RCU Review: Ares P-51D Mustang 350


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    Contributed by: Laurent Caekebeke | Published: April 2014 | Views: 22554 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Wings Maker DF032

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    If we were to measure the popularity of the warbird by the number of RC scale reproductions, it would clearly rank among the preferred fliers. In this category, the Mustang P-51 is likely to be one of the most popular planes of all times, especially its D variant model, with the water-drop shaped canopy.

    Ares, the airborne model division of the Firelands Group, has recently extended its offering in parkflier airplanes with the addition of the Mustang P-51D 350. The plane is designed as an entry model to the warbird world, including great scale features without compromising flight capacity. Warbirds are notoriously heavy and tend to be a handful during landings, which luckily is not the case for Ares' Mustang, as it is molded out of EPO making it both lightweight and resilient.

    The Ares' Mustang P-51D comes in two versions: one is receiver ready, and one is ready-to-fly (RTF) including the transmitter. Today we are testing the latter.


    The model comes in an attractive box that showcases the plane in flight. The box can double as a transportation and storage container if the pilot does not mind removing the wings and tail after each flight.


    All the components are secured in expanded polystyrene, to minimize the chance of getting damaged during transportation.

    The kit is complete, including all airplane components: the radio, the battery charger, the batteries (both for the plane and transmitter), landing gear, and two propellers. The four-blade propeller is often considered less efficient than a conventional propeller but undeniably very good looking!
    Manufacturer Information
    Price:
    $189.99 Ready to fly
    $119.99 Ready for receiver


    Description: 

    The Ares? [air-eez] P-51D Mustang 350 is a park flyer size scale model of the venerable North American P-51D Mustang.  Our version of the classic warbird includes a variety of scale details that will make you proud to show it off to your friends, along with other practical features like main landing gear that can be installed and removed without the use of tools and a steerable tailwheel for improved ground handling.  It even includes both two-blade and four-blade propellers and matching spinners so you can choose your preference between scale looks and flight performance.


    Specifications:

    • Wingspan: 29.5 in (750mm)
    • Length: 25.6 in (650mm)
    • Weight w/Battery: 12.2-12.8 oz (345-365 g)
    • Battery: 600mAh 3S 11.1V LiPo (included with RTF, 500-600mAh 3S 11.1V LiPo required for RFR)
    • Charger: DC 3S 11.1V LiPo Balancing and AC adapter (included with RTF, 3S 11.1V LiPo Balancing required for RFR)
    • Transmitter: 6-Channel 2.4GHz (included with RTF, 4+ channel required for RFR)
    • On-Board Electronics: Receiver (installed in RTF, 4+ channel required for RFR), ESC and 3 servos (installed in RTF and RFR)




    Ares has also included a spare motor and a spare ESC.

    All servos and control lines come installed, and the motor and ESC are mounted and wired in place. This setup guarantees a short assembly time, leaving us with more time for flying fun!




    The plane has many details incorporated to scale; for instance, the molded guns included on the wings. The ailerons are hinged directly by bending the foam, as commonly done on parkflier model. The wings are nicely strengthened with what appears to be plywood for the main spar, and carbon tube on the ailerons.




    The control horns are already installed on the control surfaces, which is a great feature, as the owner will not have to fiddle with the alignment of these components.

    The RTF includes a 6-channel 2.4ghz transmitter. The Mustang only requires 4 channels to operate, and the extra two channels are not used with this model.

    The transmitter is basic in its functionality and does not include some of the features that we are often accustomed to in other transmitters like the dual rates or the exponential, but works perfectly with a parkflier such as the Mustang. Two switches drive the 5th and 6th channels of the transmitter. There is no model memory, so the transmitter is likely to be dedicated to one single model in your fleet.




    In the RTF version of the Mustang, the assembly of the plane is brief, only taking a few hours, as the manufacturer has already done all the critical assembly and setting. The only thing left to the user is to assemble the stabilizer and the wing to the fuselage, which requires no glue.

    I recommend to double check all throws with the radio connected (and the propeller removed), and compare to the setting in the manual. I found the left aileron to have a significantly reduced throw in comparison to the right aileron.



    The main landing gears simply snap into place, and can be easily installed or removed at the field, depending on the availability of the runway.


