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  1. #1

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    Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Hey all,
    I got an original Byron P-51 mustang - the one peice wing design in November of 2007. It was kindof a trade deal and I got it for basically doing some work for the 2nd owner.
    Here is how it happened. I was working in my shop one day and a customer came in to have something done. He noticed all of the R/C planes in my shop and said that he has had a plane in his garage for 15 years or so. He said that he would never build it because he had no patience in that department and was never interested in airplanes anyway. In describing it, he just said that the fuselage was very big and green, there was some sort of "weed wacker" engine on it and it had alot of foam parts LOL! After he said that, I emediately started thinking, HMMMM, is it what I think it might be? I asked him what it was and he didn't know - he just said come over and take a look and if you think that it is worth it, we'll trade some work for it. So, after a phone call, my little son, Hunter and I went to his house. He opened the garage and my son and I went in. He went to the back of the garage and slid two big boxes out from under a shelf out to the middle of his garage, my son (10 years old at the time) screamed
    "It's a P-51 very loudly!!" I looked at my son thinking OOPPs I've been had! and just whisperedto him "SSSSHHHHHH." I said to the guy calmly, "Sure, I'll do the trade with ya." He said "OK" and we loaded up the truck and took this lovely beauty home.
    I have been building and flying models since I was 9 years old starting with the plastic models and then going to the stick buildup balsa kits, control line models and in 1981, when I was just 13, I got into R/C.
    The P-51 mustang has always been my favorite (as it is just about every aviation buff!!!) and I always dreamed of haveing a Byrons originals P-51 since I was very young. I obviously could never aford one back then because my hobby was always supported by myself working after school and during summer break in the orchards around where I lived.
    Now the plane is a Byron originals P-51 mustang with the byro drive unit installed. It was made in 1981 ( I think ) because the engine has 81 on the bottom of it. I am pretty sure that it is a quadra 35 because I don't beleive that they made the 40s and the 42s at that time for this plane. If someone else out there knows more, then please feel free to let me know. I haven't taken the engine out to see what mm the cylinder is yet but I am going to eventually have to take it out to install the muffler, at that time I can look into the exhaust port and see how many rings it has and measure the cylinder width.
    The kit was fairly beat up sitting in the garage and being handed down to the last owner. The foam wings were a bit beat up and the fuselage had some dents and warping from hot/cold fluctuations. The retracts were gone as were most of the hardware bags from robbing it for other projects I suppose. Some of the die cut parts were also missing but the sheets where the pieces came out of were still there - thank goodness! Also a wheel was missing. The good thing is that all of the very important components are still in the boxes.
    The first owner actually started building the wings. He got through about step 4 give or take a few other things that he did. That is the black or darker colored epoxy that you see in some of the pictures. He must have lost intrest or something because it was just put away to be subjected to hangar rash and the kit being pilfored for other projects for the next 25 years or so - untill it found a person to adopt and take care of it........
    Here are a couple of pictures of the wings before I started and you can see what was done before I started.
    Jeff
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    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  2. #2

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Here we go with some more cool stuff.
    When I got the kit, I told myself that I was not going to start on this project untill I got the trade work done first. That turned out to be a great thing because of the fact that I had to spend some time and "study the package" and also for my concience - I didn't want the customer to come in and see that I had the plane done BEFORE I got his stuff done ya see!!! His stuff was done last summer and I had alot of other projects to do since then but now I am ready to start on this baby!

    The reason I decided to do a build thread on this project is because of a couple of reasons (good ones I might add LOL!) One is that if I do this, I will be obligated to get it done in a reasonable ammount of time. Two, I will do a more meticulas job! Three, after looking for over a year for a build thread for this bird, there aren't any out there and I have really scoured the internet looking for one. 4. I hope to spark some intrest in others that have this beautiful and unique plane into starting their own and getting these "antique things of beauty" in the air!!!!!
    So, I got started today!!!


