Hangar 9: P-51D Miss America

Posted:  Monday, September 12, 2005
Provider Name:  Model Airplane News
Issue:  April 2005
Written By:  Scott Hampton
Copyright:© 2005 Air Age Media
 

SPECS

MODEL: .60 P-51D Miss America

DISTRIBUTOR: Horizon Hobby

TYPE: standoff scale plane

LENGTH: 55.75 in.

WINGSPAN: 65.5 in.

WING AREA: 745 sq. in.

WEIGHT: 7.5 lb.

WING LOADING: 23.19 oz./sq. ft.

ENGINE REQ’D: .60 to 1.00 2-stroke or .91 to 1.00 4-stroke

RADIO REQ’D: 5-channel with 6 servos

PRICE: $254.99

COMMENTS

This is one of the most enjoyable ARFs I have built; the assembly was quick and easy. It has a very concise and well-written instruction manual. Once finished, I had a very stable flying aircraft.

HIGHLIGHTS

> Complete hardware package
> Installed retracts
> Fiberglass cowl

GEAR USED

RADIO EQUIPMENT: Hitec Eclipse 7 transmitter; 5 Hitec HS-425 Deluxe servos; 1 Hitec HS-77BB low-profile servo for the retracts; Hitec RCD 3800 receiver

ENGINE: Magnum .91 RFS 4-stroke

FUEL: PowerMaster 15%

PROP: Zinger wooden 14x8

TURN HEADS WITH RENO'S PARTIOTIC RACER

IN 1944, THE MUSTANG WAS CREATED at North American’s plant. After the War, it was modified from the North American P-51D and went on to become one of the fastest and most recognizable Mustangs around. No wonder; with its smooth lines and easy curves, I can see why they named it “Miss America.”

When Hangar 9 came out with a .60-size version of the Miss America, I just had to have one. I have come to expect top quality from Hangar 9, and in my opinion, the Miss America is one of its most impressive warbird ARFs.

IN THE BOX

Everything was well packaged in plastic bags and nicely sealed. Even inside the box, the plane looks beautiful, and as to be expected, the covering job is topnotch. I took the wings out of the bags and noticed that the retracts looked much stronger than those included in past Hangar 9 kits.

I inspected the fuselage and found the covering to be impeccable with very few wrinkles. All of the hardware was included along with a well-written and photoenriched construction manual. All I needed to complete this plane was a radio, motor, glue and fuel line.

WING ASSEMBLY

The first step in the instruction book is to glue the hinges into the wing. I used thin Zap for this. After the glue had dried, I testfit the wing joiner into both halves of the wing. When I was satisfied with the fit, I used 30-minute epoxy to glue the wing joiner and the wing halves together. Now it was time to build the retract servo tray and install it into the wing. I used a Hitec HS 77 BB low-profile servo for the retracts so I would be able to use my computer radio’s endpoint- adjustment function to fine-tune the control throws. I then cut the retract wires to the proper length and installed them. I cycled the retracts a few times to make sure that everything worked correctly and that the retracts firmly locked in both the up and down positions.

Next, I built the aileron servo trays. I used Hitec 425 BB Deluxe servos with a 12-inch servo extension. I glued the mounting blocks to the trays with 30-minute epoxy and mounted the servos on them using the screws provided with the servos. I then pulled the servo wires through the wing and attached a short Y-harness on the end of the wires. The last step for wing assembly is to hook up the ailerons to the servos. I used the provided hardware, which fit perfectly, to make a solid and responsive connection. The entire wing assembly took me about two hours to complete.

FUSELAGE ASSEMBLY

Begin by installing the tail section. I slid the horizontal stabilizer into the slot and marked where I had to remove the covering. I used 30-minute epoxy and glued the stabilizer into place, double-checking its alignment by measuring to a reference point at the front of the fuselage. After the glue had dried, I set the vertical stabilizer into the precut slot and marked where I had to cut the covering. Again, once I had removed the covering, I glued the vertical stabilizer into place with 30-minute epoxy. I used a 90- degree square to set the vertical stabilizer perpendicular to the horizontal stabilizer. I hinged the control surfaces using thin Zap.

