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.
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.
the components are secured in expanded polystyrene, to minimize
the chance of getting damaged during transportation.
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!
$189.99 Ready to fly
$119.99 Ready for receiver
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
29.5 in (750mm)
25.6 in (650mm)
w/Battery: 12.2-12.8 oz (345-365
600mAh 3S 11.1V LiPo (included with RTF,
500-600mAh 3S 11.1V LiPo required for RFR)
DC 3S 11.1V LiPo Balancing and AC adapter
(included with RTF, 3S 11.1V LiPo Balancing
required for RFR)
6-Channel 2.4GHz (included with RTF, 4+
channel required for RFR)
Electronics: Receiver (installed
in RTF, 4+ channel required for RFR), ESC
and 3 servos (installed in RTF and RFR)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
main landing gears simply snap into place, and can be
easily installed or removed at the field, depending on
the availability of the runway.
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.
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.
Ares Mustang P-51D 350
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.
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.