    Now there were alot of hardware parts missing in the box. That is ok, I just had to improvise. Yesterday, I went to serveral hardware stores to see if I could find any of the male/female ends that connect the ailerons to the wingtips and flaps because of course, there were none. But, I found some hardware that looked close to it. I found a product that would work, I thought for a few bucks, why not try it? so I purchased a couple of packages of them. Here is what they were. (the first image)[img][/img]

    Now obviously, I didn't need the glides themselves! I put them into a drawer somewhere and I just wanted the plastic elevation adjusters. I took them and drilled a 1/4" hole in the ends of them and used my belt sander to thin down the lip of them very thin. I inserted a 1/4" aluminum rod in one of them and glued it into the wingtip. I then did the other side. On the side where the aileron butts up against the flap, I inserted one there, snapped in the aileron, sanded everything down evenly and whala! done. I got the flaps, ailerons, wingtips with ailerons installed today. I was going to put the aileron/flap covers on today but I didn't have any 1/32 light ply to make them. Off to the Hobby shop tomorrow.
    Here are some pictures of my progress today. The first pic is the glides and the plasic elevators that I used. The second is the wingtip stud installed before sanding and the next two are of the completed aileron/flap assembly. Neat thing about this design is that it is strong, and can be taken apart if need be.
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    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  3. #3
    Wayne22's Avatar
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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Good luck with your project...I had one of those many, many years ago. Actually my son was around the same age as yours at the time. That P-51 always commanded respect and awe just sitting on the flightline - especially with that big 4 blade prop. It flew fantastically. It looked fabulous and realistic in the air - not supersonic as most folks tend to fly these days.

    When you looked at it closely, there were a lot of major deviations from scale..like waaaaaay out of proportion, but the funny thing is, that put together as a package, it just screamed "P-51" and "fly me!" Of all the models I have had, it was the closest to fulfilling the Walter Mitty dreams we all have....

    Enjoy the building, and the flying, and most importantly the shared time with your son!
    All I ask is for a chance to prove that money can\'t make me happy......

  4. #4

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Thanks Wayne,
    I am going to try to put a couple of hours per evening on it untill it is finished. If the weekends are cold, windy and rainy, I'll get extra time on it. It is little league baseball season once again so there will be alot of evenings that I will not be able to work on it. Baseball for the kids is very cool though and I do enjoy all of the times that I spend with my son - hence my call name Hunter and Jeff.
    At this time I am not going to give up what color sceme that I am going to put her in but it will be cool. Right now I need to order a cockpit kit, servos, batteries, Wheels, retractabe tail wheel, a new air tank and a PCM reciever not to mention most of the harware is missing.
    Special credit goes to Scot McCory from Colorado for donating a really nice set of retracts from his old crashed (what a bummer) Byron P-51. He just gave them to me for the cost of shipping. People like him in this hobby just makes it all the better - and it seems that in this hobby there are alot of folks like that because we are all talking about and doing the things that we like the most! Thanks, Scott!!!

    Back to the build.
    I have never glassed a wing before. I have read numerous threads on the subject in the last year. I have done numerous projects in the past where everything was silkspan and dope and I got really good at that before I discovered Monocoat! I am assuming that it is not any more difficult than applying silk and dope to a structure - except you use 30 minute finishing epoxy, polyurethane or fiberglass resin. Now I wouldn't use fiberglass resin on the foam because I heard that the MEK would melt it destroying the wings!
    Now I heard that the epoxy is the best because it is thicker, doesn't shrink when it sets and is more user freindly but is very hard, gummy and very difficult to sand. On the other hand, the Polyurethane is easier to sand, costs considerably less, but it takes alot more coats of it to fill all of the glass cloth and low spots. Is there a new epoxy out there that is easier to sand? If so, I will use that.
    Comments are very welcome.
    Jeff
    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  5. #5

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Don't use 30 min epoxy to glass with. Use epoxy finishing reisin.

  6. #6

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Jeff, since I built my new P-51, I've discovered Aerospace Composite Products E-Z Lam laminating resin. It sands a lot easier then finishing resin and much easier to work with. However it is much slower to cure, especialy in cooler temps. Good to hear you're FINALLY starting on this bird! I'll be following your build here. I won't reveal your color scheme It will be nice seeing something different than the usual schemes everyone seems to do.

