FPV Cockpit P-51D Mustang

by RCExplorer | June 3, 2012 | (74 Ratings) Posted in Projects

FPV Cockpit P-51D Mustang ”Gunfighter”



A while back HobbyKing started selling a 1600mm wingspan P-51D Mustang. I always loved the look of the P-51 Mustang and the Gunfighter paint scheme looks amazing. Trouble is there is no way that a 1600mm warbird is ever going to fit into my little Renault Clio. Neither would it fit in my workshop to even build it. So I put it out of my mind.

Time passed and I traveled to the US to stay with Chad, the creator of Flitetest. One day he came home with a bunch of big boxes. Imagine my surprise when one of the boxes contained a plane that I’ve been coveting for a long while. My face lit up and Chad seemed to have noticed it, as he asked me if I wanted to build the Mustang. -YEESSS!! I calmly responded. -And I’m going to put FPV on it!

Build time!

Opening the box


Everything in the box laid out. It’s a huge piece of foam awesomeness.


Paint job looks really nice.


Mounting servo horns.


Horns mounted on both the aileron and flaps.


Rudder horns.


Push-Pull system for the tail.


Elevator horn mounted.


One cool thing about this plane is that you don’t have to glue anything. Everything is mounted with screws.


Vertical stabilizer in place.


Screwed in place from the bottom.


The retractable steerable tail wheel need it’s pull-pull wires installed.


Wires attached to the rudder servo.


Wings put together. Lots of cables. 2 aileron servos, 2 flap servos, 2 navigation lights and 2 retracts.


Wing mounted on the plane.


The motor was already in place. However there was some slack in the firewall. Some thin CA took care of it though.


Huge 16” 4 bladed prop


With a nice spinner. Take care to balance both prop and spinner.


Ready for the test flight.


Up up and away!

FPV cockpit time!

I cut around the original cockpit to get the right shape and size for my FPV cockpit.


Two layers of 3mm depron.


Test fitted.


Front cage made from pushrod tubes


cut out and lowered the front part of the cockpit.


Pan servo in place.


Back cage, video transmitter holder, servo support and sides in the front added.


Painted.


Printed out an original P51 dash and cut it to size.


May I introduce the pilot. Mr Ken Fashionitas


I only needed the arms and empty pants, so the rest had to go.


Painted the pants and selves green. The pants are stuffed with foam to save weight.


Joystick and throttle lever. Note the servo on the bottom connected to the lever.


Cockpit ready!


All strapped in and ready to go


View from the front


Servo hooked up in parallel with the elevator servo. Makes the arm pull back and push forward on the joystick.


Underneath the legs is a servo connected straight to the joystick. Paralleled with the aileron channel to make the joystick move left and right.


Another view of the throttle lever servo


Ready for rock and roll!



Here is the video:

A tip for anyone out there that thinks about building their own cockpit; secure it with more than just magnets.


COMMENTS

John Mangiameli on October 9, 2012
Um... Wow.
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The Aero Scout on September 30, 2012
Brilliant article and video, thanks. A real inspiration. :)
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RedBaron1 on October 1, 2012
Super cool, but was the crash the result of the plane being out of balance due to the dislocated cockpit, or due to the fact that the pilot was flying FPV and was suddenly flying backwards and a little upside down?
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buddy on June 18, 2012
Extremely awesome cool tires and retracts
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Jimmy_au on June 3, 2012
that is Awesome

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jelofson on June 3, 2012
Love it!! Had no idea Fashionista Ken was such a great pilot.
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House Of Noob on June 5, 2012
Sick Fashionitas! You should be elected to the Tsar of awesomeness just for that one build!
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Sixfifties on September 20, 2012
This was AWESOME. Do you think it could be done on a 70mm ducted fan F86?
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earthsciteach on June 3, 2012
I'm guessing Chad doesn't have a daughter or the dismemberment of Ken might not have taken place. Ha ha!

David-How did the GoPro impact the performance of the P-51? Did you have to alter the cg location?
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stonekap on June 3, 2012
Good luck trying to get a response from David :[

The plane was so big, the GoPro didn't seem to impact it much... until it hit the ground XD
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rc me on June 3, 2012
that is cool 5 star
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cyasa on June 3, 2012
wow that is cool
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Reinaldo Moreira on October 23, 2012
Yes this deserves a 5 stars, congrats guys.
Really awesome.
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animan on July 5, 2012
amazing design ideas and great cockpit view! Another example of how few things stick to EPO foam materials.
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Gart on June 3, 2012
Just great, i think i migth try the same with my mustang :) I just need to begin to built it :)

Good job man great post !!
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FarmStormer on November 20, 2012
Ok Now that is cool
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JohnnyFun on June 4, 2012
That was the best FPV so far and you guys do the best for all of the different topics. Love the realistic look of the cockpit and the movement of "Appendage Only Ken". If this didnt make me want to try FPV, not sure anything will. Chad do you have any audio of the episode, I would love to hear Dave laughing as the plane starts its pilot-less roll to the ground. Please put an extended version of this "flitetest" cause you guys had to be rolling when you edited this up. As always you guys did a great job.
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stonekap on June 5, 2012
David was flying solo on this one. Sorry. I was at work and I got a text... "Uh... I lost the Mustang"
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Benn Gunn on September 11, 2012
Totally brilliant....
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Geinstein on June 6, 2012
Really cool.
Will put my (simple) cartman-cockpit for the easystar online soon.

Great inspiration for next build
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Sixfifties on September 20, 2012
This was awesome, I want to do it to one of my planes, probably one of my old glow powered planes would hanled the weight better.
Like my "Dirty Birdy" Which is an Awesome plane in its own right!
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kiwideno on July 7, 2012
love the ejector seat but aren't you surpposed to leave the plane behind?
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Flying Crusader on June 3, 2012
I am new to Rc. I have been in the hobby for about a year now. I have a couple of planes and cars in my collection, but this is by far the coolest thing I have ever seen. I have seen fpv before, but never seen the arms move with the plane. Great job. 5 stars!!
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A380 pilot on January 13, 2013
wow it is gone in seconds
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gmyers2112 on February 25, 2013
this is one of my favorite videos from you.j I love FPV but I crave the more emmersive feel of having the stick, throttle and rudders "manned". If you could ever do another one, I'd also be interested in seeing it with HUD overlay on the video and low flying... yeah, lots of low flying.
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beastdude97 on July 15, 2013
AMAZING!!!!!!!

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earthsciteach on June 3, 2012
Hmmm.... Is David too busy for his FT fans? Heck, I was all on his side in the whole slap bet thing. But, if he's going to be all, "oh, I'm too busy to comment" I might just have to back Bixler! LOL!!!

No doubt he's a busy guy. I really enjoy when he is in your episodes and hope he makes the hop across the pond soon.
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aurc on March 5, 2014
He is probably spending his time ripping apart barbies
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Christopher14 on November 27, 2013
That was awesome!!!!!
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HilldaFlyer on February 23, 2014
Even my wife loved the proper use of the Ken doll. Excellent FPV!
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Scruffy on March 12, 2014
Um... speechless,
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