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Friday, February 17, 2012

BlitzRCWorks Silver Nano P-51D Mustang PNP Flight Review

Gorgeous scale details for a $69 base price, 21.5" Nano.
Update: After getting this model flying, I'm moving the Nano Mustang to Neutral. With a CG slightly in front of the wingtip LEDs, this plane finally flies great on a 3-cells. 

The working CG is not abnormal at all for a warbird, I think my earlier problems stemmed from a slightly aft CG, plus control surface positions that needed a ton of airborne trim.  The combined effect of those, along with the plane's naturally high wing loading made it difficult to isolate the source of difficulty.

It is such a well priced, great looking and tough little plane that it merits another round of testing. I think this model could still turn out to be a great flier with a few minor adjustments, now that I have a validated CG position.  Some dialed-in spoileron to increase washout and normal flying AOA should increase tip stall resistance and slow down controlled landings. 

The plastic landing gear and props are a weak point and difficult to protect given the high WCL.  Those flying from a large runway area will have a lot more fun.

Dinging props wouldn't be so bad if small Mustang spinners were easy to find, or if the plane looked normal without one--but neither is the case.  The stock prop has too many blades to get out of the way, so every ding costs you the prop. 

Still looking for practical way to exploit the breakthrough in flying quality.  More to come. 


Banana Hobby has been unleashing a host of Micro aircraft to go toe to toe with Horizon Hobby's line of Ultra Micro airplanes.  One of the latest is the Nano P-51D Mustang RTF.  Banana's nanos are generally bigger and heavier than Horizon's UMs, and they come in RTF or PNP form.
Airframe assembly takes 15 seconds, Rx takes 5 mins.
Factory Specs:

  • Wingspan: 550mm (21.5 inch)
  • Length: 480mm (19 inch)
  • Flying Weight: 190g (6.7 oz)
  • Drive System: Brushless OutRunner 2350KV Motor
  • Propeller: 4 Paddles
  • Speed Controller: 12A Brushless ESC
  • Servo: 4X 2.5g high speed micro servos
  • Battery: 7.4V 450mAh 25C Li-Polymer (2S is too underpowered; I used a 3S which is listed in the manual as an option)
On the Ground:
The Nano P-51D comes as a PNP in two pre-assembled pieces and it goes together with a single screw in about 15 seconds.  For the PNP version, the receiver of your choice will drop in under the canopy, which doubles as a battery hatch.

Unlike the Nano Corsair, the Mustang apparently has no ballast in the nose, so the resulting flying weight matches the specs exactly.
After plugging the servos into the Rx and binding it, the only thing left to do is choose a battery and position it in the long nose compartment.

Since warbirds generally like to fly nose heavy, I shoved my battery about halfway between the front edge of the canopy and the firewall.  The resulting CG is slightly in front of the wingtip LEDs--picking the plane up by the LEDS dips the nose slightly. The one page manual is no help here, it lists the recommended CG at 160mm back for the leading edge, but the entire wing chord is about 140mm.
Overall, the build quality is of a level the Horizon's Ultra Micro P-51D cannot come close to matching--the Nano Mustang is of massively higher quality, detail, and durability  I added an $8 OrangeRx and a $11 Thunder Power 350 mAh 3S battery for a flyaway cost of $88. 

Compare to Horizon's Parkzone Ultra Micro P-51D:
Parkzone UM P-51D
BlitzRCworks Nano P-51D
Price BNF
Brushed - Geared
Brushless - Direct
One, 2-blade generic
Two, 4-blade scale
1.3 oz
6 oz
5 (4 with Y connector)
1/2" Foam w/foam hub
1.25" Rubber w/plastic hub
Styrofoam - Anemic
EPO - Outstanding
Linear PCB
Conventional Sub-micro
1S - 3.7V 120mAh
3S - 11.1V 350mAh
Semi-sym Airfoil
Scale Detail
Very Good
Wind Resistance
Top Speed
Very Good

In the Air:

After success with the Nano Corsair, I thought the Mustang might be an easy win.  Unfortunately that hasn't been the case.

I'm not sure if the problem is my set-up or airplane fundamentals, so I'm going to withhold final judgement until I can sort out the issue(s).

Unfortunately, the Mustang needs OEM components to look right, so I had to order more props and landing gear as a result of "testing" (otherwise known as crashing).

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