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P - 51, Retractable gear or not?

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Old 02-08-2006, 03:13 PM
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David Shaffer
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Default P - 51, Retractable gear or not?

Hello RCU !

I just bought a set of plans from Model Airplane News for a 74" span P - 51. I plan on building this from scratch. I also have a chance to get a set of Robart Retractable landing gear for it at a reasonable price. I would like to know what others think about retractable landing gear. Should I put them in or not? I think it would really be neat to have them installed and operational. I have heard quite a few people say they are nothing but trouble. What do you think? any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated !

Thanks!

David
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Old 02-08-2006, 03:38 PM
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Default RE: P - 51, Retractable gear or not?

Just my opinion but any WWII fighter that DOESN'T have retractable gear is really missing something. It just doesn't look right flying through the air with the gear legs down.
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Old 02-08-2006, 04:05 PM
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Richard L.
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Default RE: P - 51, Retractable gear or not?

It's a sin to fly a Mustang with the gear hanging down. In fact, it's a disgrace. When setup right, retractable gear will provide years of service, provided that you are competent at landing a warbird. I rarely have issues with any of my retracts. Check out the videos on my website.
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Old 02-08-2006, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: P - 51, Retractable gear or not?

Agreed.....A P-51 without retracts is just a silly toy!
If you know how to land a fighter, they will last a long, long time!
Remember: Elevator controls attitude. Throttle controls rate of descent!
Pilots who have problems with retracts are typically the ones that think a throttle stick is a toggle switch and rudder is for ground handling only.
Install them to withstand rough landings. Always do a preflight inspection. They will last for years!
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Old 02-09-2006, 12:48 AM
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Default RE: P - 51, Retractable gear or not?

Well, you know...

I used to think that EVERY warbird I would ever have WOULD HAVE retracts, no matter what size it was, from Cox .049 powered jobs to 1/4 scale gas-burners. But after flying for a few years, I have relaxed my opinions about them. Consider; when you are flying by at 90 mph, you are concentrating on flying the plane, you don't really stop and think 'Boy, that sure looks dumb with the wheels hanging down!'. It's really not that obvious while the plane is flying anyway. Also, retracts are an additional expense that you're going to have to pay. It's not so bad with .40-sized mechanicals, but the bigger the plane, the more they cost! And it's another system that you will have to install, maintain, and repair from time to time. Another aggrevating thing to check and adjust before you take off. And another thing to consider is that they add weight to an already heavily wing-loaded airplane.

I can just hear all the warbird guys grinding their teeth![:@]

OK! The other side...

It sure looks cool when the plane lifts off the runway and the gear tuck up into the wing! Do that low pass down the runway and peel off just as it goes past you... there's the bottom with the wheels set into the wing, right where they should be! And once you get used to working on them, it's not that difficult to check them and keep them working right. I have both mechanical and air-powered gear that have worked quite well for years. And the cost? Well, we're not in this sport to save money! I usually tell new students that model airplane flying is a big hole you throw money into. It's just one of the things you accept when you take on warbirds!

So, there you are. It's up to the individual to balance the pros and cons and decide...

BTW, I have 4 warbirds with retracts, and 3 without. They range from .40 size to .91 size and of various scale accuracy. Most fly well (one is a real brick!) [8D]
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Old 02-09-2006, 09:28 AM
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Default RE: P - 51, Retractable gear or not?

I'm with the others on this.

A Mustang without retracts is just wrong.

Yes, retracts can be a PIA, but they look so damn cool that it's worth the extra effort!
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Old 02-09-2006, 09:38 AM
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Default RE: P - 51, Retractable gear or not?

Don’t overlook the tail wheel. On the P-51D it retracts forward.
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