RCU Review: Hangar 9 P-51 Mustang PTS


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    Contributed by: Mike Buzzeo | Published: April 2006 | Views: 95431 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    Review by: Mike Buzzeo (MinnFlyer) Email Me




    Hangar-9
    Distributed through Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    www.hangar-9.com/



    Window Media Player
    MUSTANG PTS VIDEO

    Poor:
    Acceptable:
    Good:
    Excellent:
    Outstanding:

    Packaging:
    Construction:
    Hardware:
    Manual:
    Ease of Assembly:
    Completeness of Kit:
    Covering Quality:
    Takeoff:
    Landing:
    Basic Flight:
    Advanced Flight:
    Stall Characteristics:


    • Evolution TPS Engine Pre-Installed
    • Pre-Installed JR 5-channel Computer Radio
    • Ultracote Covering
    • Attractive Covering Scheme
    • Includes Flight Simulator With Computer Intreface Cable
    • Buddy Box Cord That adapts to JR Or Futaba Tx
    • Forward Raked Main Wheels Prevent Nose-Overs And Tracks Well On Ground
    • Removable Air Breaks And Wing Droops To "Clean-Up" The Airframe As Student Progresses
    • Flap Servo Mount Ready For Servo


    • Engine Low End Adjustment hits cowl.


    "Can I start out with a P-51?"

    Many instructors have heard that phrase so often it has become a cliché. And our answer is always the same - No!

    Now, old habits die hard, and I'll be the first to admit that I can be as stubborn as a mule when it comes to change. On the other hand, I do try to keep an open mind, and I'll be the first to embrace a new improvement, providing that it is indeed an improvement, and not just hype.

    So when Hangar-9 first introduced their Mustang PTS (Progressive Trainer System) last summer, I was skeptical. In fact, I was even a little angry that they would go ahead and encourage the Novice to do something that we instructors have fought so long and hard against. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those instructors who insists on students learning on a basic trainer - in fact, I often prefer to train a newbie on an advanced trainer anyway - but a War Bird?

    Ok, I continued to investigate this so-called "Trainer". It is not a scale P-51, that's good. And it employs a few added goodies to keep it slow and stable - things like Flaps, Speed Breaks, and most notably, Wing Droops to provide a high lift ratio.

    This is starting to sound interesting.

    The Mustang PTS is Ready-To-Fly in that it has the engine (Evolution PTS) and radio (JR 5-Channel Computer Radio) pre-installed (Only minor final assembly is needed), and a Flight Simulator is included in the package to boot. Something else that I found to be extremely impressive is that it comes with a Buddy Cord that will hook up to a JR OR Futaba Radio!

    All in all, this is very impressive. But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Can a newbie learn on this plane? Well, obviously with the proper instructor and technique, anyone can learn on anything, but is the Mustang PTS a good trainer?

    As luck would have it, I have an ideal test subject. My daughter's boyfriend Mark visited the field last September. It was his first exposure to R/C Flying, and he was, to say the least, impressed. Mark expressed a desire to learn to fly sometime, and being a red-blooded American flier, I felt it was my duty to get him addicted as soon as possible.

    Mark lives about 85 miles from me, and winter was closing in fast, so I figured his training would have to wait until spring, but when the P-51 arrived, I thought this was an excellent chance to put it to the test.

    Just so you know, Mark has zero experience with R/C airplanes, but he's an intelligent, well-rounded young man. My plan is to have him assemble the plane with no input from me (I'll just take pictures as he goes), and then I will leave him with the Simulator so he can practice while I am not there.

    So let's see how this little experiment turns out.



    Name: Hangar-9 Mustang PTS (RTF)

    Price: List: $570.99 - Street Price: $399.99

    Wingspan: 58.25 in (1480 mm)

    Wing area: 627 sq in (40.45 dm2)

    Weight per Mfg: 6.5 - 7 lb (2.95 - 3.17kg)

    Actual Flying Weight: 6.7 lb

    Skill level:Trainer/Advanced Trainer/Advanced

    Radio Used: JR XF421EX 5-channel computer radio system
    JR R610 FM Rx
    (4) JR NES-537
    Servos for Throttle, Ailerons
    Elevator, Rudder
    (Note: Radio Pre-Installed)

    Channels Used: 5 total - Elevator, Aileron, Rudder, Throttle, Flaps

    Required to Complete:

    • CA glue
    • 30-Min epoxy
    • Standard building tools
    Optional Equipment:
    • Standard Servo for Optional Flap control

    Before I turned the Assembly over to Mark, I went over the parts and Manual myself, and frankly, the more I saw, the more I liked. Construction was excellent, and the Radio and Engine were nicely installed, and something that really impressed me as I perused the Manual was the Flap setup.

