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Superpilotv2

Tako-Off tricks for P-51D

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Hi guys,

I´ve just got myselfe a plane I wanted for ages, the A2A P-51D Mustangs with Accu-sim. It flies quite nice (although I have to admit they´re very light on the elevator) and the systems make no problem at all. But takin off is another Story. If I´m in the air, I´ve got no problem whatsoever (albeit the military WWII version need special attention with no autopilot and limited navigation systems.). But getting ethere is a whole other story. The engine torque on low speed and high RPM is killing me. The ingame notes say 6° of right rudder trim for take off and then you shouldn´t really notice the torque that much. The plane jerks left and right as I try to compensate the torque and keep it on the runway (and stalling rather than flying in the first seconds).

 

To all the experienced P-51D pilots out there, have you any special tips for the take off?

 

P.S.: Any figure of the minimum landing distance (practically)?

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I think something's up on my end too. That plane is insane with torque and turning tendencies

 

Try a slow application of power seems to help... I have to really work the pedals but with a light touch


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While I don't have the A2A P-51 (yet), that's the key with taildraggers in general. Easy power-on and know you need some right rudder straight away, and light on the feet. Getting the coordination right takes a lot of practice.

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Now I have never flown a real world P-51D (obviously) but I wouldn't be surprised by the turning tendencies if I were you. You're rotating an 11.2 ft propeller up onto the mains and even just your gyroscopic precession is gonna be going crazy. Are you using a joystick or rudder pedals?


Elijah Hoyt
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CFI, CFII, CMEL, CSEL, CSES, IFR

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The key to to flying this plane (and most tailwheels) is to remember at one point between zero thrust (most friction between the ground and tailwheel for directional control) and takeoff power (most direction control due to airflow over the vertical stabilizer using the rudder) you have an area between those two power settings that you have neither the friction for directional control from the tailwheel or airflow over the vertical stabilizer for directional control thus the torque throws you off your path. So the key is to transition that area as smoothly as possible and not to use to much power because the p-51 will throw you off every time (due to the torque) and use (dancing feet) the rudder as much as possible to keep you parallel to the runway. When I was getting my tailwheel rating if your feet weren't dancing on takeoff or landing you were wrong.

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Never flown one myself but I did take a ride in Vergetungswaffe for my 40th birthday flown by Hess Bomberger of the 356th Fighter Group.  http://www.warbirdregistry.org/p51registry/p51-4474497.html

 

I'm in the same boat as you.  I'm tailwheel qualified but the P-51 is a handful on take-off.  Unlike a small taildragger you've got a variety of constantly changing forces at work that require different control inputs.  As mentioned immense torque, gyro precession, and P-factor.  Remember aft stick is your tailwheel lock.  The smooth application of throttle is a must.  The engine is so powerful it can send you into the weeds quickly.  Agile feet on the rudder.  At least 6 degrees of rt rudder trim and be ready for left rudder as the tail comes up.  Add a little more throttle/MP and let the speed build to about 120mph (I don't have the manual handy).  Gently lift off with slight up elevator, positive RoC then gearup, (you'll feel it when the gear doors are completely closed) don't be in too big a hurry to climb.  You need a decently long runway and not immediate obstacles at the edge of the field. Climb away and watch engine temps and have your power settings memorized.  It does fly beautifully once airborne but you can't nap on the controls.  Immense kudos and gratitude to the men and women who flew them in the services.

 

This wiki offers some good basic advice.  http://wiki.flightgear.org/North_American_P-51_Mustang#Take_Off

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Are you using a joystick or rudder pedals?

 

Both. ;-)

 

Thanks for the answers so far. I will conduct some training now.

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Hello Steffen,

 

You are right; before the P-51 D lifts and flies you need  experience. Unfortunately, sitting in the VC of this wonderful fighter gives you with your first fly not enough feels of how  fiercely the plane reacts.

I had the same problem, but try the following : place yourself out of the aircraft so you can see it from behind and above. Now you can see how the aircraft in reality reacts on your actions. After you start a few times like this it is easier to handle this bird from a narrow view out of the cockpit when at the sametime looking at the panel.

 

Good luck,

 

Ben

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YOu have to remeber that it is 1300hp up front... Smooth application of power after setting 6° of right rudder trim, allow the speed to build then ease the tail off the ground. This gives you better directional control and a much better view of the end of the runway, which is now rapidly approaching...

 

Once you reach your t/o speed, back pressure should lift her off the ground. Pull up the undercarriage and climb out smoothly... it takes practice, particularly controlling the swing on inital roll...

 

Also, think about emptying the center tank for initial familiarity training... that tank full can seriously affect handling...

 

A

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Jus as a heads-up: I had some success in takeing off after I changed the friction of my Pro flight ruder pedals to teh highest. Now using the ruder will take some considerable force and thus preventig me from overacting.

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Agree with others, veeery smooth power application, and very smooth at other controls too. If you just kick the rudder pedal you will over compensate and make the problem even more serious.

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Tail draggers are a challenge and smooth application of power is the key to successfully handling tail draggers.  If you throttle up quickly, you will have a torque fight on your hands.  My advice, line up, lock the tail wheel, hold the brakes, apply a little power (maybe half throttle), release the brakes, slowly advance the throttle and push the stick forward and use the rudder to correct torque steer.  Once the tail comes up you will have full rudder authority and good vision down the runway.


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I suggest you have a look at the three links below. They are from the A2A P-51 Forum. The first post

in the thread by Scott states:

 

"Here are some tips how Mustang pilot, Dudley Henriques, flies and operates the actual aircraft. Dudley is on our beta test team, and as discussions continue on the public forums, we'll use this thread to organize them in one place.

The techniques below apply the same to your Accu-Sim Mustang:"

 

And the links:

 

http://www.a2asimulations.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=93&t=32607

http://a2asimulations.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=94&t=31684

http://a2asimulations.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=93&t=32654

 

And the link to the thread itself:

 

http://a2asimulations.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=93&t=32663#p247448

 

   Paul


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Beat me to it Paul - I was just about to post links to those items myself!! 

 

If it's any consolation to the OP, I find the P51D in DCS even more difficult to take off in than the A2A one - I've lost count of the number of smoking holes that I've left at the side of the runway in that sim!

 

Practice, practice, practice ... ... ...   B)

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