• Review: Accu-Sim P-51D Military

    Flight Dynamics And Characteristics

    Now to the fun part which of course is the actual flight tests - No, I haven't flown this old classic bird in real life, but certainly would love to try it one day. Therefore my opinion of the flight characteristics and dynamics rely on my experience flying real life gliders, motor gliders and GA aircraft.

    First part is the taxi, and this aircraft is on that part very challenging. You don't have a great forward view due to the tail-wheel configuration giving the aircraft a high nose position and this makes taxiing quite challenging. The best way for me was to taxi like I was drunk meaning going slightly left, then right, then left, etc. Performing this taxi I used the wheel brakes a lot since I didn't really figure out if the aircraft could be controlled by the tail wheel - I don't think it can so this was great practice.

    A2A Simulations - P51D Military     A2A Simulations - P51D Military

    Performing the engine test prior to take-off I discovered that if you throttle up too rapidly the engine will cough which I assume is due to the lack of fuel reaching the engine in time. This is great and I think very well in accordance to real life. I also noticed that the cockpit panel had various degrees of shaking according to the rpm setting which really is a superb detail.

    Now ready for take-off I throttled up to max power rather quickly which resulted in a strong torque with which I had severe problems counteracting which my rudder, so in desperation I had to also apply wheel brakes - this I had to try a couple of times before realizing that the best way to overcome this issue was simply just to throttle up slowly. By changing the increase of power to a slower motion gave me more steering capability of overcome the heavy torque. Quite reasonable when you think about it, because throttling up too rapidly provides a huge torque very quickly without any speed / wind-pressure on the rudder, and this changes if you increase the throttle slower because you then build up speed / wind-pressure on the rudder more to counteract the torque...

    When the speed started building up I could lower the nose and get a better view and after a few more seconds I was airborne. The first thing that I discovered was that this aircraft needs to be flown all the time; it is very much alive and you feel all the thermals, all the turbulence and bursts of wind - I can recommend spending some time trimming the aircraft properly otherwise you do get drained of energy just trying to fly a straight course.

    A2A Simulations - P51D Military

    During my flights I tested if lowering the flaps would have any impact on the stalling speed or the nose position as you would expect from a real life aircraft, and of course this was a part of the flight characteristics of this aircraft. I found a difference of about 20 MPH in regards to stalling speed from flaps up vs. flaps down. Also the nose position lowers when the flaps are lowered which again is also superb and true to real life.

    On the top left of the cockpit there is placed what looks like a horn - but I didn't get any stall warning - maybe there is a switch which can turn that horn on/off which could be the reason for me not getting the stall warning.

    The same goes with overspeed - I am quite sure that in real life there is no overspeed warning in the P51 and I also didn't hear one on my test flight, however there is actually what you could call an in-built overspeed warning and that is the fuselage and wings making a lot of cracking noises. Works well enough for me!

    I of course also wanted to test the stall and spin capabilities of this aircraft as I always do when testing an aircraft. What I discovered with the P51 is that this aircraft likes to spin and it is not always that easy to recover. I often experience difficulties recovering if I had applied engine power, and for some reason it was more likely to make a good recovery with the engine at idle - maybe this has something to do with the heavy torque generated by the engine... Stalling the aircraft was a superb and very realistic experience, because you could hear the wind getting silent, the panel started to shake, the aircraft started to make cracking noises, the rumble outside as the aircraft crossed the stalling point, the lack of control and then the loss of lift going into a spin with the volume of the wind outside suddenly increasing rapidly - Awesome experience and very true to real life.

    A2A Simulations - P51D Military     A2A Simulations - P51D Military

    After testing my skills of stalling and spinning this aircraft I also went on to perform various aerobatic maneuvers. Here I found something rather interesting. First I tried performing a simple loop but I always ended up stalling the aircraft about half way around and could not understand why. This even though I entered the loop with max airspeed - I thought OK, then I just have to pull a bit stronger making the loop shorter in diameter, but that only resulted in stalling the aircraft over and over again.

    The reason for my troubles was that I had a more or less overloaded aircraft with full internal tanks and pilot but also a full armament and external fuel tanks making the aircraft extremely heavy. This does make good sense that I experienced these problems, so when changing the load-out to the clean or moderate weight I could now easily perform the loop, the roll and other maneuvers. I very much like that the flight characteristics and dynamics are dependent of the weight and drag of external armament because this just makes the experience more life-like and authentic.

    So to be honest - on all my test flight I did not always recover from the spins and aerobatics which several times resulted in a crash landing. This however was also an experience because the aircraft would be banged up with bent propeller and now was unable to fly. Also when re-starting the flight the aircraft now started out as I left it meaning smashed and with a bent propeller. The reason for this is that an in-built feature for this aircraft is that the aircraft state, fuel, other fluids, propeller, etc. are as the last flight ended hereby forcing the pilot to perform maintenance though the maintenance hangar and load manager. Really an awesome detail which I think could be rather irritating for some simmers that just want to get up in the air, but I like it very much. It makes you take more care of the aircraft and how you fly it.

