Falconar SAL Mustang

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Hi, new to the forums and looking for information from some of you fine folks. Has anyone build or in the process of building a Falconar SAL Mustang? I am considering purchasing the plans from Manna Aviation but I have never built a plane before so this is all very new to me. I do have some practical skills being a qualified house builder so some things may transfer over, also I am lucky enough to have neighbour who is a racing boat builder so hoping he can help me out with the fibreglass requirements. I have a currently work as a commercial pilot with around 5000 hours but I have never flown a tail dragger. My questions are many but the main one's are; how hard is this aircraft to build from scratch? (I know that is like asking how long a piece of string is but some insight would be nice) and how hard is a SAL Mustang to fly? I would love to just purchase a kit for a t-51 but the upfront cost is out of my price range at the moment so this seems like a viable alternative. Am I dreaming? Any help or guidance would be much appreciated.
 

Riggerrob

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Chris Falconar developed the SAL Mustang from Marcel Jurca's designs. Several Falconar P-51 replicas have been built and flown, mostly with Ranger, 200 horsepower, inverted, in-line engines.
 

Tiger Tim

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It’s all doable as it’s been done before. Some airplanes are harder to build than others and some people have a harder time doing it than others.

About the tailwheel time, get a share in a Champ and fly it a bunch until you’re comfortable, then get a share in something more challenging. Keep moving up that ladder concurrently with your Mustang build. You definitely don’t want to finish the Mustang and suddenly find you have more airplane than you can handle as that will either be disappointing that you can’t fly it or you go for it anyways and someone gets hurt.

As for the airplane build, there’s generally a bit of a disconnect between how the classic homebuilts were drafted versus how it’s often done today. Nowadays thanks to 3D CAD with a well designed plane you can build each piece to the drawing then assemble it all like IKEA furniture. The older designs have a lot of ‘figure it out’ involved. Sometimes that means you need to look to similar aircraft for inspiration on bracketed and the like, sometimes it means you wait to drill holes until you can mock up and match drill them. It’s all doable, just a mindset to have when you do it, you know?
 
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Chris Falconar developed the SAL Mustang from Marcel Jurca's designs. Several Falconar P-51 replicas have been built and flown, mostly with Ranger, 200 horsepower, inverted, in-line engines.
Hi Riggerrob, thank you for the info, the main thing I am looking for anyone on this forum who has experience either building or flying one of these.
 

don january

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Beings I'm knee deep in building an all wood aircraft from 1950's era with plans that are from that time period I may have a couple things to aid in your decision on the Sal Mustang. For one it would be a very satisfying accomplishment to build and I suppose also very challenging. I think the basic wood box of the Fuselage would be fairly straight forward and if you have worked with fiberglass and vacuum bagging that would be a big plus. Because of the size of the wing a large work area would be needed. You express that your mainly interested in a builder of the mustang or a person with flight experience of said craft and this alone may be a hard find this day and age. Regardless of what is involved if your heart is in it grab some prints and materials and share the ride.:popcorn: and welcome to the site.
 

TFF

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Occasionally projects, parts and pieces show up. Not many have ever been finished. Can you be one who does finish, sure. Perspective though and not just this plane, building a plane from scratch is going to be like building one of your house projects by yourself. Occasional help, but you are driving all the nails, laying all the bricks, putting the roof on... You have to love a big project. You will not going to be flying one in two years unless it becomes your full time job. As for skill, just like any other type of plane, fly by the rules and it’s just another airplane. The bigger issue is whoever flys it first has to guess some of the rules until they can be established. That’s where these planes bite the hand that feeds it.
 

BoeveP51

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The SAL plans are an all wood design. Take that into account. The original design was for the Ranger engine but most newer builds used the Chevy V8. I sold the SAL I had long time ago. Still have the plans. They are probably the best detailed plans you will ever get for a plans built plane. I also have plans for an engine mount for a Chevy V8 that would fit. Beautiful plane when finished.
 

Pops

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friend of mine built one back in the 1980's. Used a Ford V-8. Looked great, but his construction in many areas was in question. Very overweight. Hired a pro-test pilot, he taxied it and decided to pass. Last I heard in was displayed in a mall up north somewhere.
 
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Thank you for all the replies! The more I read the more I am thinking that this is not a realistic option for me and I may be better off saving to buy a Titan Mustang kit, even if I do it in modules. Unfortunately it seems I have champaign taste on a beer budget. I may still get a copy of SAL plans though so I can dream while waiting.
 
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As a Jurca builder and owner of the SAL plans (great plans as BoeveP51 stated) I can say it's a fun build being wood but could take you 10 years.
What Jurca aircraft did you build? 10 years would be a realistic time frame for being able to afford to finish a build anyway, both for a titan or a sal mustang. I see there are a couple of sal mustang projects for sale on that barnstormers but the cost to ship them to me would be pretty massive.
 

