North American P-51 Mustang
|Author(s)||Jim Wilson & Hal Engel|
|FDM||YASim and JSBSim|
The P-51D Mustang is a piston single engine fighter aircraft.
For the JSBSIm model use the USAAF F-51D/K manual (Aug. 1945) for detailed procedures. This are available on-line from the link near the bottom of this page in the External Links section.
- Initially hold tail down with full aft stick.
- Slowly increase throttle to 40 inHG Manifold Pressure as you pick up speed.
- Be ready to actuate rudder during the take off roll.
- At about 50 MPH indicated start releasing stick back pressure. The tail will start to lift and the airplane will want to go to the left as the tail is coming up.
- Once the tail is up increase throttle to 61 inHG.
- As you gain speed the amount of rudder correction to the right will need to be decreased and you may need to use left rudder depending on how much right rudder trim you set.
- Stay on top of rudder and elevator with small adjustments and keep the nose down until rotation or you'll do a ground loop.
- Rotate at 150 mph if you have enough room but never below 120 mph (short field only).
- As you raise the gear the trim will change in a nose up direction. Be careful to avoid stalling or loosing air speed as the gear is retracted.
- All of the take off trim settings will need to be adjusted as you pick up speed so this will contribute to a high pilot work load during the take off. You will need to remove right rudder trim almost as soon as you leave the ground.
- Back off manifold pressure to 46 inHG.
- Adjust propeller pitch to 2700 RPM.
- The throttle has automatic boost controls and will hold the manifold pressure setting as long as the supercharger has enough boost to provide the selected setting. It will hold 46 inHg to about 30,000 feet.
- The mixture control is also automatic if it is set in the RUN position.
- If the supercharger speed switch is at AUTOMATIC the supercharger gear ratio will be controlled by an automatic system.
- Trim and Cruise at about 2400 rpm.
- Do not exceed 2700 rpm sustained.
- Do not exceed 3000 rpm military power (aerobatics)
- Do not exceed 3500 rpm in dives.
- Do not exceed 61 inHG Mainfold Pressure (military power), except 71 inHG for maximum of 7 minutes (war emergency power). Note that war emergency power is not for flying fast, rather it is for dogfighting at < 200mph.
- Use continuous back pressure on the stick to obtain an tail-low attitude for actual touch down.
- Because of the wide landing gear and locked tail wheel, landing characteristics are excellent on this aircraft.
- Minimize use of brakes during ground roll.
- At completion of the landing roll, clear runway as soon as possible. Excessive braking can cause you to do a ground loop (nose over). Some recommend raising flaps immediately after touchdown.
This information is gleaned from various sources: Maximum Speed: 437 mph
Cruise Speed: 363 mph
Landing Speed: 100 mph
Initial Climb Rate: 3475 feet per minute Sustained Climb Speed: 175 mph
Service Ceiling: 41,900 (with 2nd Stage booster).
Stall Speed (9000lbs) Gear/Flaps Up: 102mph Gear/Flaps Down: 95mph
New 3D external model is under way. 2-1-2014
The intent is to create an external model that is a solid 5 in the FlightGear rating system. All models are being built based on factory blue prints (my set has over 11,000 drawings). So the models will be extremely accurate and have lots of detail. Volunteers are welcome but I am expecting any work done to be of the very highest standard. There is tons of 3D related work that needs to be done and there are many very small 3D modeling projects that would make good starter projects and I am willing to mentor anyone that is willing and ready to do a good job.
Fuselage (updated 3-7-1014)
- External skin model - done.
- Internal skin model - done.
- Windshield and its external frame models - done.
- Doghouse model including inner passages, doors and heat exchangers - done.
- Exhaust fairing, pipes and cowl cutout models - done.
- Spinner model - done.
- Inner instrument panel model - done
- ToDo - Fuselage
- Air intake holes in the lower front area of the cowl need to be cut in.
- Visible formers inside the cockpit area need to be modeled.