The rudder and elevator servos are screwed into the servo trays and mounted onto the back of the fuselage. I used Hitec 425 BB Deluxe servos with a 12-inch servo extension.

With ample room for the radio components inside
the fuselage, I was able to use the battery placement
to balance the plane.
The Magnum RFS .91 engine fits neatly inside the cowl. All of the cutouts are on the cowl’s underside, which results in a cleanly finished upper cowl.

ENGINE INSTALLATION

I began by gluing the servo tray for the throttle servo inside the fuselage with 30- minute epoxy. I attached the engine to the supplied aluminum engine mount and then mounted the entire assembly to the firewall with bolts and blind nuts. For power, I used a Magnum XL .91 RFS 4-stroke engine. The width of the engine matched the predrilled holes on the firewall, and that made installation easy. I assembled the fuel tank and installed it in the nose of the fuselage with foam packed all around it to keep it in place. I installed the throttle pushrod and made adjustments at the transmitter so that the carburetor would open and close completely.

FINAL ASSEMBLY

When everything was installed and hooked up, all I had to do was set up the cowl and canopy and balance the plane. I attached a paper template to the fuselage, which extended out over the engine. After cutting out all of the holes for the exhaust pipe, needle valve and glow plug, I removed the engine and put the cowl in place. I made the cutouts in the cowl and reinstalled the engine. I had to make some small adjustments to the cutouts, but overall, the fit was pretty close. I like the look of aluminum spinners, so I decided to use one instead of the supplied plastic red spinner.

I cut out the canopy and glued the backrest along with the canopy to the fuselage using canopy glue. The last and probably most important step is balancing the plane. The instruction manual recommends a starting point of about 4 3⁄4 inches back from the wing’s leading edge. I was able to move the battery to achieve the balance point without having to add extra weight.

CONCLUSION

The Hangar 9 Miss America has one of the most beautiful color schemes ever to adorn an airplane. If you are searching for a plane that flies as good as it looks, look no further. Add this ARF to your flying fleet, and you’ll be sure to turn heads at the flying field.

IN THE AIR

For the Miss America P-51D, I used the Magnum .91 RFS 4-stroke engine with stock muffler, Zinger 14x8 wood prop and 15-percent PowerMaster fuel. This combination provides plenty of power to pull the 7.5-pound plane around the sky with some authority.

CONTROL THROWS

  • Elevator: ±11⁄16 in.; expo 0%
  • Aileron: 9⁄16 in. up, 1⁄2 in. down; expo 0%
  • Rudder: ±11⁄4 in. right and left; expo 0%

GENERAL FLIGHT CHARACTERISTICS

Stability: this plane handles very well at high speeds. Like most P-51s, the Miss America will stall at low speeds, but recovery is quick.

Tracking: the P-51 tracks very well on the ground. In the air, the plane flies straight and true, even maintaining altitude with little rudder correction in high-speed turns.

Aerobatics: this is a scale WW II P-51 model, and it will do all the same scale maneuvers as the full-size plane. The model flies through each maneuver with smoothness and authority.

Glide Performance: if you set the balance correctly, the plane will glide well with 1⁄4 throttle. Without power, keep the nose pointed downward, or the plane will stall.

Stalls: when the plane climbs at a 45-degree angle, I can cut the power to idle, and it will tip-stall; however, once the nose points down and after a little speed builds up, the plane recovers smoothly.

PILOT DEBRIEFING

I enjoy flying this plane every chance I get. It is a good-flying aircraft, and the Magnum .91 RFS 4-stroke pulls the plane around with ease. On the ground, it takes only about 20 feet to get it in the air. It can easily fly at 1⁄2 throttle, and the plane just cruises around the sky nice and easy. At full throttle, it flies close to scale speed, and the engine has plenty of power to do all of the scale maneuvers that the full-size one can. These include split-S’s, loops, rolls and all combinations of these maneuvers. I make landing approaches at a little less than 1⁄4 throttle. When the plane gets close to the ground, I lower the throttle and flare it to a nice 3-point landing. The field I fly at is a little rough and really tests the landing gear—and it has held up just beautifully.


Related Categories

Airplanes (ARF), Sport

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