Dan Thomas

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If you're a family man you'd better be careful. Scratch-build homebuilts take a long time to build, and that time has to come from somewhere. A project like the SAL Mustang is a complex project, complete with plenty of compound curves, retractable gear, and some sort of engine adapted to it. Ranger engines tend to be pretty rare, as do Gipsy Queens. Larger auto engine conversions come with a massive set of their own problems. Sometimes biting off too much means you never get anything at all.

I don't know about now, but the standard EAA placard filled out by a homebuilder at a fly-in carried the information on his airplane, such as the model, the speed, the engine it had in it. One line was for the cost of the build; I saw one sign that had "My Family" entered on that line. I was still young, and it shocked me. Woke me up some. No airplane is worth losing your family over.
 

wiloows5050

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My son has started building a SAL. The advantage of a plans build is you can work as fast or slow as you want. The plans for the SAL are massive in shear volume. We have SAL, Sindlinger, Jurca, Sands, and Replicraft we are working with. The Sal has more pages than all the others combined. If you do a kit besides the upfront costs everything is completely planned out sometimes including the engine. With the plans you can make modifications if you want as you are the builder, quality control and sometime the designer or engineer. There are a couple of titan builders on the replica aircraft association Facebook page.
Either way the important part is having fun building it.
 

raymondbird

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What Jurca aircraft did you build? 10 years would be a realistic time frame for being able to afford to finish a build anyway, both for a titan or a sal mustang. I see there are a couple of sal mustang projects for sale on that barnstormers but the cost to ship them to me would be pretty massive.
His 3/4 scale 109. Still building of course and over 10 years now but the basic airframe actually goes very quick. 2 years for that and not hard at all. It's the little things and needing to spread out the cost that take all the time.
If you're in the States, why don't you think about going to pick up one of those projects?
 
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His 3/4 scale 109. Still building of course and over 10 years now but the basic airframe actually goes very quick. 2 years for that and not hard at all. It's the little things and needing to spread out the cost that take all the time.
If you're in the States, why don't you think about going to pick up one of those projects?
Wow, have you got any pictures you can share? Unfortunately it would take a boat to get those projects to me as I'm in New Zealand.
 
Joined
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My son has started building a SAL. The advantage of a plans build is you can work as fast or slow as you want. The plans for the SAL are massive in shear volume. We have SAL, Sindlinger, Jurca, Sands, and Replicraft we are working with. The Sal has more pages than all the others combined. If you do a kit besides the upfront costs everything is completely planned out sometimes including the engine. With the plans you can make modifications if you want as you are the builder, quality control and sometime the designer or engineer. There are a couple of titan builders on the replica aircraft association Facebook page.
Either way the important part is having fun building it.
I am impressed at the massive amount of building and designing you must be doing! I think my best bet is going to be to save my pennies up and get a titan 51 kit, I am pretty sure I can purchase it in modules and spread the cost over time. It is the aircraft I really want to do anyway, the SAL just seemed like an option that would hurt my wallet less at the initial outlay but would produce similar results.

Thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement, when I have something to show you all, I will be sure to post it on here. It has been a day dream of mine for about 20 years or so now since I first saw a T-51 flying and realised it may be a realistic option one day, time to make it a reality!
 

jany77

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My friend once sad that airplanes are just bunch of small parts put together only difference one has more than the other ( experimental vs ultralight )
 

Jason Crossley

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When I was a kid (early 80's) my father was rebuilding a SAL Mustang. It had been built with a Ford V8 initially, but had crashed. He was rebuilding it and had bought and installed a Ranger engine for it. He ended up selling the project to a guy that shortly thereafter had gotten busted for importation of "goods" from foreign lands, if you catch my drift. It sat in a hanger for a few years in St. Pete/Clearwater FL for a while then I think it was auctioned off by the government. My dad had an agent reach out to him and asked him if he wanted it back, but Pops was on to other things by then. I do remember that he had painted a yellow and black checkerboard tail on it.
 

TXFlyGuy

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My background is in flying for major airlines, plus lot's of time in GA.
My "logbook" also includes building two custom houses, and one custom swimming pool. In addition, a T-51D Mustang has recently been finished up, a 7 year project.

None of the above relate to each other.

A friend is about to finish up his Jurca P-51, after 25 years in the build process.

Be fully aware of what you are getting into. Another good friend was building an RV. Got halfway done, and called it quits.

Here is the Jurca:
P1020551.JPGP1020549.JPGJurca Mustang 5.jpeg
 
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jac

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Wow, have you got any pictures you can share? Unfortunately it would take a boat to get those projects to me as I'm in New Zealand.
Space Cadet, Hi, have you investigated the JURKA? P51 that was being built in Wanaka by 'gilles-kupfer', it was being advertised in the NZ Sport Flying magazine several years ago...~2010?. He was originally from Switzerland and moved to NZ to build his 190 warbird replicas. Not sure if he is still here in NZ, but if you google his name his old website with contact details come up and he apparently had some contacts within the NZ warbird scene. The mustang might have been a full scale version, not sure but worth a look. Unfortunately due a change of editor @ Sport Flying old on-line adverts are no longer available.
 
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