    Scott

  7. #7

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Thanks, Scott. Glad you found this thread! I'll check into that laminating system. I just got back from the hobby shop and I did end up getting some of the Z poxy finishing epoxy. Still don't know if I am going to use it though. That step is about a week away yet. I got hinges, more plywood for the hinge covers etc,etc,etc.
    Jkpape,
    Yes you are right. I ment to say finishing epoxy resin LOL. I still need to finish the build and then I will worry about the finishing. All I know is that I want the plane to look like it just came off of the show room floor - no weathering, no making it look like it has been in many battles etc. I see many P-51s out there that were meticulasly finished and had many hours on them to do a killer paint job, then spend many more hours chipping all of the paint off to make them look "weathered". To most, that looks really cool, but I just want something different.
    Stay tuned Yall!
    Jeff
    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  8. #8

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Today I had to cut out the aileron / flap covers. Not too hard just really time consuming to get them perfect. While I was at cutting light ply by hand I cut out the elevator / stabilizer covers and the spar covers too. I just really took my time and I used a piece of aluminum that was 1/4" X 2" X 44" long (straight stock) that I bought at a typical hardware store. It is really good for drawing long straight lines and has the weight so it doesn't move around much when you put side pressure on it while cutting with the Xacto knife. I thought about cutting this stuff with my bandsaw but it wouldn't have been as straight an accurate so I just did it the old fashoned way - elbow grease and the patience of an oyster!!!! LOL. I got them all finished and they fit like a glove. Whoo hoo!
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    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  9. #9

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    After cutting them out, I did a temorary test fit by taping them onto the wing. They seemed like they fit great. I cut the stringers to size and glued them on all of the covers. The insrtuctions say to glue the stringers back away from the trailing edge aprox 1/4" but I felt that wasn't enough so I backed them off another 1/16" or so. Now it was time to glue the top aileron/flap covers on and let them set up. The directions say to glue the top cover on, install the aileron then to glue the bottom cover on. I wanted to be able to take the ailerons out for finishing and painting so I didn't. I got all of the covers glued on and the left wing aileron was perfect. Assembled easily and fit great. Hmmmm, the right wing - well crap, the covers were too close together and the stringers that were inside of the covers were not backed off enough! When the aileron was moved up or down, the stinger would catch it, stopping the aileron. I should have backed the stringer off even more. DRAT. After some trimming, beveling of the stringers, and a bit of sanding, It eventually went on well. Upon inspection, the plastic tab that holds the inside of the aileron with the plastic bearing was not put into the wing straight by the original owner. I was able to fix that and it is a tight fit now, but later I will be sanding for the finish work and will make all of the parts fit evenly with a bit of a gap between the surfaces to compensate for the thickness in the glassing.
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    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  10. #10
    GSNut's Avatar
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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Memories..................!!

    Please don't let this detour your build or your love of this great model. This comment is not ment to kill your enthusium ! Just trying to help in anyway I can as I would love to have one of Byron Orginials P-51s !

    A flying buddy and I were thinking back just the other day....

    Byron retracts.... hummm " When Byron first came out with the P-51 the retracts were spring loaded to retract but used air to extend.. Sounds allright, except while flying they had a tendency to hang out of the wheel wells on positive manuvers.... due to the weight of the gear which was about 13 to 14 ozs. per each.
    The air storage cylinder it self was a plastic bottle very similar to a soda bottle of 1 liter ? Caution it was esp. blow molded type and not of the standard soda bottle type. Most used about 100 to 125 lbs. air psi. to activate the gear.

    Not to fret though as Byron came out with a fix for the gear thing.
    The second generation retracts incorporated the fix in the kit.

    First Generation Fix !

    #1 use a dremel and grind out the uplock blocking webb in the cam lock plate.
    #2 Replace the single action air cylinder with a double action air cylinder.
    #3 Replace the single action air valve with their double action air valve.
    #4 Add the required air lines..
    This will cure the hanging gear of the Byron P-51

    Haunt the Auctions and the Club Sales and you should come up with the retracts for it.

    BTW: A Bryon P-51 Display Model is for sale on E Bay (Gas Powered) right now....Never flowen By Arizona Models... his min. bid is about $650.00
    And another used and in tough shape ! Last bid today is $ 450.00 or there about?

    Keep building and keep us posted on your progress, It will be great when done.


    Cheers

    GSNUT

    Doug in Denver
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    IMAA 345 AMA 17566 EAA 213982

  11. #11

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    While I never built or flew a Byron kit, I always wanted one. I came close to ordering several times, but school clothes or something like that always got in the way. What I do remember about them was that while they did fly nicey when the engine was running, they didn't glide worth $0.02 when the engine quit running - which happened more often than you want to think about. For that reason, I would have the engine worked on by RCIgnitions and converted to EI and test run to get the most reliability possible. The way I look at it is you have a classic, you are going to spend a bunch of time and $$ to get it to the field, you need to pay for a little 'insurance' with the engine to make sure it runs and runs good. I have held off building a Zirolli P40 for about 20 years - but will start one next winter which will powered by a DA-85.

