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Jerry Bates P-51B Build "Hell Yes Let's Go!!!"

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Old 01-10-2017, 08:04 AM
  #226  
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:00 AM
  #227  
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I finally got some time to work on mine, here are pics. All airframe construction is finished, Control surfaces are built and finish sanded ready for covering, Horizontal stab glassed and fitted, painted silver as is the fulll scale BettyJane. The DA 60 mounting is done and all internal fuse bulkheads carboned in place.

After building the wing I discovered an error in the wing root rib's location, the leading edge is about 1/4 inch to the right, too late to correct. The wing was built on the plans, so the error must be in the original plan's drawings. Irritating but I compensated during the wing mounting to the fuse, then sanded to fit. It all measures square so it is a minor beef. The glass fuse is a precision fit at the wing saddles, better than all of the ARFs I have owned so far. The vertical and horizontal stabs align square to the wing. I reinforced a lot of the parts installed already.

Since the wing will be glassed I didn't add anything to it except make the entire gear installation removable for future repairs. (bad landings, I ain't perfect). The entire retract control system is in the gear wells, only the tail gear is in the fuse with its own air valve and servo. It has two large air bottles in the fuse, only one air line to connect the wing. I used a 5 servo connector to connect the wing to the fuse radio, one connector to deal with at the field. As soon as I get this one flying I will dump the Top flights and all the parts I have on hand for them and order another JB Mustang, when I have the second plane flying I will dump the H9 Mustang too.

Any one building the glass fuse version should buy the compete wood kit, not the glass wood kit, which lacks a lot of fuse parts needed for the glass fuse. I am having to make fuse parts off the plans. I plan to have this plane flying during the summer.





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Old 03-29-2018, 07:16 PM
  #228  
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Hi Propwashed. Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to photograph your build, it really helps as I am a visual learner. I am about to rebuild a P51 which was a through away by a friend. I really enjoy building and watching your build has been a great tutorial. Looking forward to seeing you complete it as well as the maiden. All the best from Down Under. Mal
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Old 04-01-2018, 10:49 PM
  #229  
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I was going through my supply of parts and materials looking for suitable stuff to make the outer gear doors from. I lucked out finding three sets still in the bags of molded fiberglass doors left over from earlier TF models. I guess I used the same set of doors on each new plane that replaced crashed planes. They are the exact size needed for the new plane, will save me many hours of work. It took about an hour to hinge the first door. the airfoil type is slightly off but almost unnoticeable. And on the wing bottom, will not be detectable. The TF planes don't use inner gear doors so I can't get those from that source, but the JB P51B plane's gear door is only slightly curved and is easy to make from air ply. It is too bad the TF gear door set is a part of the replacement wing set, too expensive for just the doors.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:41 AM
  #230  
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Posting some pictures of the Top Flight ARF P51D outer gear doors being installed on the JB P51B wing.

After deciding to do this, the actual mods and installation of the l/h door took a couple of hours.
The air ply gear panels will have balsa sheet glued on to make the final shaping and sanding easy.



My design requirement is to make the whole retract installation accessible for adjustment and possible
bad landing repair. The part that is most often damaged is the ply mount that the gear frame is attached to, in this wing I made the actual gear mount a a ply plate mounted under the main mount. When I cut these pieces, I made extras, all from one piece that was supposed to fit both sides of the wing, Unfortunately, the wing plans are slightly different left to right. I could put the piece in the left side as cut, but it had to be slightly trimmed to fit the right wing. A minor irritation. I make several spares to fit the left wing then a couple more are modified to fit the right wing. Each spare is fitted to its wing, then the first piece actually installed for each side is used as a pattern to drill the screw holes.

If, as has happened at an event, I damage a gear frame and its ply mount, I can swap out the damaged parts for the spares I carry. These ply mount plates are screwed to massive hardwood blocks built into the gear wells. In the past, a ground loop would typically bend an outer strut tube, the gear frame might be bent or even cracked, and the wood screws be pulled. I always had spare gear parts, but if the wood mounts were damaged, my flying was over for that trip. This set up spreads the gear stress over a larger part of the wing structure, hopefully the damage will be limited to the gear and mount plates.

