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DCS P-51 review

by Fred "HeinKill" Williams
take from SimHQ

version reviewed: 1.2.2
December 2012

DCS: P-51D Mustang


The recently released Eagle Dynamics DCS: P-51D Mustang module for DCS World has the capacity to both delight and disappoint, depending on how you approach it.

If you go into the sim hoping to be able to fly the Mustang in a fully realized WWII combat sim, you are in for a big disappointment. It simply does not deliver on that expectation.

But if you go in looking for a relatively inexpensive, full simulation of the Mustang almost as good as anything you will find for Microsoft FSX, you will be happy.

And hey, it’s a new P-51D flight sim, right? So how can you go wrong?

A love affair rivaled only by the Spitfire

Full disclosure here – I have an unnatural affection for the P-51D. To me it is the ultimate prop driven fighting aircraft and yes, an even more beautiful machine than the legendary Spitfire. While the Spitfire may be the machine I would go home to each night, the P-51D is the babe I would prefer to party with.
So any new attempt to bring this type to the virtual skies raises the hairs on this reviewers neck. And doubly so when it is brought to us by a solid sim stable like The Fighter Collection and Eagle Dynamics.
To quote the DCS P-51D manual, "The P-51 was the first aircraft of the war to be built entirely on the basis of combat experience. Its design was started by North American Aviation (NAA) after the Luftwaffe had begun to overwhelm Europe – and many lessons had already been learned about modern aerial warfare from actual experience... The P-51's were the first American-built fighters to carry the war back across the English channel after the battle of Dunkirk. A short time later they would set another record by being the first single-engine planes of any country to penetrate Germany proper from bases in England. So successful were the powerful little Mustangs that the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) decided to adopt the aircraft for its own use... The P-51D version of the Mustang retained all of the great features of its predecessor, with important added improvements. Chief among these are the increased visibility for the pilot in a new 'bubble' canopy, more convenient cockpit arrangement, and heavier firepower with six .50-cal machine guns fitted in the wings…Becoming the definitive model of the Mustang during World War II, over 8,000 P-51D airframes were produced. As the war drew to a close, P-51s were active not only in the European theatre, but also in the Mediterranean and in the Far East, where, like in Europe, the aircraft's long range and superior performance made it the ideal escort for bombers running missions into the heart of Japan."
DCS: P-51D Mustang cutaway
What isn’t to love?


But if you are new to the DCS platform, you first need to install the free DCS World game environment where all DCS modules, like DCS: P-51D Mustang run. This one time install is somewhat of a pain. First you need to separately download the installer file (1.9MB) plus 3 rather large .bin files (1.86GB, 1.86GB, 1.44GB) needed for DCS World. Then you need to buy and download the DCS: P51-D module (367.78MB). Time for me to achieve all these downloads on a 20MB broadband connection was 45 minutes.
You need to be sure to put all the files in one folder, and don't rename anything or the installation will fail. If you do that, it proceeds smoothly. First you install DCS World (10 minutes, plus another 5 minutes for it to complete auto-updating) then the DCS: P-51D module (5 minutes, plus another 5 minutes for it to auto-update first time you run it).
Finally you are ready to rock and starting-up DCS World you are greeted with the Main Menu.
The digital download gives you a nice 184-page PDF manual covering the history of the Mustang, detailed aircraft walkthrough and startup, flying and weapons procedures. Nothing out of the ordinary, but nothing missing either – a very thorough manual. You can download the manual here.
DCS: P-51D Mustang Manual


The DCS World platform is nicely customizable and kind on PCs. I was able to run the sim on relatively high settings without noticeable FPS slowdowns during combat. There are extensive key guides and pilot "kneeboard" style notes for preflight, startup and landing.
DCS: P-51D Mustang Graphics
The difficulty is also highly scaleable – you can choose full simulation, or "game" modes, and each is totally customizable to give you a blend of the two if you wish to use some helpers and avoid others.
DCS: P-51D Mustang Game Difficulty Settings
Controls are of course totally assignable, and the game supports NaturalPoint TrackIR.
DCS: P-51D Mustang Control Settings

A Preflight Walkaround

The opening screen puts you in the DCS World environment and shows at the bottom of the splash screen all the aircraft you have purchased – in this case the P-51D and the free Su-25T ground pounder that is included in the DCS World download. You can customize the splash screen to show a screenshot of the purchased aircraft of your choice.
On the left there is a DCS News window, which you can minimize, and clicking on your preferred aircraft gives you a context sensitive menu. In this case the P-51D module offers you the following range of gameplay options.
The DCS: P-51D Mustang Main Menu with News window
Main Menu with the News window

What if we don't think of this as a WWII combat simulator?