    Dan

  12. #12

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    One of these P-51 Mustangs is a Byron kit, Tim Cardin who built this one is also flying it in this video!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgksFTcZMIM

    Enjoy!

    Six

  13. #13

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    The byron was the Man 0' War? Too bad it didn't have the reduction drive system in it. I thought it was going in on the takeoff and landing! Coolest vid ever - Thanks.
    GSnut, I have retracts for my plane already and they are air up, spring down. They were graciously given to my by Scott McCory from Colorado. In the directions it does say to block the tab that locks them into the up position. I can see though, that if you don't have enought air in your tank that they might sag. Also I am going to be using a different air tank than original. Don't really want the plastic?
    The plane is a bit on hold right now, waiting for some crucial parts. After that I'll get right to it.
    I am putting two servos in the wings for the ailerons - what in.oz. have some of you used on this plane? I was told that it doesn't take much cause it doesn't fly that fast. The originals used one standard servvo for both ailerons but those planes were going in due to servo failure and sticking linkage. I was thinking mg 55 in.oz. min?
    Jeff
    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  14. #14
    GSNut's Avatar
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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    ORIGINAL: HUNTERANDJEFF

    GSnut, I have retracts for my plane already and they are air up, spring down. They were graciously given to my by Scott McCory from Colorado. I am going to be using a different air tank than original. Don't really want the plastic?
    I am putting two servos in the wings for the ailerons - what in.oz. have some of you used on this plane? I was told that it doesn't take much cause it doesn't fly that fast. The originals used one standard servvo for both ailerons but those planes were going in due to servo failure and sticking linkage. I was thinking mg 55 in.oz. min?
    Jeff

    That's great news on getting the retracts and a good choice on the air reserve tank. I never did like the plastic ones.

    As far as the servos anymore its almost a personal choice... Although I use Hitec HS 645MG in all my GS aircraft to 85 in. wing span unless very high speeds are reached. The Hitec HS 645MG specs are as:
    Torque: 106.93 oz-in at 4.8V (7.7 kg-cm) And 133.31 oz-in at 6.0V (9.6 kg-cm) I also run 6 Volt DC at 2300 MA Nicad pack and find no servo stall at high speeds.

    Had a experience with elevator servo stall during a hi-speed pull out with a G-62 powered Air Tech Eagle after a rather large loop. (Puts your heart in your throat) I did get a successful pullout on throttle down and a more gentle elevator. Thats when I learned redundancy. Am going to even larger GS Servos when I complete my 102 in. Saxon / Steed P-51 Mustang which will have the inline twin 100 for power.

    Your choice on those servos of course !!

    Cheers

    GSNUT
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    Doug in Denver
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    IMAA 345 AMA 17566 EAA 213982

  15. #15

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Yes ManO'War is the Byron, that take-off was not typical from that plane. It only happens when you have a camera pointed at it


    Six

  16. #16
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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Hey J, about time
    ( he says as he thinks about his Typhoon 1B, half done, sitting under a tarp )
    I have some extra stuff kicking around if you want. Willing to trade you for beer or 2.
    Robart air tank and lines.
    Robart air pump w/ gauge.
    Think there is a air up/down main valve kicking around too.
    Couple of main wheels w/ alum hubs & oleo struts if they will work for you?
    All new stuff.
    I'll snap some pic's this week and measurements. They might be too small for the Byron.

    Glenn
    \"Hey Honey! Look what I bought\"
    Club Saito 636
    Glenn

  17. #17

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Hey Glenn,
    If they are too small for the Byron I can always use them for something else LOL! Email me some pics and we can do some business if you'd like. You'll have to trade for at leat 10 bruskies though!!!
    Aren't you going to use all of that stuff in your Typhoon? Can't wait to see that one! I did find out what plastic that was that I used on those little 1 1/2" bubble canopies. It took alot to convince the guy that I wasn't interested in doing the same thing with the plastic as he was ( he thought that I was trying to steal his business!) but he did finally tell me the manufacturer and the grade of the plasic and now I can buy it in any sized sheet I want. It works perfectly for canopies and other vaccum molding things without doing the shrinky dink or tearing thing.