    Back in the summer, when I first browsed the PTS ads, I wrongly assumed that in order to keep this plane inexpensive, there would be a lot of corner cutting. I fully expected to see flaps that were simply bent downward by hand with some sort of soft wire hinges that held them wherever they had been positioned. But as I read the Manual, I saw that torque rods controlled them with the pushrod sliding into a two-position locking mechanism. My first thought was, "Great! I'm just going to cut out a hole and mount a servo!" but Hangar-9 beat me to it. There is already a Servo Mount in place under the covering.

    I also incorrectly assumed that the supplied radio would be a 4-channel job - Nope - A 5-Channel Computer radio is included! So when the student is ready to move up to "Working Flaps", all he needs to do is to purchase an additional servo and he's ready to go.

    Hangar-9 definitely gets kudos for that!


    And when they say "RTF" they mean it! All radio equipment was preinstalled (and nicely done too I might add). Even the Tail Wheel and the clevis for the Rudder were hooked up.

    The Mustang also comes with an Evolution Trainer Power System. I am familiar with this engine as I reviewed one a few years ago, and it's still one of my favorites. For the Evolution TPS review, Click Here.

    Ok, everything looks good - better than expected in fact, so it's time to kick back and watch T.V. while Mark goes to work.


    Manual

    It's a pleasure to say that the Manual was great. Not only that, but it is supplemented by a DVD version. Just pop it into your DVD Player and watch the Step-By-Step instructions. I made Mark do it the hard way though and gave him the printed copy.

    Since this is an RTF plane, assembly is almost ridiculously simple. In fact, without any help from me, Mark was finished in just under an hour. I was amazed - Only one hour after he had started, the Mustang PTS was sitting on charge.

    All that is needed is to epoxy the wing-halves together, Strap the Landing Gear on, and bolt the Stab in place.

    Once epoxied, the wing halves get strapped together, the Flap pushrod is installed, and the Prop and Spinner are fitted to the Engine.

    It really couldn't be simpler!


    Evolution TPS - A Closer Look
    Evolution Trainer Power System

    Perfect For The Beginner, or Seasoned Flyer

    More than just another engine, the Evolution system is an innovative combination of propeller and engine technology specifically designed to make it the easiest starting, smoothest running power choice for .40 to .50-size trainers.

    Download the manual in PDF format - Click here

    Specs
      Type: 2-stroke
      Displacement: .45 cu in
      Bore: .87 in
      Stroke: .77 in
      Cylinders: Single
      Total Weight: 19.52 oz
      Engine (Only) Weight: 16.32 oz
      Muffler Weight: 3.20 oz
      Crankshaft Threads: 1/4 x 28
      Benchmark Prop: 10x4
      RPM Range: 2,000-16,000 rpm
      Fuel: 10% - 30% Nitro
      Mounting Dimensions: 44mm x 17.5mm
      Muffler Type: Cast
      Cylinder Type: ABC
     

    Check out the Evolution TPS at Horizon Hobbies, or read the RCU Magazine review here


    SIMULATOR

    The Mustang PTS comes with Simulator Software and a Patch Cord which allows you to plug the Transmitter directly into your PC.

    The Simulator is far from some of the "State-Of-The-Art" Sims that are currently on the market, but it is an excellent learning tool. One feature it DOES have is a "Chase" Mode, where it places you directly behind that Airplane so you can follow a few feet behind the plane as it flies. This is a great tool that I like to use when showing someone how the controls work for the first time. By using the Chase Mode, we can follow along behind the plane to get a close-up view of how it reacts to control inputs.

    The Simulator also gives you the choice of flying 4 different models (Alpha 40 and 60 and the Hanger-9 Arrow as well as the Mustang PTS) at 2 different fields.

    Once Mark was comfortable with the controls, I put the Sim into its regular mode, where you stand along side the runway, and had him get used to staying in one place while the plane moved around him.

    He was just getting the hang of it when he had to leave, so I sent the Tx and Simulator home with him and told him to get lots of practice in until we could get together again.














    The first time we got a break in the weather, I brought the Mustang PTS out to the field. Mark wasn't available, so I did the Maiden Flight without him. The Evolution Engine needs no breaking in, so all there was to do was fuel it up and go.

    With the Mustang sitting at the end of the field, I poured the coals to it. The engine perked right up, and she moved down the runway. It has a very stable track with only a little right rudder needed to keep her straight, and with a little back pressure on the sticks, she was airborne. Only a few minor trim adjustments were needed and the plane flew "Hands Off". Control response was very good, but it seemed kind of sluggish. It wasn't long before I realized that it was SUPPOSED to be sluggish - after all, this is a trainer!