The name of this sim is Digital Combat Simulations P-51. The PR blurb promises "A one-click Mission Generator also allows you to instantly create battles as small or large as you wish. Fly online with built-in server browser that supports up to 32 players in both head-to-head and cooperative gameplay."

To the unwary, this might understandably be taken to imply the DCS P-51 is a combat simulator.

But I gradually realized I would need to look at this release through a different lens than I had expected. I had wrongly anticipated a WWII combat sim. No, DCS never promised a WWII combat sim, but rather a P-51D Mustang in the DCS environment – which they delivered.

But it's a fair point that the lack of WWII environment (targets, enemy aircraft, period-representative textures, etc.) is disappointing, and that the P-51D sticks out like a sore thumb in this modern military combat environment.
But what the DCS: P-51D Mustang really is, is a nicely realized high-fidelity Mustang flight simulator, which allows you to shoot and blow stuff up.
It makes no sense to start this review by looking at the usual combat sim type elements, such as instant action, campaigns and online dogfighting.

So for the next part of this review, let’s look at the DCS: P-51D as an aircraft simulation, and compare it to what I consider the peak Mustang offering on the FSX platform: the A2A Simulations Accu-Sim P-51.

Head-to-head: The A2A Accu-Sim vs DCS: P-51D Mustang

First comparison of the two Mustangs: cost. To fly the Accu-Sim P-51 version you need the base Microsoft FSX game platform. These days you can download the Gold Edition for about $30 USD. To that you need to add the A2A P-51 for $30 USD plus the Accu-Sim add-on for $25 USD. A total of $85 USD gets you what I regard to be the pinnacle of FSX Mustang simulation goodness.

By contrast, you can pick up the DCS World based DCS: P-51D Mustang for around $40 USD. No matter how you slice it, that makes the DCS offering a less expensive way to pick up a full simulation of the P-51D.

DCS claims their offering is, "The most authentic simulation of the P-51D available for the PC". Personally I would say that title still rests firmly with the Accu-Sim P-51D for FSX, but “A darned good simulation of the P-51D for the PC?" That title might well be applicable.
The A2A Accu-Sim P-51D is a minutely modeled sim, giving you incredibly realistic cockpit instrument control. Every button and knob in the Accu-Sim P-51 cockpit works, is clickable, mappable and adjustable. But Accu-Sim does much more than just bring your cockpit to life. It is a complete systems simulator, meaning that as you fly, it tracks in real time the state of all the aircraft systems (control surfaces, hydraulics, engine, cooling system, gear, etc.) and monitors and reports on their state. Your P-51D becomes a living, breathing machine. As you rack up the flight hours in your aircraft, systems will wear down, fluid levels will fall, mechanical systems will fail in a simulation of a "persistent world" as applied to a single aircraft. Your machine will need maintenance to stay in top condition. Fail to maintain it, and critical systems will fail in flight. Unlike an MMO, you don’t need to rack up "credits" to perform maintenance, it is just something you need to attend to, as with any real life aircraft!

The Accu-Sim P-51D functions as any other aircraft in FSX. So you can fly it in any of your FSX worlds or missions, which may include maps covering theatres in which the real P-51D was flown. Want to skim along the railway tracks through the countryside in Western Europe? If you have that regional scenery installed in FSX, you can! Or, if you want to fly out of the airport right near your home, and you have that scenery installed, you can buzz your own house in a Mustang. Look ma, no hands!
The A2A Accu-Sim P-51D
The A2A Accu-Sim P-51D
But as for doing what the P-51D was designed to do (blow stuff up), you can’t. Now, as you may know, Vertical Reality is to release VRS TacPack for FSX which may bring combat functionality to many of the FSX aircraft. According to the VR web site, “Weapons ranging from AGMs to LGBs and guns are all modeled with realistic physics, performance, effects and lethality envelopes rivaling stand-alone simulators. Not only will you be able to take out AI aircraft in single-player, you'll be able to dogfight your friends (and enemies) multiplayer, take out SAM and AAA, or bomb a hostile airfield – all in free-flight. When the dust settles you'll be able to call for a tanker, fuel up behind an AI refueler flying dynamic racetrack patterns, then RTB to review the action (and lick your wounds) via TacView – an ACMI playback system.“

