ParkZone Spitfire, I just tossed that thing in the air without a worry or a care, and I flew the heck out of it on the maiden. :D

Of course, on the stock setup it's not that fast so I didn't have much to worry about. Now using TP 3S 2070 eXtremes, it has a little pep. :p

K CLOSE
04-12-2007, 08:14 AM
Funny how these old threads come back up. I enjoyed flying my P-51. Never even had so much as a hard landing with it and then sold it. It seemed like every hand launch was a new experience and you never really knew what it was going to do. If I had to do a PZ warbird again, I'd probably go with the Spit. I still think they all look good in the air.
Hoppy,
What a trip. I thought you got a new one till I checked the date on the posting.:p Gotta love PZ's for grab and go. You should get yourself a 'Spitty. Absolutely their best effort yet. Maidened mine today and it flies like it's on rails. Nice mix of the P-51's speed and the FW-190's nimble natures. Greatly improved with each release. And nice consistent hand launches with the Spit today, no Mustang heart attacks.:eek:
Cheers

Grasshopper
04-13-2007, 02:17 AM
Hey K Close,

You don't know how many times I've thought about the Spitty. Since I already have a balsa Spit, I just haven't done it. I wouldn't mind getting the airframe and putting a brushless set up in it. I've already got too many planes now though.

I am pH
04-13-2007, 08:30 PM
Note: without good batteries in the transmitter, the P51 crashes at high-speeds.

I used my p51 twice, third time, transmitter batteries died. 30 minutes of power in the AAs? Come on horizonhobby, package decent batteries or don't give any at all. I'm out of a plane now :(
I guess you're supposed to rangecheck for a reason...

pH

K CLOSE
04-15-2007, 02:55 PM
"pH,
That should not have happened. I try to stay on top of batts. and range checks, but I'll be honest--if any plane is gonna suffer neglect it's one of my PZ's. Because of that, I have bumped into PZ's "lov voltage alarm" in their transmitters while airborn. I admit I never use their included AA batteries, but my nimh 2200 mAH rechargeables I use have gotten low enough to sound it. While wayyy out there in fact. Left me plenty of control to get back and down. Could you have taken a hit? I really don't want to write off a plane cause I was lazy, but with no internal volt meter, I'll admit I kinda rely on that alarm to catch me if I forgot to charge.
Cheers

I am pH
04-15-2007, 05:23 PM
I want to get some rechargeable AAs now and just charge them after everytime I fly. All the electronics are fine from the plane, but nothing else. I have a fuselage on order, so hopefully I'll have the P51 back in the air sooner than later.

Airhead
04-15-2007, 05:28 PM
Morning Guys,
What a great thread this is!!
Good stuff....:)