Falconar SAL Mustang

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Mathewcorle1

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Apr 7, 2021
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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.
Good day, I purchased a set of two seat plans from falconar back in 2007 and just now getting around to starting.
 

kableco

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May 13, 2021
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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.
Hey Space, I've got a real clean one coming up for sale if you're interested. It's airworthy, and was actually up flying already this year. Would love to chat. Shoot me a DM or an email: [email protected]
 

Roosta

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I also own a set of plans for the SAL P-51 two place. First, I have to finish my father's CA-65 Skyfly. The Skyfly is pretty close to paint, but need interior, instruments and firewall forward.
 

Dillpickle

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I gotta ask...why Mustang? Looks? Performance? What is pulling you there? If you are a commercial pilot in New Zealand, with 5000 hours, A taildragger is just one more small step in training. P51 pilots were flying combat with just a few hundred hours or less. But if your goal is performance, lots of ways exist to get there cheaper. What do you want out of your airplane? People build Mustangs because they want to build a mustang. It's a labor of years doing what they love. If you want to fly a mustang, you could probably earn the money to buy a replica faster than building one. Either way, you've got a second job!
 

Dan Thomas

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Even owning and flying a nice replica is in this category.

Like they say...a T-51D Mustang is 10% of the cost, 75% scale, but 100% of the fun!
Not 100% Not for me. It's impossible to replicate the music of a Merlin. Difficult to replicate the top speed of the P-51. Very difficult to replicate the old-airplane smell of a WW2 warbird; you'd need a mix of a lot of old lubricants and chemicals that aren't made anymore. Difficult to replicate the control feel and vibration of the real thing, to experience what those young bucks did in 1943.

But 75% of the fun in a 75% scale at 10% of the cost is OK, too. Only the very wealthy can afford the 100% fun, yet it seems that even that is never enough, does it? They only want more.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Not 100% Not for me. It's impossible to replicate the music of a Merlin. Difficult to replicate the top speed of the P-51. Very difficult to replicate the old-airplane smell of a WW2 warbird; you'd need a mix of a lot of old lubricants and chemicals that aren't made anymore. Difficult to replicate the control feel and vibration of the real thing, to experience what those young bucks did in 1943.

But 75% of the fun in a 75% scale at 10% of the cost is OK, too. Only the very wealthy can afford the 100% fun, yet it seems that even that is never enough, does it? They only want more.
Have you flown a T-51D Mustang? Or sat in the cockpit, hit the starter button and feel the plane shake as all 8 cylinders come to life, barking at you with that loud cackle exhaust note?
 

Dan Thomas

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Have you flown a T-51D Mustang? Or sat in the cockpit, hit the starter button and feel the plane shake as all 8 cylinders come to life, barking at you with that loud cackle exhaust note?
No, but I did build a 13-foot boat and put an SBC in it with straight water-cooled pipes. Lots of power, 1MPG at full throttle. I soon made mufflers for it. Favorite airplane I flew was the Cessna 185. Lots of noise and vibration there too.
 

Saville

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Not 100% Not for me......Difficult to replicate the control feel and vibration of the real thing, to experience what those young bucks did in 1943.
Actually I have read that a well built Stewart S-51 has very much the same control feel and handling characteristics of the original P-51. Including stall characteristics.
 

PMD

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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.
The former very un-co-operative business owner of the distribution rights for Walter LOM engines is out of the picture. Someone needs to call LOM Prague and bring these in again. PERFECT engine for the SAL Mustang, repower of DHC-1, etc. Also, available as reverse thrust (for the water landing guys) and aerobatic versions.
 

Dan Thomas

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Actually I have read that a well built Stewart S-51 has very much the same control feel and handling characteristics of the original P-51. Including stall characteristics.
The key would be to never fly a real P-51. After that, all replicas would feel and sound just inadequate. It would be a bit like getting back into a 150 after flying a 185 for awhile. BTDT.

Once I had been in helicopters, airplanes all seemed so limited in their choices of places to go. Don't fly in one (or get any stick time) unless you want to be really envious.
 

Tiger Tim

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The key would be to never fly a real P-51. After that, all replicas would feel and sound just inadequate.
Have you flown a real P-51? I haven’t but I know a handful of guys who have. All of them have said at one point or another some comment about not meeting your heroes. Based on that, maybe a fun-size Mustang could actually be the better option to live with.
 

TXFlyGuy

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A friend who has time in the P-51 and the T-51 says they have very similar handling. The big difference is the P-51 grosses out at over 11,000 pounds.

So there is no replica that can come close to that.

My T-51 has a power to weight ratio of 5.6 lbs / hp. A P-51 is closer to 7 lbs / hp.
 

TFF

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Y’all are all talking about semantics. Whatever you enjoy or put up with is relative. Same with don’t want. If it’s a real Merlin or nothing, so be it. It a car motor makes you happy, so be it. No one is wrong here.
 

jac

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Reading this with some interest, have followed the test flying of 'Bowers Pony' on you tube and the videos of the 'T51-Sugar'. While neither the LS or BMW engines are likely to match the actual sound of a Merlin due to cyl size etc I wonder how the sensation of BMW V12 compares to the LS. Can understand the passion for LS in USA, but in Europe and elsewhere the BMW is available at reasonable price ( Used condition ).
 

TXFlyGuy

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Having listened up close to the BMW V12 and the SBC V8, the Chevy is louder. And much more powerful, especially at lower rpm. The BMW has to strain to make 300 hp. The Chevy will do over 400 hp and not break a sweat. And it’s an off-the-shelf engine. You can order one today from GMPP.

The BMW sounds very good at idle speed, much like a Merlin V12. At higher rpm’s the sound is not as good.

The Chevy sounds good at low idle and upper rpm settings.


Here is an old video, with Sugar (V12) and Camel Smoker (327 Cubic Inch Chevy) doing a fly-by:

 
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rv6ejguy

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Lots of versions of BMW V-12s. The BMW N73 B68 puts out 25 more hp and 100 lb./ft. more torque at much lower rpms than the LS3...

LS3 engines crate engines are in short supply right now due to crankshaft production issues.
 

TXFlyGuy

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I would be curious to know the real world numbers for the BMW, with Mustang style short stack exhaust installed.
Here is data from Hutter Performance running their custom made short stack headers -

3800 rpm = 305 hp / 421 lbs
4000 rpm = 336 hp / 440 lbs
4200 rpm = 371 hp / 463 lbs
4500 rpm = 412 hp / 480 lbs

Note that the engine easily produced well over 525 hp, but this was at an rpm higher than what we can use.

edit - This is the LS376-495. The BMW engine referenced in the above post is no longer in production, discontinued 5 years ago.
 
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