    The Mustang P-51D 350 comes with two propellers, and two spinners. Since one of the propellers has four blades and the other has two, the spinners have to be matched with their respective propeller. The installation is easy for both, and only requires a single wrench.

    The provided battery charger is sized to the battery, and will charge the 600mAh 3-cell battery in around one hour at .5A.







    The very nice thing about parkfliers the size of the Mustang, is that they fit in their entirely, ready-to-fly, in virtually any car, which makes the preparation to the fly that much shorter. The Ares Mustang has a hatch under the fuselage where the battery fits tightly, which is a nice feature that allows switching the battery easily.

    For our first flight, the Mustang P-51D 350 is equipped with the four-bladed propeller and the landing gear. The plane is easy to taxi to position, despite light wind. The tail wing, coupled to the rudder, does a fine job at orienting the plane. The power to the engine is gradually increased, while the pressure on the elevator is reduced, to let the tail lift off the ground. The takeoff happens almost immediately after.

    The first flight is used to get the plane trimmed correctly, which made me realize that I hadn't used a mechanical-trim radio for a long time! It might not be common any more, but it is none-the-less effective, and the plane is quickly set for a straight flight behavior. A series of passes at different speeds confirms that Ares correctly set the down thrust on the engine.

    The plane has been trimmed; it is time to see what this little warbird can do! The throttle is pushed to the max, and the plane starts to have more of the attitude of a pursuit plane: straight trajectory and long turns (relatively speaking, as this is still a parkflier). The controls feel evenly sensitive for all axis. The roll rate is approximately one turn in less than a second at full throw, which makes the Mustang look more like a small racer than a warbird! To keep the roll on its axis, some rudder and elevator inputs are required.

    The four-blade propeller is more than enough to enjoy the Mustang P-51D, but I wondered what additional advantage the two-blade propeller would bring to this flying envelope. To test the "speed" version of the plane, in addition to installing the more-efficient two-blade propeller, we removed the landing gear and hand launched the plane.

    The hand launch is made easy by the venting scoop located underneath the wing, which greatly helps with the handling of the plane. A simple toss is all that is required to get the plane airborne. The speed is notably higher in this configuration, and the Mustang is more at ease on the vertical climb, with the only limitation being the pilot's line of sight.

    Landing without the landing gear needs to be performed on grass. The maneuver is simplified by the low-speed capability of the plane. The pilot just has to bring the model with the wing leveled at reduced power, then cut the power and flare when the plane is sufficiently close to the ground. Performing this maneuver on a hard surface will quickly wear the underside of the fuselage; hence, the importance of grass.

    The classic landing on the main wheels turns out to be a little more challenging, and it requires practice to master. The wheels stick forward from the leading edge of the wings, and therefore are at quite a distance of the CG. The landing gears have little flexibility, and when the wheels touch the ground, the plane tends to rotate its nose up, changing the angle of attack in the process. The new wing angle in comparison to the wind generates some extra lift, which causes the plane to leave the ground. Getting the plane to land with no bouncing is doable, but it will take some practice. The speed and the flare have to be just right. Landing on short grass will help greatly, as the rigidity of the landing gears is compensated by the softness of the ground.

    The remote provided with the plane feels comfortable, and I liked the tight springs used on the sticks. That makes the neutral position easier to feel under the fingers.






    The Ares Mustang P-51D 350









    With the Mustang P-51D, Ares offers an enjoyable plane perfect to enter the parkflier-warbird category. This new addition to their fleet not only flies well but also looks good, which is equally important! The plane can fly both fast and tight, or slow and realistic, depending on the pilot's mood.

    I don't know which version (RTF or receiver-ready) will have the most success. The radio provided with the plane is well fitted for the application but does not offer features that would make a user willing to keep it as the main radio for all other planes. As the Mustang P-51D is not a beginner plane, its audience are pilots which in the majority of cases with already have a radio. 

    The Mustang P-51D 350 by Ares is definitely a fun plane to own, and will be a joy to fly during the long summer evenings.






    Pictures and videos were shot at:
    http://www.bayoucityflyers.com/


    Comments on RCU Review: Ares P-51D Mustang 350

    Posted by: kaan on 08/23/2014
    Holy shit this is a good resource I just found. Great review!
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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