About the prototypeEdit
The model's paint and decal schemes are patterned after a full-sized P-51D nicknamed Ferocious Frankie, with the only variation being the kill markings on the canopy changed from swastikas to the red, black and white cross of the Luftwaffe. The prototype, built at North American Aviation's Inglewood, California, USA plant as serial number 44-13704, is currently on display at at the Old Flying Machine Company in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England and is maintained in flying condition. A Ferocious Frankie replica is on static display at Robins AFB in Houston County, Georgia.
It was originally flown by Lt. Col. Wallace E. Hopkins of the 374th Fighter Squadron and named after his wife.
About the modelEdit
Modeled after the most successful fighter of World War Two, the P-51D, like ParkZone's original scale outing, the J-3 Cub, exhibits the flying characteristics of its full sized counterpart and the most scale detail of any model in the lineup save for its counterpart, the new Focke Wulf 190. The airbrushed paint scheme complete with "invasion" stripes is factory applied as are the decals. A detailed latex pilot figure is clearly visible inside the canopy as is a decal depicting a dashboard.
The P-51D also proved to be the single most popular model prior to the introduction of the Typhoon 3-D aerobatic plane, with ready-to-fly versions on back order soon after its introduction. Like all ParkZone aircraft, the P-51D is sold as a complete package, even going so far as to include 8 AA batteries for the transmitter. An almost ready-to-fly version less electronics was being test-marketed in Australia at a cost of AU$99 and is now available worldwide. This bare airframe ARF version is painted and trimmed like the RTF, lacking only the servos and speed control/receiver. In order for the P-51D to perform full aerobatics with only three channels, the model steers and therefore barrel rolls via ailerons only, operating via a single-servo push-pull system. The rudder is fixed in place.
Control surfaces have dual rate controls accessible via a toggle switch on the transmitter and may be switched during flight. Mode "A" reduces the throws making the airplane somewhat slower to respond but more forgiving for less experienced pilots. Mode "B" allows full throws and full responsiveness making the model much more challenging to fly. The factory recommends launching the P-51D on low rate regardless of pilot experience.
To keep the aerodynamics true to scale - and possibly to help keep the final cost down - the P-51D is a hand-launched "belly flopper," that is, lacking the retractable landing gear under the wing of the full-scale prototype. Creative modelers can add air-powered retracts in the prototype location, but this would require standard off-the-shelf radio gear replacing Horizon's proprietary system. It would also entail strengthening the wing with carbon fiber rods since the wing's inner skeleton is made entirely of foam. Because of the impact the wing is forced to endure because of the lack of an undercarriage, the thickness of its outer skin has been increased from 2mm to 5mm. Most older kits and replacement wings may still have 2mm skins, therefore an upgrade to the newer wing may require a special order on the part of the local hobby shop. Speed is factory rated at 40 mph (64 km/h) with the stock nickel metal hydride onboard battery pack.
A link to a Flying Model Simulator computer model may be found below.
Horizon lists the specifications for the P-51D as follows:
- Wingspan: 39.5 in / 1000mm
- Overall length: 34.0 in / 860mm
- Flying weight: 29.0 oz / 820g
- Motor size: RS-480 with 3:1 gearbox and ball bearing-supported propeller shaft
- Radio system: Proportional, three-channel FM
- Servos: Two removable five-wire servos useable with the original receiver in other Speed 370 or Speed 480-class electric aircraft
- Trim scheme: Silver, yellow and olive drab fuselage with black and white D-Day invasion stripes; U.S. Army Air Corps insignia and squadron identification; olive drab wing top and silver wing bottom also with invasion stripes
- Propeller size: 10 x 8, two blades
- Speed control: FET proportional ESC/receiver
- Recommended Battery: 9-cell 10.8V 1000mAh Ni-MH or 3-cell, 2100mAh li-po
- Aileron: Proportional
- Elevator: Proportional
- Rudder: None
- Throttle: Proportional via high-frequency FET switching
- Approximate flying duration: 15 minutes
- Approximate assembly time: 10-15 minutes
- Transmitter range: 2500 feet (762m)
- Available frequencies: All six normally available within the 27 MHz band
- Included charger: Variable rate DC peak charger capable of charging 5-10 cell Ni-MH or Ni-Cd batteries. This charger must never be used for charging lithium polymer batteries due to the risk of fire and explosion.
- Landing Gear: None
- Catalog number: PKZ1500