Sound great? There is just one drawback, the VRS TacPack is neither fully released (product is now in open beta), nor tested with the Accu-Sim P-51D, so A2A devs will not vouch for whether it will work or not, as the SDK is currently not available to developers. If you are in the VRS TacPack beta and own the Accu-Sim P-51D, please comment in the SimHQ Article Feedback forum!
Aircraft Models

Both products minutely model the P-51D inside and out. While I found the cockpits to be faithfully rendered in both aircraft, the DCS cockpit has more functionality simply because it is designed to fly within a combat sim environment, so controls such as the "external stores" controls operate in the DCS: P-51D but are non functional in the Accu-Sim P-51D.
The DCS: P-51D Mustang "game mode" cockpit
The DCS: P-51D Mustang "game mode" cockpit

Damage Modeling

This deserves a mention, because the devs have put a lot of work into it. In addition to the wear and tear modeled in FSX planes, the DCS: P-51D also models combat damage.

Hundreds of aircraft systems and components are damageable, and the damage is reported in minute detail at the end of the mission. As an example, wheel fairing doors can be shot off or ripped off at over-speed conditions, engine wear or damage due to high manifold pressure at low RPM, overheating, and overuse of WEP has been implemented.Even tiny components like the radiator shutters' thermo-sensors can be damaged in combat.
The DCS: P-51D Mustang damage modeling


The DCS: P-51D Mustang’s engine has a beautiful low RPM growl and high RPM whine. I don’t know if DCS use the same source files as A2A (there are plenty of P-51D sound samples you can purchase for commercial use), but I put on headphones and ran back and forth between the two, without being able to say much except that the DCS flyby sounds better realized, while the in-cockpit sounds for the A2A Mustang have a more textured feeling, especially when starting, shutting down and taxiing.


Visually I can’t split the two Mustang sims. Graphics are always a matter of taste, and while I find the DCS: P-51D to benefit from some nicer lighting and in-cockpit shadows, the DCS World map is rather bare and featureless compared to the many gorgeous environments available in FSX these days.

Compare for yourself in these videos...
Video: DCS: P-51D Mustang Aerobatic Display
Video: DCS: P-51D Mustang aerobatic display
Video: Accu-Sim P-51 Mustang familiarization
Video: Accu-Sim P-51 Mustang familiarization
While I didn’t measure FPS differences, performance on my medium range gaming laptop (listed at the end of this review) is smooth in both sims even in clouds / bad weather / smoke flying.
Radio Comms
Radio comms are extensively modeled in both sims. In the DCS release, whether between players, or AI wingmen, there is an extensive range of working commands and inquiries the player can draw on. "Easy" and "Realistic" comms are available as options, with color coding used to guide the player through a comms menu in "Easy" mode.

One bonus I enjoyed is that the player can land at friendly airfields, hit a command key, and get the ground crew to refuel and rearm you. You can also call on AWACS aircraft if they are available, or the air traffic controller, to get a vector to enemy targets, or your home field.

In a nutshell, the big differences (apart from price) are that while there is no "persistent state" systems simulation in the DCS: P-51D Mustang sim. You can fly it around just like the FSX version, with the added bonus of being able to blow stuff up in the DCS: P-51D. There is just one major drawback. You can only fly within the small DCS World map, which at the moment is limited to Georgia, Russia and Abkhazia. These are not the natural environment of this WWII warbird, and frankly I felt a lack of immersion zooming around shooting up the mountainous Russian landscape of DCS World and landing at airfields with names like Gudauta and Krymsk.

Once you’ve done this to your heart’s content, and had a look at the options for online flying (more on those in a moment), many pilots may find themselves with thoughts of upgrading to the Accu-Sim version, wallet permitting.

