The Hawk is beautiful in the museum. Did he not sell plans minus the ribs and then sold the ribs as a sub kit? Pretty standard home built airplane size but a lot smaller than a P6E. When I was a kid one of the old guys in the RC club had flown them based in Texas.
I just found this thread and ScaleBirdsScott’s post #6 is what I’ve been thinking for over 50 years.
Something I’ve been thinking about would be to take the Mustang Aeronautics Midget Mustang plans and change fuselage shapes to the WAR Fw-190. They’re almost exactly the same size in span and length as well as weights. The MM-1 was designed around the O-200 100hp engine and has great performance with it. I know that there are many other things to consider.
My question is: Am I missing something? Is this too simplistic of a thought process?
Any thoughts either way would be greatly appreciated! I just moved into a new house and haven’t finished the shop area so I have time to rethink dream of building a scale WW2 fighter.
You are thinking far more clearly than most posters.
Start with a proven airframe the same size, weight and horsepower you want, then make the minimum number of changes to make the silhouette resemble your favourite full-scale warbird.
If you start with a Midget Mustang, you can limit changes to 3 areas: cowling, canopy and vertical tail. MM wing and horizontal tail are close enough to FW-190 silhouette to satisfy all but fanatics. Since the cranked leading edge messed with stall characteristic son original FW-190s, you can quietly forget that part. keep the MM's straight leading edge and limit wing modifications to adjust the tip silhouette.
For the cowling, start with WAR drawings. If you are really lucky, you might even find a pre-molded WAR cowling. Since most WARs flew with Continental O-200 engines, it is an easy fit.
The next challenge is fairing the new, wider cowling into the MM's sheet metal fuselage. WAR did that fairing with foam blocks and fibreglass .... maybe okay for a one-off, but foam is certainly easier to form than sheet aluminum. Considering that MM already has better wing root airflow - than the original FW - the fewer aerodynamic changes the better.
The MM cockpit is already well-proportioned for over-sized Americans, so the fewer changes to the cockpit the better.
You will probably need a custom-molded canopy, but may be able to modify a stock canopy to resemble the Malcolm hoods installed on the last FW-190s.
Fairing the canopy into the aft fuselage top deck is another challenge.
The less you mess with lower fuselage or horizontal tail the better.
Finally, adjust vertical tail silhouette to mimic the original FW tail.
As for retractable undercarriage, only a few MMs had that and most were one-offs. The extra weight tends to over-whelm the reduced drag. As long as you are willing to settle for cruising less than 200 knots, fixed gear is simpler, cheaper and less likely to fail ... er ... forget to lower before landing. With some cleaver curving, fake U/C doors can streamline most of the main struts, increasing cruise speed by a few knots. If you make wheel wells with just black paint, few will notice from farther away than the wing tip.
While you have the paint brush in hand, slap your worst possible imitation of a swastika on the fin, because none of us want to perpetuate Hitler's perverted politics.
With your approach, you will end up with a structurally and aerodynamically predictable airframe that someone else has already made 90 percent of the design decisions. Huindreds of homebuilders have proven that the design is sound. Just ask some experienced aerodynamicists to review your cosmetic changes before committing them to sheet metal.
Thanks for the advice, but mostly for the encouragement to put pencil to plans and start creating! I have a set of WAR Fw-190 plans as well as an old set of MM-1 plans. You made my day! Now, if only I didn’t have to work for the next two days, I’d get started tonight!
Would retracting the gear be that difficult? WAR had a lightweight gear and simple retraction set-up. Are there any threads here on HBA that you could point me to or at least the correct forum? Other than that, I agree with your suggestions.
I'm in the "just use paint to make your sport plane look like a warbird" camp. Miss Mitty is a delightful bird to fly and the decision to go warbird was seeing how "spitfirely" she looked while building.
It helped as well that a real Spit is mounted on a pylon in my town.
John Isaacs started with a proven airplane to "copy." The Fury was an altered Currie Wit and the Spitfire was a Taylor Monoplane. Another builder of a Midget Mustang changed the canopy and used a military paint scheme to create a really, really stand-off scale P-51B. In regards to the landing gear. ..don't. Cutting holes in a wing is a pain. Paint the gear flat black and pretend it isn't there. You are a big spinner and revised turtle deck away from something very real. The gear is a detour into the woods that others thought about and changed their minds.
Many years ago, I bought the plans for the Teenie Two, Hummelbird and Watson Windwagon and drew up my own set of plans to morph all of them together into a Messerschmitt BF109 look-alike.
I had modified a BMW K75 motorcycle engine by adding a Rotax C gearbox so that I would have a German engine in my German replica. The engine ran nicely but has not yet gone into an aircraft.
I got half way through building the -109 replica and decided that if I wanted to build a scale warbird, then I needed to have it look closer to the original than what I was building so I shelved the project. It was however a great learning experience for building from scratch out of metal.