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Harbor Freight P51 - Newbie

#1
Hi all.

Recently picked up a harbor freight P51. I'm new to the hobby and excited to give the plane a try. I plan on just casually goofing around with this plan with my young kids.

From what I read, I definitely need a different prop, which I'll take care of today. However, through all the reading I noticed people doing lots of mods to make this plane better. I'm wanting to keep it budget friendly and easy. I plan on putting a larger NiMH battery in as well, but I'm wondering if there is motor that I could drop in the existing gearbox? I'd like to keep the stock ESC and gearbox if possible and just upgrade the battery and motor. Like I said, I'm a novice and am totally fine with just lazy flying around with my kids. Thanks!
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#2
Hi all.

Recently picked up a harbor freight P51. I'm new to the hobby and excited to give the plane a try. I plan on just casually goofing around with this plan with my young kids.

From what I read, I definitely need a different prop, which I'll take care of today. However, through all the reading I noticed people doing lots of mods to make this plane better. I'm wanting to keep it budget friendly and easy. I plan on putting a larger NiMH battery in as well, but I'm wondering if there is motor that I could drop in the existing gearbox? I'd like to keep the stock ESC and gearbox if possible and just upgrade the battery and motor. Like I said, I'm a novice and am totally fine with just lazy flying around with my kids. Thanks!
I would put a park 370 in it with a 25amp esc on a 9" prop. The stock setup is not if quality
 

Captain Video

Well-known member
#3
Welcome to the Forum. As someone who had one of those early in my RC history, I would advise against it as a beginner plane. It was very twitchy and it had a horrible tip stall when you got too slow. I would suggest an Apprentice 1.5m or a Super Cub for beginner flyers. I turned that HF P51 into a pile of hot glue and foam parts after crashing it repeatedly. I almost left the hobby until l I got the Super Cub. Good Luck.
 
#4
That's what I've been told... I picked this up super cheap so I'd like to mess around with it for the time being.

As for the park 370 - that appears to require some mod'ing to mount, yes? Is there a stick mount option that would suffice?
 

Captain Video

Well-known member
#5
If recollection serves, i think there is a stick mount. I had modded mine but it did not improve the flight characteristics. Horizon has their UMX series with a couple really stable high wings you might look into as a trainer.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#7
Welcome to the forums. If I was you I would do as @FDS recommended. Save the P51 for later and get into a cheap Ebay buy for the motor, ESC, servos and battery. All up might be $100 with a decent charger as well. Brushless motors are the way to go when it comes to training. They are indestructible compared to a gear box, virtually maintenance free, more consistent and efficient as well. Building a Simple Cub, Simple Scout or Tiny Trainer out of DTFB is so easy to fix or replace. Plus it will handle so much more docile the P-51. Honestly you will get frustrated with the P-51, you will crash it, you will be constantly fixing it, spending money on prop shafts and gear boxes. And the kids will quickly lose interest, then the whole operation would be a waste of money, just sitting in the garage never being used.

If you want to enjoy the hobby and get the kids involved, build some easy planes, make a couple chuck gliders, it's good family bonding time. Then go out and learn to fly together. If you crash usually it's a 10 minute glue fix or a half hour making a new power pod, usually really simple. If you trash the plane then its 2-3 hours to build a whole new one, plus you can transfer all the electronics out of the wrecked one into any new plane you build. I wish you luck and have fun.