P-51 argghhhhhh!!!! Wth!! - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
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P-51 argghhhhhh!!!! Wth!!

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Ok! So i'm a bit of newb to rc flying, but none the less, I do have several hours of flying a high wing lt-40 trainer with no issues. I've had this P-51 in my basement just begging to get flown. I've flown her 5 times, and each time is getting more and more frustrating. What is it with the P-51 and it's tough takeoffs! I know i need to apply a whole bunch of elevator just to keep it from tipping ass over tea kettle when taxing, (which happens a lot anyways) It's a real pain in the butt to say the least. Do other tail draggers act the same way? Or is this scale model just prone to tipping over like that? I've since ordered a great planes escapade to prove my theory! lol

I'm curious to know if all scale warbirds have this tendency? Any advice would be appreciated!

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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Re: P-51 argghhhhhh!!!! Wth!!

Ahhhh ... the P51 noseplant syndrome .....

Make sure the CoG is bang on .... if you had to add tailweight then drive it around and see if that makes it better .....

If it is right .... try altering the mains and move the wheels forward a bit ... maybe a centimeter .... for wire type wheel gear it should be fairly easy .... other type ... ????

Moving the wheels forward will put more of the airframes weight towards the rear and help improve handling on the ground ... but it will still be a bit of a balancing act ....

Maybe larger diameter wheels will help as well .... and no .... not all scales are as sensitive ....

Good Luck .... and have fun ...

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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Re: P-51 argghhhhhh!!!! Wth!!

If using fixed gear, bend struts forward a little bit for more angle.
If you have retracts, bending forward may be difficult.
If tail wheel sits high, lower if possible.

I had a p-40 Warhawk, better flip action then a Olympic gymnast, bent struts forward, bigger wheels and lowered the tail wheel a bit, takeoff's and landings did improve alot.

Oh, never owned a P-51, but friend had 1 and he had the struts bent forward(fixed gear) and all was ok.

Hope this helps

p.s. recheck C of G to insure proper balance too.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #4
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Re: P-51 argghhhhhh!!!! Wth!!

I think you are getting the message that nose overs are common with some warbirds, So others mentioned, the CG position on a warbird is critical since they almost all have a tenancy to nose over. Especially retract-fitted models. On some of mine, I have opted to make them slightly tail heavy (after several test flights to determine the CG range) to help with the landing. But this is not recommended unless you are confident in your flying skill.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:24 PM   #5
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Re: P-51 argghhhhhh!!!! Wth!!

Originally Posted by woodstock View Post
Ok! So i'm a bit of newb to rc flying, but none the less, I do have several hours of flying a high wing lt-40 trainer with no issues. I've had this P-51 in my basement just begging to get flown. I've flown her 5 times, and each time is getting more and more frustrating. What is it with the P-51 and it's tough takeoffs!
Here's a lot of the problem...

A SCALE P51 is NOT for beginners!

I had 3-4 years of flying before I graduated into a Scale P51 and it was quite the effort not to loose the plane as it handles totally differently from any trainer!

Take offs are fast, landings MUST be made with power (no gentle glide ins) and the response in the air is QUICK!

So if you are having problems... I'm not surprized.

What amazes me is that you have survived five flights with the same aircraft.

Perhaps you should park the P51 for another season and take on something less challenging. (Florio Flier, Ugly Stick)

Failing that... Warbirds are a rather unforgiving group of AC...

Happy Landings!
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:01 PM   #6
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Re: P-51 argghhhhhh!!!! Wth!!

Changing from conventional gear to taildraggers is a step in itself. Add the rather quirky behavior of a scale model like the P-51 sounds like it is too much of a jump all at once.

Even with experience a scale P-51 with a laminar flow or semi-symmetrical wing will take getting used to. I would second bbbair in recommending planting it in storage until you have more practice with ever more sporty machines. It is NOT a second plane in the learning curve by any means.

On that note all but a few of my planes are taildraggers, including several scale WWII bird and each has it's own behavior in ground handling. One of the first recommendations for any tail dragger is that you need to stay on the rudder to keep the plane pointed where you want it to go. You have to be ahead of the game at all times. Takeoffs are another major difference in that each will require a deft touch on the elevator during acceleration to have the tail come up to just the correct amount to build up flying speed before lifting free of the ground. Holding the tail down will mean it tries to launch before adequate control speed is gained and frequently will have it stall and snap back into the dirt. If you lift the tail too far the CofG can shift close to or ahead of the main wheels and over you go.

This deft touch and technique of thinking ahead of the aircraft takes much practice and is another reason I recommend starting with a relatively docile tailwheel trainer and work your way up from there.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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Re: P-51 argghhhhhh!!!! Wth!!

Make sure the grass is freshly cut and as short as possible.

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Old 06-06-2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: P-51 argghhhhhh!!!! Wth!!

My Topflite P51 is the same way...once that tail comes up, hold it there til it lifts on it's own with gradual elevator. My problem is landing with it...nose tipups 1 out every four landings. The Cof G is slight heavy at tail as suggested. I can pick the tail up to 60-70 degrees and it will drop back down without going over staticly. I try to come in as level as possible...coming in at 5-10 degrees at wheel touchdown will shove it over every time if the grass is high or rough.
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