    I have to admit that it took some getting used to seeing a P-51, but not "feeling" a P-51. Once I got into the mindset that I was flying a trainer, it seemed a lot more natural. Ok, time to run it through the mill.

    I put the PTS through a series of stalls. It passed with flying colors. Stalls were gentle, predictable, and there was no sign of one wing dropping. The next batch of maneuvers included Loops, Rolls, Immelmanns and Hammerheads - all were impressive.

    Landing the PTS is like spreading soft butter. Due to the wide 3-blade prop, it is very throttle responsive. I have no doubt that it would be a good platform for learning to land with - But I will add here that this plane should be flown only with the supervision of a qualified instructor.

    Mark finally got his chance the following weekend. To say he had never flown before he certainly picked it up quickly - This says a lot for using a good simulator! In no time at all, he was lining up with the runway and shooting approaches. He didn't land or take off that first day, but I can see that a solo flight isn't too far in the future.

    Next, we removed the Air Breaks. It felt as though the air got thinner! I liked the feel of the plane much more this way. Back at the shop, I added a servo for the flaps and brought the Mustang back to the field.

    Without Mark there, I took it up, raised the Flaps, and flew it around. Very nice! Now she felt much more maneuverable, yet it was still docile enough for an intermediate flyer. Once I got it back on the ground, I couldn't resist the temptation to remove the final training aid - the Droop Slats.

    Now the Mustang was as clean as she's going to get. I got her in the air and I liked it! NOW she's flying the way I like to fly! I ran her through the gauntlet of maneuvers and she performed them all very well.

    So there it is? She can be a slow, stable flying platform, or a good intermediate flyer, and go right up to more advanced flying.

    Nice job H-9!


    Hangar-9 MUSTANG PTS
    Windows Media Player Format

     border=  border=  border=
    High Resolution
    6.4m
    Med Resolution
    2.7m
    Low Resolution
    560k

    So, is the Mustang PTS a good trainer? If your idea of a trainer is a high-wing floater that requires rubber bands to hold the wings on, you probably won't like it. But if you can get passed that (As I have) you'll find the combination that Hangar-9 has put together is more than just a good Trainer, it's a very good Training System. It is not as stable as some of the intermediate trainers I have used, but when you consider the entire package, it's hard to beat. The Evolution Engine is a no-brainer. It's a great engine that runs well with minimal maintenance, and both the Radio and Airframe have room for the novice to grow into. And by having your student spend time with the included simulator, they can get passed the early stages of training by giving them hours of stick time regardless of weather, and without any damage to their airplane.

    And now, finally, thanks to Hangar-9 when a newbie asks if he can "Learn on a Mustang" we can say, "YES"!


    Hangar-9
    Distributed through Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    www.hangar-9.com


    JR Radios
    Distributed through Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    www.jrradios.com


    Evolution Engines
    Distributed through Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    Evolution Engines
    Comments on RCU Review: Hangar 9 P-51 Mustang PTS

    Posted by: Manny G. on 03/17/2009
    I agree that the P51 Mustang is a great trainer, I also have the Mustang MK II which is just as good but H9 removed several items such as the simulator and buddy cord which I feel is a set back since the price remains the same. I also noticed that the flaps now have individual servos which is a plus in my book. But there has been a recall on the radios which as caused me to lose the Mustang MK II. I will get another one but until H9 fixes the problem with the radios I will continue to fly my AT6 Texan and P47 Thunder bolt.
    Posted by: Manny G. on 03/17/2009
    I agree that the P51 Mustang is a great trainer, I also have the Mustang MK II which is just as good but H9 removed several items such as the simulator and buddy cord which I feel is a set back since the price remains the same. I also noticed that the flaps now have individual servos which is a plus in my book. But there has been a recall on the radios which as caused me to lose the Mustang MK II. I will get another one but until H9 fixes the problem with the radios I will continue to fly my AT6 Texan and P47 Thunder bolt.
    Posted by: Manny G. on 03/17/2009
    I agree that the P51 Mustang is a great trainer, I also have the Mustang MK II which is just as good but H9 removed several items such as the simulator and buddy cord which I feel is a set back since the price remains the same. I also noticed that the flaps now have individual servos which is a plus in my book. But there has been a recall on the radios which as caused me to lose the Mustang MK II. I will get another one but until H9 fixes the problem with the radios I will continue to fly my AT6 Texan and P47 Thunder bolt.
    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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