Could the Working Class Afford a P-51?

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Tiger Tim

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Some twenty years back I had idea that only WW2 warbird that I could have was my self constructed Heinkell 162 Salamander. Because it had a wooden wing.
Similar to that, I’ve often thought a Horten Ho.IX would be within the realm of the ambitious homebuilder. The airframe as far as I know is a steel tube structure around the cockpit and engines with wood wings outboard of that. If someone was dead serious and built a good bit of one in a reasonable timeframe I think they could raise the funds to buy a couple of high time small jet engines for it.
 

Martti Mattila

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Feb 24, 2021
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In a short flying history of Horten Ho-IX one prototype spiralled to its death during test flight by asymmetric trust. Light went up to my head and I realised that vertical fin is must for safe flying. Nowadays the whole plane parachute could save the day.
 

Deuelly

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Marshall, MN
In a short flying history of Horten Ho-IX one prototype spiralled to its death during test flight by asymmetric trust. Light went up to my head and I realised that vertical fin is must for safe flying. Nowadays the whole plane parachute could save the day.
You're not talking about the jet are you? The jet accident was due to pilot incapacitation.

Brandon
 

Deuelly

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Making logical comparisons and ignoring cost of acquisition and focusing on operation only:

Cessna 150 O-200 - 100hp fuel burn 6 gal/hr 6.0gal/hr per 100hp
Cessna 172 O-320 - 160hp fuel burn 10.5gal/hr 6.5gal/hr per 100hp
Cessna 210 TSIO-520-C 285hp fuel burn 15.6 gal/hr 5.47gal/hr per 100hp

assuming a 1000hp powerplant @ 6gal/hr / 100hp that means 60gal/gr in todays money ($7/gal) $420/hr in fuel cost without taking into account the reserve for engine rebuild, insurance or anything else. I'm sure that is well in Mig territory with a lot more expensive maintenance due to the difficulty in getting parts for the old piston engines.

Internet sources suggest cruise fuel burn in the P51 is 65 gal/hr so not very far off.
You'd also want to take the distance traveled in that hour into consideration. Pulling it back to 45 GPH at altitude still gives you a pretty good TAS.

Brandon
 
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