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Is the CG correct?


Mike Busutil
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Flying the P-51 feels like the CG (Center of gravity) is off to me.... Like it's slightly tail heavy.

 

It is pitch sensitive during flight and the trim is never happy.

 

She high speed stalls very easy.

 

I understand adjusting the joystick settings, air-speeds control and energy management etc...

 

What are your thought's?


Edited by Mike Busutil
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She's supposed to be tail heavy if there's (a lot of) fuel in the fuselage tank, see the Flight Manual page 107. I don't think I've ever tried it myself, though.

 

RC planes are... umm... interesting to fly if the CG is way off... a nose heavy plane flies badly, a tail heavy plane flies only once :)

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As a general SOP, try to use up the fuel in your fuselage tank before switching to the other tanks. The plane handles better once that tank is empty. Also, drop a notch or two of flaps if you want to turn tightly.

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I often use the combat flap setting (one notch, ten degrees) when I'm at War Emergency Power, but I seldom use any flap when I'm fighting at military power or less (as when my engine is too hot). Careful about using flaps too much--you get tighter turns, but sustained turns take a longer time to complete with flaps and even the combat flap setting burns a lot of energy.

 

Regarding the fuel tank--the manual says to burn a few gallons off the left wing tank before switching to rear; something about fuel or vapor return. But after that, yeah, try to get rid of that rear tank's fuel--the P-51 is notorious for the full rear tank giving it a funny C.o.G.

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.....and the trim is never happy.....

 

Bind trim to an axis. I have trimmed for a 15-minute wings-level, hands-off flight, only quit while still flying wings-level, hands-off due to boredom.

 

 

....She high speed stalls very easy....

 

Only if you're heavy-handed with control-input. Helps if you have a FFB-stick when you can feel an impending stall (buffet). If not, more gentle with the inputs and all will be OK - no need to adjust flightstick settings as what you gain someplace you inevitable lose somewhere else.

 

 

Flying at 68% or less fuel guarantees an empty fuselage tank.

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There should be a verbal warning every time you fire up with that fuel equivalent of a boat anchor hanging off of your aircraft. "Sir, be careful out there. She's all full of fuel and a bit twitchy" :)

 

The real life pilots surely didn't learn the Stang while carrying full fuel. Makes for a less than ideal first impression.

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I was wondering how so many people were having a hard time controlling the P-51. I thought it was nice and easy minus the sensitive rudder. Then I realized I only fly with the wing tanks full ;)

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