A User Perspective

SimHQer "Lanzfeld113" summed up the pros and cons elegantly when he was comparing the DCS: P-51D Mustang and A2A Accu-Sim P-51 Mustangs:
"A2A Accu-Sim P-51 = GREAT system details and the globe to fly in. Persistent wear is GREAT but no weapons / combat damage…

DCS: P-51D Mustang = Very good systems detail and weapons and combat damage but small maps and no persistent wear. Also no WWII enemy..."
So, the ultimate modern P-51D combat sim is yet to be born. You can go with DCS, take a smaller hit to your wallet, and live with a less fulfilling experience, or spend more and go with Accu-Sim P-51, get a much more detailed sim for your money, but still end up wishing you could fire the darned guns!

Okay, but what about the DCS: P-51D Mustang as a combat sim?

Having just spent the previous page explaining why you shouldn’t think of the DCS: P-51D Mustang as a combat simulator, I know many will still want to know why. So I will quickly run through the combat options in the Main Menu.

Instant Action

There are seven instant action missions included. These are very limited in scope, and range from free flight, takeoff and landing scenarios, to three combat missions. Now, remember the DCS World is a post cold war jet jockey environment with two former USSR foes facing off against each other. No new content was created specifically for the P-51D in this world – you are limited to the same post-Soviet era map, ground objects and enemy aircraft. This is why the Instant Action menu reads more like a training menu, with more than half the mission actually involving no "action" – not even in the form of engine or system failure simulations. But in fairness, lets remember the DCS: P-51D Mustang developers did not promise a full WWII combat sim experience.

The DCS: P-51D Mustang Instant Action
The DCS: P-51D Mustang Instant Action
Nonetheless there is some enjoyment to be had in the Mustang vs Mustang 1-1 instant mission. The AI appears to be quite a competent opponent. Many forum players have complained the AI does not seem to follow real world rules of physics, but I found it a fair match in "game" mode.
Mustang vs Mustang 1-1 instant missions are fun
Mustang vs Mustang 1-1 instant missions are fun
Unfortunately, the "game mode" seems seriously flawed. In one dogfight I got my wing shot off, caught fire, and was still able to maneuver as though it was still there!
The DCS: P-51D Mustang "game mode" flight without a wing
I could lower my (remaining) gear and bring it down for a rather nice one point landing in a nearby field.
The DCS: P-51D Mustang "game mode" one point landing
In "simulation" mode I didn’t experience similar bugs, but I was simply unable to compete against the AI on what I believe was a believable and even footed basis. Perhaps it was just my poor piloting skills, but I was unable to find any control settings which meant I could comfortably fly the Mustang to the edge of its envelope without it flick rolling. This was made harder by there being no feedback indicating the machine is on the edge of a stall (though it is believed stall buffeting will be included in a future patch). The AI however seems to suffer none of these limitations and I never once saw it spin, flick roll or stall.

Create Fast Mission

This option seems more promising, as you can set up a flight of up to 4 P-51Ds, led by you, and set them loose over the battlefield against multiple enemy aircraft.
The DCS: P-51D Mustang "Create Fast Mission" Menu
This provides some fun, as long as your idea of fun is fighting in a .50 cal armed Mustang against fast burners and modern choppers armed with missiles and laser targeted cannon.
Fast missions (in simplified game mode) play out like this:
You start in the air over your own lines in a Mustang in the livery of your chosen "Allied" nation, in this case Canada.
The DCS: P-51D Mustang "game mode" fast mission
The in-mission map shows your own forces, your aircraft (in white) and your wingmen. In "game mode" you can also see enemy targets, they are marked by on screen identifiers and labels (all customizable and not available in sim mode).
The DCS: P-51D Mustang "game mode" fast mission map
You close on your targets, arm your rockets and...
The DCS: P-51D Mustang "game mode" attack on T-80s
You learn that WWII unguided rockets are pretty useless against T-80 tanks. If you want to destroy something, I guess you could attack the soft vehicles like the trucks.
Let’s turn our attention to the skies. We won’t want to get close to any of the fast movers, but perhaps we have a chance against the rotary winged jobs? A better pilot might. What I learned is that in the battle between .50 cals and iron sights against the laser guided cannon firing from a platform that can pivot on a dime, there can be only one winner. Ouch.
The DCS: P-51D Mustang "game mode" attack an enemy helo


The training section is well implemented, with a voiceover trainer walking you through every inch of the cockpit and every step of starting the P-51D, getting it rolling, getting into the air, and getting it down again in one piece. I can’t fault this part of the game at all and really enjoyed using it to get reacquainted with the Mustang.
The DCS: P-51D Mustang Training Menu