Since I started doing this type of repairable gear mount in my TF and H9 P51 models, I haven't had a single ground loop. I don't think my flying has improved, I give credit to a redesigned tail wheel retract gear and its mount, that actually prevents a ground loop as it tries to happen. This mod has worked for both fixed and retractable TW gear. The stock TF TW is designed to make a ground looping tendency worse, especially in crosswinds. Now, I do have to make steering inputs during TO and LDG, but it never tries to get away from me. All tail draggers are unstable in yaw on the ground unless the designer lengthens the rear fuse and increases fin and rudder area much larger than scale. I set the tailwheel castor and axle location to cancel side forces. The main wheels in the pictures are 5 inch, and will be changed to 5.5 inch before flight.

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Old 04-02-2018, 03:30 AM
  #231  
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Nice project!!
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:53 PM
  #232  
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I made some more progress on the build, here are some pics. In the first two you can see the engine cooling baffles in their final configuration. Notice the baffle/gasket between the cylinder and the exhaust manifold. My brother has already used this in his Spitfire and reports it works good in that application. The baffle's purpose is to separate the radiated heat from the muffler, keeping it away from the cylinder just long enough for it (the heated air) to be behind the cylinder, and on its way out of the engine compartment before it can transfer any heat to the cylinder. Most of the chin scoop intake air is directed at the exhaust side of the cowling. Two more vertical baffles will be added behind the muffler to guide hot air out through an exhaust vent I will cut in the rear of the glass engine cover. This extra baffling has not been necessary in my two H9 Mustangs, but this new James Bates Mustang's engine compartment is long and has areas where stagnant air pockets might cause restrictions to air flow and build up of heat that can result in vapor lock. There is an open space under the exhaust manifold that is necessary for easy installation of the left hand baffle, another small piece will be added after the engine's final installation, but before the muffler is installed.

All of these baffles are keyed into grooves and slots with wood blocks to restrict movement in flight, they are captured by the cowing, and each is retained by a single wood screw into hardwood blocks. Foam insulating tape will seal all of the edges to prevent hot air leaks from going were they are not wanted. Sorry for the plain appearance of the airframe, it has always been my practice to get my scale planes into test flight and work out the flight trim and any problems that show up during the first twenty or so flights, then I begin adding the scale detail and squadron markings after each subsequent flying session.

I got tired of spending a lot of time finishing the plane first, then losing it to some unpredictable cause. I transfer engine and radio equipment that came from my current flyable Mustang, all new, flight tested, and broken in, into a new plane to ensure reliability. Just loading a new airframe with brand new equipment will not guarantee reliability, I have lost several planes on their first day to manufacturing defects in new flight pack components and to engines that shut off suddenly on takeoff. Since switching to DA engines my reliability has been nearly 100%, the only exception was caused by a spark plug insulator with a split that allowed arcing to ground and a misfire.

The airframe with a completed wing and all equipment bolted on the the fuse with covered tail surfaces and the engine and muffler installed balances on the CG and weighs 18 pounds. Adding the fuselage radio equipment , fuel, air systems, and finish should gross around 24 pounds. My H9 Mustangs both came out at 27 lbs 5 oz.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:23 PM
  #233  
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Some more progress, knocking them down as they come up. Invented a nose weight solution. Plane is almost ready to fly, still lots of detail to do as the test flights are completed. I usually plan on 20-30 flights for test and adjustment, then it will get a cockpit and detailing in the gear doors. This Mustang is my best project so far, if it is as much fun to fly as it was to build it will be the plane I wanted 65 years ago. And it is all good quality wood using REAL glue, no ARF stuff in this one.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:51 PM
  #234  
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Looking pretty good
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:10 PM
  #235  
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Thanks, I finally found the kill decals, put them on this afternoon. I will do another engine run tomorrow, and some shimming of the right landing gear to make the strut vertical. Then it is ready for first flight. Some of the squadron markings are in the mail.

