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FT War Hawk vs Mustang vs Spitfire

Marty72

Well-known member
#1
I've been flying these 3 planes for the last 6 weeks and I've been really enjoying them. They are all very similar in the way they fly, but there are differences. My hope is folks come in here and comment about their experiences with these planes and how they compare. BTW, I'm talking about the FT full sized, non master's versions.

I'll start with my opinions and observations in the next post. I've run C packs in all of the planes with a 9x6 prop. I've now switched the Mustang to a 35-36 motor, and the War Hawk has been running the 35-36 for awhile. I'm running 10x7 props in both now.

I've ordered a variety pack of props to try out on the 3 planes. Specifically, the APC 9x6, 8x8, 9x9, 10x7 and a 10x8. I should get them in early this week. I'll be flying various combinations and will post on here my observations. The C pack can run the 9x6 and 8x8 (I believe), so I'll compare those. The 35-36 can run them all and I'll try them all. I really am most interested in what kind of speed I can achieve with the 35-36 with a 9x9 (but realize, top speed is based on many factors). For now, I'm running 3s 2200 batteries for these flight tests. I have 8 of these batteries so I can easily test the different combos back to back, providing a better comparison. Here are the contestants........(please don't hesitate to chime in on your own experiences with these planes)

IMG_2444.JPG
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#2
So far my observations of the 3 planes running C packs w/ 9x6 (I've run 10x5 as well and the 9 x6 is faster).

The P 40 is the most stable, it's also the heaviest 612 g (c pack). It also has the largest projected frontal area, so it makes sense that it's the slowest. It flies fine with a C pack/9x6. Of the three, it's the easiest to fly. It flies slower better as well, harder to stall.

The P 51 falls between the P 40 and the Spitfire. It's pretty fast, and nibble with a C pack. It weighs 542 g(c pack). The projected frontal area is also in the middle. It really doesn't need a 35-36 motor, it's fast as is. It's currently my favorite plane to fly.

The Spitfire is the fastest, no doubt about it. It climbs vertically better than all of them. It's basically the same weight as the P 51 at 552 g, but it has the least projected frontal area. It's a rocket with the C pack, no plans to go to a larger motor. The issue I have with the Spitfire is orientation. I struggle with this plane, I've added color and stripes to the bottom of the wings, I'm hoping this helps. On blue bird days, I have no issue, but if it's over cast, I'm just not comfortable flying this plane. It also is the most manurable of the three. Once I get my orientation skills/paint down, I think I 'm going to love this plane.
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#3
So the props came in last night and I proceeded to do some seat of the pants testing today. I'll give you my initial thoughts, but I will be doing more experimenting in the next few weeks. Using the Mustang with a 3536 as the test plane, I first flew a 10x7 like I normally do, just to get calibrated. Next, I ran 2 batteries through using the 9x9. The hand toss was a bit rough (needed more throttle for the 9 in prop). I didn't find the 9x9 notably faster but did notice more prop noise and poorer vertical climbing. I did run the plane wide open, in a big oval and I do believe it was faster with the 9x9 but without an real velocity data, I can't be sure.

Next, I tried the 9x6 with the 3536 (I normal run 9x6 w/ a C pack). I felt as if it was about the same as running a C pack with a 9x6, not sure the 3536 added anything (which makes sense).

The 3536 is designed to run a 10x7 or a 11x7 prop. I really like the motor with the 10x7, but have never tried anything else until today. The 10x7 is still the baseline prop for me.

I then ended the testing and flew 3 batteries through the Spitfire, as I had no wind, partly cloud skies but good visibility (a great chance to fly a plane I'm not comfortable with). The Spit is definitely my most dynamic plane and a hoot to fly. I added some (half assed) markings to the bottom to see if they would help me with orientations issues. Marking the bottom of the wings doesn't seem to help me keep orientation but it does help me a lot once I've lost (or am not sure) about orientation. IMG_2458.png

I am currently building a new Spitfire and I'm going to use a similar color scheme as I used on the Mustang (as that works great for me). I never lose orientation of the Mustang. I think the key may be to put the color on top of the plane (instead of the bottom)so the light source (the sun) can illuminate the surface. I've noticed the bottom of the wing requires a fair amount of rotation to get lite up. I will find out the answer to this question, or at least, what works for me.

Tests still to be done, running a 10x8 on the 3536 and a 8x8 on a C pack.
 

