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Thread: Thorp T-18 vs Bushby Mustang II

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Thorp T-18 vs Bushby Mustang II

    New to this game and interested in building a good two seat cross country plane that'll handle the distances we encounter in Australia.

    My father is a retired sheet metal worker with aviation industry experience (he spend 15 years making bits for the SEPCAT JAGUAR) so plans built doesn't daunt me that much.

    I'm thinking of the Thorp T-18 and Bushby Mustang II. I've noticed a lot of overlap with these two aircraft. OK the smallest recommended Lycoming for the Thorp isn't recommeneded for the Mustang but after that its all common ground.

    They also seem to have similar fueling options meaning the range can be pushed out to 1,000 miles, the luggage carrying capacity is the same (80lbs), and their criuse speeds are comparable (OK the Thorp seems a little slower based on the official specs, but what's 15mph when you're cracking 180?). Both can be built with folding wings (well an S-18 has them) and they even date from the same era (the 1960's). They're also both amongst the select group of homebuilts to take their pilot around the world.

    So can anyone help me out, what differences should I take into account so have a set of valid reasons to pick one design over the other.
    Last edited by Locost; December 18th, 2006 at 11:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Glad you asked! Since I'm not prejudice I'd like to point out some of the things I know. First, John Thorp was a genius! He designed an airplane that can be built from materials that are available most everywhere. Order some sheet aluminum, tubing, and angle. Add 2000 hours labor and poof, you have one of the best handling airplanes ever designed. The Thorp T18 and S18 both have folding wings available. There is even a nose gear available. Most T18's weigh 850/950 pounds empty. One builder (C.B.T.) has one weighing in at 701
    That is why it will perform with an O-290/130hp.

    The T18 is well supported
    Yahoo.com .....Thorplist

    While a complete kit can be purchased the Thorp is truly a plans built airplane. JT originated the matched Hole assembly with no jigs/fixture. The parts are laid out using full width 4 foot aluminum. E.G. Inner wing is 4' and outer is 4'. Leading edge is straight, no complicated bends. Check the top view of the mustang II kit and how are you going to form the round turtldeck. If you are going to order a kit you might as well ship the RV.

    The S18 and Folding Wing were designed by Lu Suderland. The fuse is nice, 4" wider and 5" longer, but the FW/CW is more complicated to build. Inner W is 3' & outer W is 5' with a split flap. The T18 wing can be removed with 4 bolts. Not something you want on a daily basis, but doable. Both the MII & Thorp use the T18 canopy. The Thorp wings have been made wet by prosealing the ribs during assembly. There was a Thorp for sale in Australia and a complete set of T18 FW plans are a steal for $100 on Barnstormers.

    Good luck,
    Farangutan likes this.

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