Missions and 'Campaign'

The single player missions are pretty limited, but they do include an intercept mission plus a close air support mission.
The campaign should actually be considered an extension of the training program. Most of the "missions" in the campaign are non-combat, and are designed to just test your flying skills a little more.
The DCS: P-51D Mustang Campaign Menu
As already stated, this is not a combat campaign. It is more of an extension of the training program, without the voiceover and help from the AI trainer.
By way of explanation, let me show you the briefing screen for the first mission of the Mustang campaign.
Your first mission of the campaign requires you to... taxi.
Once you reach the runway, it is mission over.
The next mission requires you to... take off. The one after that? Takeoff again, this time with a 10 knot crosswind. Then land. Then land with a crosswind... you get the picture.

Compare this however to the first mission of the free Su-25T campaign included in the DCS World download.

The Su-25T’s first mission is a true combat mission providing CAS for an armored push on enemy positions.
The DCS World Su-25T has true combat missions
The DCS World Su-25T has true combat missions
Slight difference? Yes, and this is what happens when you introduce a WWII aircraft to a 21st Century environment without changing any other game elements. It becomes nigh impossible to create a meaningful campaign to go along with it.


Your first challenge in going online in your Mustang is the DCS World interface. The list of servers cannot be filtered for the those containing the DCS: P-51D Mustang. Most of the servers available are actually for jet jockeys, not Mustang flyers. You can only find this out by clicking-in and -out of them.

Non-password locked servers which include the P-51D seem very scarce. But when you find one it is relatively easy to log in and get flying. You just click on an empty P-51D aircraft slot on the side you wish to fly for, and off you go.
DCS: P-51D Mustang non-password locked servers which include the P-51D seem very scarce
DCS: P-51D Mustang non-password locked servers which include the P-51D seem very scarce

I was able to find one server offering simple P-51D vs P-51D dogfighting, another offering an "air show mode" where you could cooperate to practice and perform aerobatic displays, and one (terrible ping, but I was able to at least get a look) which offered a simple mission with ground targets suitable to the P-51D and had several people flying. If these options interest you, I suggest you go to the SimHQ DCS World forum and ask to join a dedicated group who you can fly with. There were also servers which included the P-51D in modern combat missions, for the masochists out there who want to practice their parachute technique I assume.

Again, the online game for the DCS: P-51D Mustang seems very limited and all in all you are left with the feeling this aircraft is a "test bed" for DCS.

Having slotted one nicely modeled prop aircraft into the DCS World, we can only hope they can now expand that world to maps and objects suited to this era, and start adding other WWII warbirds.

Mission Editor and Campaign Builder

The DCS promotional text says the P51-D module features, "A powerful yet easy-to-use mission editor (which) allows you to create your own missions and campaigns. A one-click Mission Generator also allows you to instantly create battles as small or large as you wish."
While this certainly seems to be true, at the moment there seems little for mission builders to do. It is possible to design P-51D friendly environments with truck mounted AAAs, Urals, UAZs, and other "soft" targets, and there are structures to take out, but even keen mission builders are relatively limited even though the Mission Editor and Campaign Builder are capable of much more for modern aircraft.


It is impossible to spend time in this sim without thinking (or hoping) it is just a "test balloon" for future DCS WWII offerings.
You can almost imagine the developer conference:
  • Can we authentically model a classic WWII warbird in our jet age simulator? Yes.
  • Can we plug it into DCS World so it can be used in campaigns and missions and online games? Yes.
  • Now can we do anything else with it? ...ideas anyone? ...anyone?
That last question is the one that really matters for now. And the devs have had a firm "no comment" so far on future plans for a true WWII combat sim.

Having documented the many limitations of this release, the question of value for money is primary. $40 USD spent on any other DCS product (e.g. A-10C, Black Shark 2) gets you a fully fledged high-fidelity combat sim with combat aircraft in a fully realized modern military environment. For the same money with DCS: P-51D Mustang, you get the aircraft and some training missions.

But to get a similar high-fidelity P-51D for FSX, you would need to shell out between $50 and $85 USD for the A2A Accu-Sim P-51. That is anywhere between $10 USD and $40 USD more than you will pay for the DCS: P-51D Mustang. So players looking for a straight P-51D simulator, may consider this good value.

