E-flite/Horizon Hobby P-51D Mustang 1.2 m
The ultimate WW II warbird
In this time and age, anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in aviation and military history will need no introduction to the amazingly sleek and wildly successful P-51 Mustang. Unique to the North American P-51 was its drag-reducing laminar-flow wing design, which was developed by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Originally powered by the 1,000hp Allison engine, the Mustang’s impressive flight performance was limited to only 15,000 feet. It wasn’t until the
Mustang was matched to the more powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that its performance dramatically improved, allowing it to fulfill its duties as a full-fledged high-altitude fighter and bomber escort.
The new P-51D Mustang 1.2m
ARF from E-flite truly is an exciting model, and it’s perfect for pilots who have always wanted a WW II warbird for their RC hangar. Molded out of durable EPO foam, the Mustang comes out of the box with little assembly work required. In fact, making this P-51 ready for action only requires installing six screws
(four for the wing and two for the horizontal stabilizers). A carbon-fiber rod supports the stabilizers, and the elevator halves key together with a sturdy joiner. Once you connect the wing-servo leads to the already installed Spektrum AR636 AS3X receiver and install the propeller and spinner, the Mustang is ready to go.
BIG AND SOARING LOOPS, FOUR-POINT ROLLS, WING-OVER AND STALL TURNS, AND SPINS ARE ALL WITHIN THE MODEL’S FLIGHT ENVELOPE.
The P-51 Mustang comes with everything you need to get it airborne, including functional flaps and retractable landing gear, a 4-blade propeller, and a scale spinner. The scale markings come applied, and details like exhaust stacks, a clear bubble canopy, and a pilot figure in the cockpit add to the realism. There is even a pair of removable drop tanks to add to its bomber-escort looks.
The cockpit/canopy assembly acts as the main hatch cover, and is held in place with a strong magnet at the rear and a molded alignment tab up front. With the hatch cover removed, you have access to the speed control as well as the radio system and servos. Everything comes installed, and all you need to add is your own transmitter and a 3S 2200mAh LiPo. The battery pack is held in place with a plastic tray that snaps into the correct position, and it includes two hook-andloop fastener straps to keep the pack in place.
When the wing and tail surfaces are in place, all you have to do is connect the elevator pushrod clevis to its control horn and guide the wing-servo leads through the opening in the fuselage and into the radio compartment so that they can be plugged into the receiver. A binding plug, some spare screws, and some Y-harnesses are included in the hardware package. Featuring AS3X stabilization and SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) Select technology, your new Mustang’s receiver just takes a moment to bind to any compatible transmitter. I chose to use my Spektrum DX9; following the setup instructions in the included manual, everything worked perfectly right from the start. The Mustang is also available in a Plug-N-Play (PNP) version without a receiver.
AS3X AND SAFE TECHNOLOGY
Spektrum’s AS3X and SAFE Select Technology really has made it easier than ever for RC pilots to control many E-flite airplanes without losing any control feel. The instructions that come with the Mustang includes all the information you need to properly bind and set up your model. You can also assign a switch to turn the Safe Select function on and off depending on your skill level as well as set up your transmitter to use a specific two- or three-position switch to turn the function on and off before or during flight.
To assign the function to a switch, choose an open, unused switch and ensure that the travel for that channel is set at 100% in both directions. Bind the receiver to the transmitter while ensuring that the SAFE Select is activated (this procedure is shown in the instructions). Hold both control sticks to their bottom inside corners of the gimbals, and
toggle your chosen switch five times up and down. Each toggle equals a full up-and-down movement of the switch. If you want to remove the function from the switch, simply repeat the process.
IN THE AIR
As mentioned, the BNF version of the P-51 Mustang comes with a factory-installed AR636 AS3X receiver, which helps smooth out the effects of wind and turbulence, providing impressive stability and giving the Mustang the feel of a much larger aircraft. With SAFE Technology activated, the P-51 virtually becomes crashproof. For the performance evaluation, I switched stability off.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
With its 15-size brushless outrunner motor and power system, I flew the evaluation flights with a 3S 2200mAh LiPo battery pack. You also have the option to go beyond the alreadyexcellent flight performance and enter the ballistic category by using a 4S LiPo pack with no modifications.
Stability: Properly balanced with the battery in the correct location, the Mustang has a solid feel. With stabilization activated, it is important, after you have it trimmed properly, not to touch the control sticks for about three seconds during your first flight. This allows the receiver to learn the correct settings to optimize the AS3X performance.
Tracking: It’s surprising how well the Mustang tracks. It stays on point and is predictable. Aerobatics: The words “crisp” and “precise” are what comes to mind. Even with stability switched off, you fly nice long lines with handsoff confidence. Once you have the model trimmed, it will go where you point it, even if inverted. Control response is not oversensitive; you can perform whatever aerobatic maneuver you like. Big and soaring loops, four-point rolls, wing-over and stall turns, and spins are all within the model’s flight envelope.
Glide and stall performance: Slow flight is easy and gentle. And with flaps, you can come in for your landings with a steeper-than-normal approach without building excess speed. With full flaps, three-point landings are amazingly slow and fully controlled. Takeoffs are easy without flaps, but using half flaps will get the Mustang in the air a bit more quickly. Power-off glides with flaps and gear up are smooth and easy.
The Mustang also has plenty of scale accessories including slide-in-place drop tanks.
The electric retracts come factory installed. In the retracted position, the gear door fit flush with the bottom of the wing.
Remove the cockpit and canopy section and you have easy access to the radio gear and flight battery pack, which is held in place with a slide-in support tray.
The 4-bladed scale propeller and spinner add much to the Mustang’s appearance while providing a lot of thrust.
The rudder also comes connected to its pushrod. The stabilizer halves slide into place and are secured with screws and an internal slide-in carbon-fiber support rod.
The included 15-size brushless motor is a perfect match for the 1.2m Mustang. You can power it with a 3S or 4S battery pack without any modifications.
Both the aileron and flap servos come installed and attached to the control surfaces. Stick-on decals are used to cover the servos and servo leads