Had to add 1 lb. of lead for the cg., weighs 26 lbs. now. I will do dzus fasteners on the engine cowls, but Mustangs had flush riveting on most of the panels, ground flush and sanded and filled, so no visible rivets on operational planes except for repairs that were improperly done. Only planes that were completely stripped of all paint and filler show rivets. Sunken rivet heads were NEVER used, and the only raised rivets were the high shear huck-bolts used to close the main fuel tank bottom panels under the wing.

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Old 11-10-2018, 06:00 AM
  #236  
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Some more progress pictures of the wing equipment installation. The fiberglass strut doors have molded reinforcement inner panels, not adequate to prevent flutter, they blow off in flight at relatively low speeds, necessary to add stiffeners. All individual retract mounting parts are standardized, I carry replacements to repair damage at the field. So far I have not had to use them. After I finish adding detail and weathering it will get a coat of semi-gloss clear to lock in the appearance.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:14 AM
  #237  
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I used a EMS/Jomar gear door controller after two others I bought from HK and another Hobby outlet were DOA. I don't think the Jomar controller is currently available, but they WORK. Since retiring my H9 Mustang for battle fatigue I have lots of equipment for this plane.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:12 AM
  #238  
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Steve, which semi-gloss clear are you planning to use?
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:17 PM
  #239  
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I am going to use Rust-oleum satin clear so I can be sure it is compatible with the primer/silver I have already sprayed. So far, I like this paint, it looks like it is too thin when first sprayed but the flakes lay down nicely giving good coverage. One problem to avoid is runs, they have to be wiped off before they dry or they dry too slowly and get gummy. Hard to remove until completely dry, taking a week or more before they can be sanded off. Thin coats applied slightly wet work best, each coat can be sanded the next day, and the paint sands nicely with 320 grit finished with 4 ought steel wool to buff the shine off. Wiping with a tack rag removes the sanding dust leaving a whitish weathered look similar to actual planes in combat. Because it is primer also, defects can be filled and touched up, then sanded smooth before the next coat. Repairs blend in nicely.

A long time ago I did a jet with a similar finish that looked natural after the satin clear was applied, if it shines too much the gloss can be modified by buffing with the fine steel wool. You want SOME shine, just not too much. The Rustoleum seems to be mostly evaporating off, I used 5 cans so far, but the plane only gained one pound of gross weight. In sunlight it looks opaque but shining a really bright light inside the fuse you can see the light through the fiberglass and paint. I want a light finish for better performance and this is fine in the day light. The bright light doesn't show through both sides of the fuse so I am going with this stuff. Previous use of Topflite silver gives excellent coverage, and looks good but most of what is in the can stays on the plane for much higher weight gain. When buffing with steel wool I only wipe in one direction so it appears to be natural metal grain like real aluminum panels.

I considered doing an aluminum undercoat but don't want extra weight in the end. Besides, aluminum paint never looks like real aluminum on models. I wiped the glass fuse with acetone to remove mold release wax but the fuse has areas of too much mold release that when wiped leave pinholes to fill. The worst areas are the fiber glass windows that I painted flat black, full of pin holes but I will remove the windows later to install the canopy windows and cockpit. In hind sight it would have been better to use a stronger solvent to remove all of the mold release wax, when the spray paint solvents hit the mold release wax the two mix, producing fish-eyes that will not accept paint. Fortunately, these have been small areas to deal with.

I also applied metal panels to simulate the stainless engine cowling panels around the scale exhaust, these panels need simulated dzus fasteners that can be applied with a sharpened brass tube to make the circles and the slots with a jewelers screwdriver. I want to avoid the look of deep rivet holes on all the panels, P 51s in service never had deep rivets showing. North American stressed that the plane's skin should be smooth for best performance at high speeds. If you like rows of rivets showing on your model, do a P 40, ALL of the rivets show on Curtis products, and they were slow in combat. The same applies to Grumman planes.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:55 PM
  #240  
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Thanks for the info Steve.
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