- Station 89.75 drawing T553
- Station 104 drawing R172
- Station 112.75 drawing T547
- Station 118.2 upper canted drawing Q509
- Station 119.25 right T554 need to mirror for left side
- Station 122.25 upper drawing L181
- Station 133 drawing Q500 & T291
- Station 143 7/16 canted upper Q187
- Station 146 drawing R173
- Station 147.25 drawing T495
- Station 148.5 106-31109-1
- Station 155.5 upper drawing
- Station 157.5 drawing Q501
- Station 168 drawing T548 & S156
- Station 184 drawing O502 & T558
- Station 200 drawing Q503 & T496
- station 216 drawing T549 & T559
- Visible longerons inside the cockpit area need to be modeled.
- Drawings R168, R169, S160, T259
- Canopy, canopy frame, tracks and other canopy hardware need to be modeled.
- M258, J712, S120, R186, R187, L202, L204, T563, R188, K511, R189, N252
- Internal windshield and armor glass structure/framing needs to be modeled.
- Instrument hood needs to be modeled.
- Outer instrument panel needs to be modeled. lower drawingS155
- Tail wheel, retract mechanism and doors needs to be modeled.
- Tail feathers need to be modeled.
Wing is nearing completion. (updated 3-7-1014)
- Ailerons - done.
- Flaps - done.
- Wing tip - done.
- Wing tip lights - done.
- Wheel well internal skin including front and rear spar models - done.
- Landing gear door models - done.
- Landing gear door hydraulics models - done.
- Main landing gear leg model - done.
- Main wheel & tire model - done.
- Gun fairings model - done.
- Gun ejection chutes - done.
- ToDo - Detail work on the wheel wells remains.
- Ribs missing in wheel well.
- Station 29.25 K524 & K525 K drawing are missing
- Station 38.5 drawing K521
- Station 50 drawing K522
- Station 61.5 drawing K523
- Mounting bracket for landing gear door hydraulics.
- Longerons missing.
- Main gear hydraulics models missing.
- Aileron trim tab needs to be cut in and modeled.
- Ribs missing in wheel well.
ToDo - UV mapping, texturing, bump mapping and reflection mapping need to be done for everything.
- If anyone would like to help with this please feel free to contact me via a PM on the FlightGear forum.
- When the new external model is done a mostly new 3D cockpit will be built out from the skin inward.
ToDo Non-3D Model Changes
- YASim version will be removed.
- Directory structure will be changed to reflect current FlightGear standards.
- Add matriculation.
Airplane of the Week/Month
The P-51D (JSBSim) was reviewed as 'Airplane of the Week/Month' on May 04, 2011 as follows:
The JSBSim version of the P-51D comes with a very detailed 3d cockpit, down to various warning plaquettes. I think it conveys the feeling of being in a warbird very much. Based on a quick google image search, it looks pretty authentic to me.
Most of the switches are actually functional :-) For instance, some amount of fuel management is required for longer flights. The plane comes with a full working set of weapons, from guns via bombs to rockets - so tight dogfights are entirely possible. A full engine startup procedure is simulated. The exterior model is maybe not stunning, but nice enough for all practical purposes:
The JSBSim FDM of the P-51D is very detailed and is actually a joy to experience. As common with warbirds, engine torque is a major issue - try spinning up the engine suddenly in mid-air, and observe how the plane begins to roll unless you counter immediately with the ailerons. Accoding to Hal (the author), the performance characteristics in different altitudes is very faithfully reproduces (I lack the documentation to check, but I haven't seen anything implausible).
The plane is rather difficult to handle - it requires some skill to get it off the ground in spite of the engine torque forces, and even more skill to get it back to the ground in one piece onto the runway. Having the full control equipment (joystick and rudder pedals) is certainly a tremendous help - but it is possible with some practice to fly with just the mouse (avoid crosswinds though...).
The ground handling is tricky - ground loops (the propeller touches the ground) are a constant danger (apparently that really was and is an issue with the real plane) - so careful use of the brakes is a must, and sometimes its even necessary to throttle down immediately after the engine starts.
And, as a very special feature - the plane actually spins rather realistically - so be careful when approaching stall speed.
My personal wishlist
An added pdf manual describing all the features and providing some background info would be terrific - I have the feeling I'm missing so many details...
Things to experience
Let a tank run out of fuel, and experience a lovingly and realistically modelled engine stutter, followed by an emergency landing.
- The North American P-51 Mustang (vectorsite.net)
- 1945 USAF F-51D/K Pilots Manual
- Flight Characteristics of the North American P-51 Mustang: How to Fly the P-51 Fighter YouTube video about the B version (30 minutes).