    A2A Simulations - P51D Military     A2A Simulations - P51D Military

    Flying the aircraft you can of course set up bomb targets, etc. but this aircraft also features the release of armament such as a bomb, meaning that flying towards a target you can actually release the bomb and by doing so the weight of the aircraft changes a bit and impacts the flight dynamics. Awesome!

    This aircraft is absolutely a challenge to fly but this just makes the experience even better I think - but landing the aircraft was even harder. You cannot fly an MD11 type final with this aircraft because you simply can't see enough straight ahead. I had to make a medium/high final giving me the best forward view and then when flaring the aircraft the nose would again be so high that I couldn't see anything straight forward, now just hoping that the line that I had the aircraft on before flaring, would still be right - of course I could keep my eyes on the left and right edge of the runway, but yes, this aircraft is also quite challenging to land.

    A2A Simulations - P51D Military

    Conclusion

    To sum up my experience with the add-on aircraft from A2A Simulations, then this is an amazing and awesome, authentic and true to real life rendition of the classic warbird, the P-51 Mustang.

    The model is extraordinarily well modeled, the virtual cockpit is amazing, the quality, the textures, the detailing is superb and this aircraft is the best P51 add-on aircraft that I have tested for any flight simulator ever. The effort and time put into creating a realistic environment and to create so realistic flight dynamics are admirable. This aircraft is absolutely the same high standard and the same high quality as I have previously seen on other A2A Simulation aircraft. Awesome job!

    A2A Simulations - P51D Military     A2A Simulations - P51D Military

    I very much like the maintenance hangar and the payload / fuel manager and the idea that you as a simmer are forced to take care of your aircraft. I didn't see the A2A pre-flight inspection option as I have seen on other A2A Simulation aircraft - this I did miss. If it was included and I just didn't find it, then I am sorry about this comment.

    A2A Simulattions - Accu-Sim P51D Military

    If you are into flying an aircraft featuring so much realism, being quite complicated and challenging to fly this will be a perfect bird for you. Even more if you like old classic warbirds, then this is a must have. I absolutely recommend this aircraft to my fellow simmers and I rate this aircraft with a 4.82 out of 5 rating. Thank you A2A Simulation for this incredible awesome classic warbird - keep up the great work you do and I'll be looking forward to see your next creation.

    Raymond Andersen
    Rays Aviation

    Purchase A2A Simulations - Accu-Sim P51D Military for P3D v4 Academic
    Purchase A2A Simulations - Accu-Sim P51D Military for P3D v4 Professional
    Also available for FSX

    Review Computer Specifications

     

     

    FlightSim.Com Award of Excellence
    Because of our reviewer's outstanding findings, FlightSim.Com gives the A2A Simulations Accu-Sim P51D Military our Award of Excellence
    • Windows 10 (64-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32-bit) (secondary system)
    • Intel Core™ i7-4790K 4x4.00GHz (Turbo 4x4.40GHz)
    • Asus Maximus VII Ranger (ROG-series)
    • Antec Kuhler H20 650 Water Cooler
    • Kingston HyperX Beast-series 32Gb DDR3-2133 RAM
    • 500Gb Samsung 850 EVO SSD
    • 3Tb Seagate Barracura (7200rpm, 6Gb/s)
    • Asus GeForce GTX 980 Strix OC 4Gb
    • 150/150Mbit Fiber Internet Connection
    • Prepar3D v4+
    • REX SkyForce 3D
    • X-Plane 11
    • FSX + Acceleration Pack
    • REX Overdrive for FSX

    3 Comments
    1. Paughco's Avatar
      Paughco -
      Thank you for the review. I agree with it. I have several A2A aircraft; my warbirds are the P-40 and the Civilian P-51. In motorcycling terms, the P-40 is like a 1950 Harley Panhead, and the Civ Mustang is like maybe a BMW K-bike. They are great airplanes.

      You should try the T-6 next!

      Seeya
      ATB
    1. zswobbie1's Avatar
      zswobbie1 -
      Thanks, Ray for the great review.
      Although I'm not using FSX or the newer sims, it's great to read a good review of a great plane.

      Regards,
      Robin
    1. ianhr's Avatar
      ianhr -
      An appropriately enthusiastic review for an amazing aircraft. One note on ground handling, from the manual:

      "Taxi with stick slightly aft of neutral. This will lock the tail wheel. In the locked position the tail wheel may be turned 6º to the right or left by use of the rudder pedals. For sharp turns, push stick forward of the neutral position to allow the tail wheel full swiveling action. Use brakes as little as possible."
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