If you are looking for a P-51D combat simulator though, it will just frustrate you – unless you always wondered whether one of WWII's legendary warbirds can survive on a modern battlefield, with you at the controls.

But do you really need to spend $40 USD to get the answer to that question?


  • Beautifully realized cockpit and working controls
  • All weapons and weapon systems simulated (unlike on FSX Mustangs)
  • Models failures of aircraft systems as well as combat damage
  • Great implementation of radio commands
  • Good FPS on my medium range system

Could Be Better

  • FM is prone to "over reacting" to control inputs
  • Online interface can't be filtered to deliver only P-51D relevant servers
  • DCS World maps and objects not built for WWII era aircraft or scenarios
  • Limited gameplay options beyond training and training style missions
  • AI controlled P-51D seems not to have same FM limitations as player


Immediately after this review was completed a minor update to v1.2.2 was released with the following bug fixes:
  • Fixed simulator hang when player is trying to roll the P-51D.
  • Fixed erratic mouse cursor behavior.
  • Improved parameter in graphics.cfg to benefit FPS on high settings.
  • Corrected blinker animation.
The update was judged not to alter the substance of this review.

System Requirements

  • Processor: Core 2 Duo E8400, AMD Phenom X3 8750, or better
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Video: Shader 3.0 or better; 896MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 DirectX 9.0c, or better
  • Hard disk space: 7GB
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c
  • Operating system 64-bit: Windows Vista or Windows 7
  • Requires Internet activation
  • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 3GB
  • Video: 512 MB RAM card, DirectX 9.0c
  • Hard disk space: 7GB
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c
  • Operating system 32-bit: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
  • Requires Internet activation
Reviewer's System Specs
  • ASUS G73JW laptop (Intel i7 processor)
  • 4GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 490M
  • 2GB VRAM
  • Windows 7
(This review originally appeared on SimHQ November 2012)

1 comment:

  1. You frequently contrast the two sims by saying that Accusim has a more realistic system modeling, but Eagle has a standard for systems modeling that is second to none and totally based in pure reality (see the ka-50 blackshark's product page for a sense of the degree of detail and remember Eagle also does maximum fidelity simulations for government contracts to facilitate aircraft training)

    And the P-50 is also done to that degree of realism, they just don't write a bunch about it because it's a rather simple system compared to the A-10c and Ka-50 blackshark.

    But I just thought it was an important error in your review that you describe the Eagle version as having less realism in that regard when the P51 is modeled to such a degree in terms of systems that there is simply no more room to increase it any farther. Accusim may equal it, but it certainly does not exceed it.

    While I do agree that being able to perform maintenance on the plane is a neat feature, I disagree that it enhances the fidelity of the sim, unless the sim is WW2 Mechanic Sim 1944.

    In DCS you have to be just as careful with how you fly an aircraft (remember to employ those dust filters on the black shark, or to keep within operating limits for any of the others) or you'll find that your engine fails much much sooner. Different aircraft have different concerns.

    Point being that persistent mechanics is neat, but DCS models all of the same systems in just as much, if not more detail.

    As you can see here, the P51 uses a Professional Flight Model which ED explains is:

    "DCS aircraft that use AFM includes the Su-25T. A further evolution of the AFM is what we term the AFM+ and this uses the same calculations as AFM but adds limited modeling of the hydraulic and fuel systems. Examples of AFM+ in DCS include the Su-25 and A-10A.

    Professional Flight Model (PFM). This is generations beyond an AFM/AFM+ and is based upon:

    Use a wider array of wind tunnel tests CFD methods for aerodynamics parameters calculations.
    A higher level of aircraft construction details for forces calculations. For example: our landing gear model includes individual kinematics of retracting/extending is used to calculate its movement, servo-piston forces, etc. In such cases, we truly use real lengths, arms, etc. This also includes such items as a realistic simulation of airflow along the airframe due to the propeller or helicopter rotor thrust.
    Realistic simulation of Flight Control, CAS and Autopilot systems.
    Realistic simulation of Hydraulics, Fuel, Electrical, Engine and other systems influence flight characteristics.
    Unprecedented access to test data packs."

    So in conclusion you were wrong to say that accusim models the P51 more accurately, or is a better model of the P51 by any objective measure. While getting to play airplane mechanic is neat, that actually takes away from the realism as in WW2 it was the mechanics who handled that, not the pilots, who did get a fresh plane when it was necessary.