FL_Engineer

Well-known member
#4
This is great info as I'm finally wrapping up my Spitfire build and am moving on to the Might Mini Mustang. How did you go about decaling? I'm still trying to figure out the best process. My wife wants to use the Cricket but it seems hard to keep things scaled correctly.
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#5
I don't know what the Cricket is, but my process has been evolving. I find graphics doing google searches, find one close to the size I want (scaling screws up resolution) and then I use 3d Paint to scale the image. I started out printing on photo paper (and gluing down with spray 77) but I've moved onto an easier method, printing on adhesive backed vinyl. The Photo paper looks great and is durable but fades with time and the 77 Adhesive can't be pealed off without damage. The vinyl adhesive is removable, so an update is easier. I haven't been doing the vinyl long enough to find the down side...........yet.
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#6
This is great info as I'm finally wrapping up my Spitfire build and am moving on to the Might Mini Mustang. How did you go about decaling? I'm still trying to figure out the best process. My wife wants to use the Cricket but it seems hard to keep things scaled correctly.
The Spitfire is a fun fly but it's a very exciting flight. Hand launching is a bit tough(no good holding location), unless you have mastered underhand (and I have not).
 

FL_Engineer

Well-known member
#7
Cricket is a craft version of a needle cutter, just load a file and it cuts it out in vinyl. Do you print on the vinyl or just manually cut the patterns out? I may do the spray 77 method on the Mustang.

My Spit has a 2836 so it won't be quite as exciting but based on the bench tests I expect it will climb quite well.
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#8
Oh, I just cut them out by hand. That would be nice for complicated images.

I recommend using a slow fly prop with good thrust for the maiden (appropriate for that motor). It's still going to be exciting, it's not a Scout.
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#11
So I completed the second Spitfire today, aesthetically, it's alright, not my favorite but it should be as visible as the Mustang is (if not more). I'm planning to maiden it in the morning. I've pulled the power pod out of the old one, made a new pod and taken the old one plane out of service. I'll fly the old one again at some point (prefer the looks of the classic), I just want to work out my orientation issues and this is the plane I'm going to do it with. I'll add or change paint schemes as needed to figure it out. I'm running a C pack w/ a 9x6 prop.

IMG_2467.JPG


After tomorrow, I'll get back on changing props.
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#13
Getting back to my discussion of the differences between the 3 planes, I'll talk a little bit about CG.

The spec calls for the cg to be at 2.7 inches back from the LE. I've settled on 2.1 inches, this works really well for full speed flight. What I noticed with the cg further back was flaring at the bottom of a high speed, diving turn. Yes, I can trim it out to fly with the cg further back, but I don't get the high speed stability that I like in maneuver like this.

The cg of the Mustang is at 2.0 (2.75 spec). This isn't necessary the best location, perhaps it could be back a bit. The Mustang is nose heavy, and with the battery hanging off the back of the power pod, 2.0 was the best I could do for maiden (w/o adding tail weight). The maiden went great and it flew very nice........I never messed with it, but now that I think about it, I'll add tail weight and see if I can get an improvement.

The cg on the P 40 is at 1.75 (2.0 spec). This is the location I found it flies best. The battery cg is right at the plane cg, so I've found I can change back and forth between a 4s 2200 and a 3 s 2200 with out any trim changes.

Side note: One of the things I dislike about the Mustang is the ram duct doesn't make for great belly landings. The P 40 and Spitfire usually slide smoothly to a stop, rarely does the Mustang. That ram duct catches the ground producing ugly belly landings (most of the time for me). I'd definitely recommend landing gear if you have the right field.
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#14
Yep...for the few flights it had I had a hard time with orientation....I think your brain needs to get used to the way a plane looks while its flying
Yep, I think that is true. My brain seems to a lot of trouble with the Spit. With blue skies, I'm fine but overcast conditions and I just can't keep orientation. This new build will answer the question for me, how much is color, how much is learning. I've had my best results so far with yellow, and black against white.
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#15
I maiden the hi vis Spitfire this morning (sort of cheating as I've been flying one just like it). Most successful maiden ever for me, not a single issue. I made some changes from the previous Camo build, the new plane is much more stable and controllable. I used way too much throw in the control surfaces for the Camo build and because of this, I could only fly conformably in low rates (50% of throw). I believe I lost resolution in the servo positioning due to this. I built the new one to FT spec and it flies beautifully in hi rates. The skies were blue this morning, so I don't have the complete answer on visibility yet but I can tell already it's way better. I never got confused about orientation today even a little bit and I ran five 3s 2200 batteries through it. I did all the things I do with the P 51 without issue. It flies better than all my planes. The School Bus yellow on the top of the wings, shows up like it's battery powered. It's not my favorite plane on the ground, but it's definitely my favorite in the air! Looks like we are going to have 4 days of rain, starting tomorrow morning early, so it may be awhile before I can do more flying.