    Sorry this went dead for a while guys.
    I had to gather some very important parts to start building again and now I have them. All I need to get is a large airtank, fuel tank, servos cockpit kit - yall know - the piddley stuff. Anyway, I needed one hold down cone for the wings and I just couldn't locate one so I made a mold of the original, let the silicone set up for the entire weekend, then today demolded it and it looked ok. So, I then mixed up some fiberglass resin (about an ounce) mixed it HOT (17 drops of MEK) put some very fine fiberglass chop in there for strength and to thicken it a bit. Then I waited for a bit to where it was just about to go through it's first heat (gel stage) then poured some in the mold making sure that the fiberglass chop was in there too. I continually moved it around untill it jelled. I then inserted the aluminum hold down cone inside and just brushed the resin up and up untill it started to set. This entire process of molding the cone took about 10 minutes. after that I just let it be for about 2 hours. I wanted to de-mold it while the fiberglass was still a little bit pliable and POP! it came out of the mold without any damage and was great. I let the new cone completely cure and then sanded it down a bit and it is the exact same size and weight as the original. Cool, I don't have to do another one. I will get pictures out to you guys on that project soon.
    Now that the last cone is made, I can proceed with the build.
    Jeff
    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  18. #18

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Hi jeff good luck with your build. i just finish my build with the same p-51. but looking for one of belt drive for my.one have a small cut it keeping me form fly it. if anybody have a set or one of this belt please let i'll buy it. this is a very kool looking plane went finish.

  19. #19

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Iron bay has those belts for you. I think that they are about $15 bucks apiece but I'm not sure. If they don't have any, you can get the number of the belt from them and you can purchase one on line or maybe get one from your local belt and bearing guy. Good luck on your maiden and make sure that you film it! Not too many videos of flight on this plane. I know I will video my maiden and many flights after if there are any LOL!
    Jeff
    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  20. #20

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    The belts are Gates 5M450 PolyFlex. I had my local auto parts store order me a set. Any parts store that sells Gates should be able to order them for you.

    Scott

  21. #21

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    thank you guys for the infor.let your know how it went. went i get this belts for maiden fly jr.

  22. #22

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Hi Guys
    Had a question from GSNUT's post in March about replacing air cylinders on the first gen retracts. Just picked up a old first gen model partially build and it has single action air cylinders. Has anyone found a good sorce for dual action cylinders? I am finishing up a plug in wing version and have been trying to get parts form Iron Bay since Christmas, with no luck. Another soarce would be good.
    Thanks Mike
    P-38 Lightning Brotherhood #1
    P-51 Mustang Brotherhood #51

  23. #23

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Gratz on your find...hope it all turns out well. I actually have a Byron P-51 also. It is not the full wing model and has the plug in wings. I believe I got this model around 1996 and its just been waiting for me to build it. I've done parts of it over the years but alway get side tracked. Mine has the Mustang engine with the muffler canister that is used as the mount also. Seeing you starting on one makes me want to get mine out and start working again. I should have everything I need (retracts, motor, air system, etc), and I think I've been very careful over the years to not lose any parts during my many home moves.

    Good luck with your project!
    Rodney
    AMA L506

  24. #24

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Hey Rodney,
    Now that's what I'm taking about! This is why I got this thread going. To get people like you to bring out and complete this beautiful and very unique (byro drive with 4 bladed prop) out and start building, finishing and flying (and of course taking flight videos!) of this very special plane (bird). I hope your build goes well and we all can help each other out here on ideas and different building/finishing techniques.
    I will start building again next week. My plane has to be completed by September 1st of this year. Ready? Set, GO!
    Jeff
    Jeff
    The only yard sales I go to is when I pick up my plane from all over the runway!!!!
    Revver bro #191

  25. #25

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    RE: Building the original Byron P-51 Mustang

    Here is a picture of my BYRON P-51 I have been flying it off and on for the past 10 yrs. It is the BIG Beautiful Doll. I also have another newer kit of the P-51 with the reduction unit and the Quadra 42, the one I'am flying has the Quadra 40 . I tacked it the other day and she is turning approx. 3000 rpm. If you have any questions that I may help you with feel free to e-mail me.


    thanks bob
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    p40bob


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