Another thing I just remembered about today and orientation colors. At distance, when I'm diving down, I see the yellow of the wing tips, and the red in the center of the roundel on the wings, but the blue outer circle doesn't show up. I can also see the black/white stripes. I think, that I'd get more visibility out of a wide black stripe next to a wide white stripe at distance instead of the invasion pattern. Just an observation.
 
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Marty72

Well-known member
#16
So it's day 2 of the rain with 2 more days predicted. I wasn't happy with the paint scheme on the new Spitfire, even though it is highly visible in the air. It is too much like the Mustang that is hangs on the wall next to. So...this morning, I decided to changed the color scheme without losing any of the orientation benefits. Here's what I came up with, I'm much happier with this one. It's different from the Mustang and it's a bit bolder as well. I still prefer the look of the classic Spit, but I'm liking the new scheme.

IMG_2474.JPG
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#17
A 2836 is MORE than enough! Mine is a rocket on a 2830. Should be fun!
Agreed! Good to know a 2830 works great too. What prop are you running?

Motor sizing is a bit frustrating as it isn't as straight forward as it should be. Flite Test is horrible about not showing specs for their motors. With that said, when I say I'm using a flite test C pack motor, it's basically a 2836 1100 kv class motor, with performance commensurate with other 2836 motors. Around 30 amps max (w/o getting too hot to touch). I'm using a C pack on this plane, ie a 2836 and that is more than enough as this plane is very streamlined and it's also light. I'm not using a 3536 Rimfire and have no plans to. An aside, the Sportster is a big, boxy, solid, heavy tank of a plane that is underpowered on a 2836 1100 kv motor. Changing to a Rimfire 3536 1200 was a game changer for that plane. It flew so much faster and was so much more fun. I thought I might get that kind of improvement with running a 3536 on the P 40 and the P51 (running 10x7 prop). I did not. I got a little more top speed, and better throttle range for sure, but it wasn't night a day like with the Sportster. I use the throttle when I needed it, instead of wide open all the time with the Rimfire. I find the Spitfire flies really fast at 1/2 throttle with the C pack, just add throttle for more thrust for a climb. The Mustang has more drag, probably mostly due to the big ram duct on the bottom. It flies a bit better with the 3536 motor but honestly, the C pack (2836 class) is enough.

The Spitfire is the sleekest plane I've flown, it requires less thrust than other FT planes I've built.
 
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#19
So it's day 2 of the rain with 2 more days predicted. I wasn't happy with the paint scheme on the new Spitfire, even though it is highly visible in the air. It is too much like the Mustang that is hangs on the wall next to. So...this morning, I decided to changed the color scheme without losing any of the orientation benefits. Here's what I came up with, I'm much happier with this one. It's different from the Mustang and it's a bit bolder as well. I still prefer the look of the classic Spit, but I'm liking the new scheme.

View attachment 169318
@Marty72 beautiful work, love your paint jobs.
 

Marty72

Well-known member
#20
@Marty72 beautiful work, love your paint jobs.
Hey thanks so much! I do put some thought into it and do enjoy the process.

So it finally stopped raining last night, the wind forecast for this morning looked awesome but there was heavy fog making visibility terrible. So I moved to plan B, the dog and I both needed to do something, so I threw the Mtb into the truck and we hit the gravel roads for some exercise early this morning (knowing the trails would be a mess over 4 inches of rain). I tossed the new Spit into the cab and took it along just incase the fog cleared before the rain came (yes, rain forecasted for noon). So sure enough, and I got to fly, putting 5 batteries through the new plane before it started raining.

So I started off this thread talking about how different the three planes are. Well, now I'm questioning the validity of my initial claims. I can't believe how much more stable this Spitfire is than my original. The only difference that I'm aware of is the authority at the control surfaces. I reduced the authority at the plane but increased it on the transmitter (3 rates). Or to put it another way, I'm using less throw on the servos (FT recommended positions). I can only assume that I've now got more resolution making the plane less bouncy when moving the joystick. I'll figure this out eventually, I just changed the my servo throws on the P 40 and the P 51 and modified the 3 rates on the tx accordingly. So I'll may learn something or not.

Oh yeah, all this rain (stuck inside), yeah, I started building another plane. Another P 51 Mustang and it's about 3/4 done, thinking about what paint scheme I'll go with on this one........So now I will have a backup body of all three Warbirds.