Ford Flivver (again?)

Discussion in 'Classics' started by ironnerd, Nov 28, 2016.

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  1. Dec 9, 2016 #61

    Toobuilder

    Toobuilder

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    To that point - the real P-51 is reported to be a mess to fly. It has poor control harmony, takes a lot of muscle to deal with at speed, and at combat weights and CG was borderline dangerous. Many of it's contemporaries flew better.

    ...not that I wouldn't jump at the chance to fly one.
     
  2. Dec 9, 2016 #62

    TFF

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    From what I have read the P-51 is easy to fly considering its a war plane. with 1200 hp and will go 450 mph. What made it great was you could fly it 800 miles, fly the combat mission, and fly home. If it was a mess it would have not have done the job; pilots would have been too worn out. Comparing it to an Extra 300 or even an RV is an unfair comparison just as the other direction. Every thing I have read and talked to people, the T-6 is the pig and it is on purpose. It was made to fail the weak pilots. Fly a T-6, fly anything.
     
  3. Dec 9, 2016 #63

    BJC

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    The comments about the P-51 reminded me of a conversation I had with Chuck Yeager in 1980. He was adamant that the P-51 was a much better WW-II fighter than any other airplane of that era, and he had flown all of them; ours, our allies', and our enemy's'.

    When I asked him why the P-38 was not used as a bomber escort in Europe, his reply was that the heater was inadequate.


    BJC
     
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  4. Dec 9, 2016 #64

    ironnerd

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    On the subject of material: looks like we get about a 15% savings over buying through Aircraft Spruce. Not much, but noteworthy. I guess it helps to buy metal in bulk.

    I have also read that the P-38's heaters were pretty bad. Kelley grew up in northern Michigan, you would think he would know the value of a good heater.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  5. Dec 9, 2016 #65

    Toobuilder

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    The P-51 success is due to the effectiveness as a complete combat system. It had guns and it had long legs. It is also considered a "young man's" airplane because it will flat wear you out in aerobatics (combat). With the aft fuselage tank full it was also reported to be dangerously close to the aft CG limit and was a real handful. Characterizing it as a "mess" to fly might have been too harsh, but compared to other fighters, it was a bit rough around the edges.

    There is a series of PIREPS on the net somewhere where a whole slew of warbirds are evaluated side by side and to current standards by one of the more prominent warbird drivers. the comparisons are interesting.
     
  6. Dec 9, 2016 #66

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    One of the small handful of very highly qualified test pilot type folks that I am privileged to know was asked what was the biggest disappointment he ever had as a test pilot. He immediately said "The P-51".

    The history books verify what Toobuilder mentioned... the Mustang was a huge success because it was the first fighter able to escort and protect bombers all the way to the target and back, and have firepower when it came time to fight. It was never designed to be a "good flying" airplane as far as I have read. Based on zero PIC experience in either type... but a fair amount of reading, studying, and model building... if money was not part of the goal I'd give you two P-51's for one Zero.

    And again we float away form the Ford Flivver. I'll give you three Flivvers for one of Otto Koppen's other designs...

    helio_courier.jpg
     
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  7. Dec 9, 2016 #67

    BBerson

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    If you can, get a "mill run" direct from the rolling mill. Usually 2000 pounds or something.
     
  8. Dec 9, 2016 #68

    bmcj

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    I thought the P-51 flew rather well and straight-forwardly easy. Sure, the controls get a little stiffer at speed, but that's normal and desirable. At lower speeds, control forces were light. Of course, I've never flown a laden 51 (auxiliary tanks or armament) so I cannot comment on that, nor can I compare it to other fighters.
     
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  9. Dec 9, 2016 #69

    ironnerd

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    Victor Bravo: The Courier IS a very nice plane (even though it's not an RV-3, Pitts, or something perfect like that), but it's a plane for a different mission. I'm thinking similar to the Flybaby, but a little smaller and with somewhat different character.

    BBerson: The company I work for has specialized purchasers. I can look up the material costs, but I can't do anything about them.

    bmcj: Every plane is a series of trade-offs. The P-51 had some bad habits, and was not perfect (it was built in the 1940's! We've learned a lot since then). But it was also a very good fighter with very long range. I knew a guy in Indianapolis who shot down a MiG jet with an F-51 over Korea. He said it was a great plane for "young guys".

    As for the Flivver: Apparently the second one was pretty fun, Harry Brooks flew it to work at Ford from his house almost every day. He even used it to fly between Ford properties. It's not like he didn't have access to a car (he did work for FORD, and was a close personal friend of MISTER Ford).
     
  10. Dec 10, 2016 #70

    ironnerd

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    By "Character" I mean "The look of an 1930's airplane".
    By "Characteristics" I mean flying characteristics.

    As ChopperGirl pointed out, Aerodrome Aeroplanes sells kits that look almost exactly like real WWI fighters, but are made from more modern materials and have more enjoyable flying characteristics.
    [video=vimeo;32353482]https://vimeo.com/32353482[/video]


    As far as advocating "Factory built" vs "Home Built"... I work in an aircraft factory, so I'm bound to lean towards "mass" production (50+ units per year), and Ford wanted the Flivver to be a plane for everyone, which means "Factory". But, having said that, a tube-and-gusset, or angle-and-gusset fuselage is very buildable by a guy in a garage. There are also many light planes that use tubes for their spars, which could be an acceptable balance of build time and cost for the home-builder. Or it could use the simple web-spar like the CH-601's - if you have access to a rivet squeezer that kind of spar is really simple to build.
     
  11. Dec 10, 2016 #71

    Turd Ferguson

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    Me too. However, forfeiting character for characteristics is a necessary trade off for a flying machine, which is where the issue with a specific model. Static display, I'd go all out for authenticity.

    From 1/2 mile away maybe, because they are generic replicas. Replicating a specific model can be challenging cause it takes more than a coat of paint. How "almost" would one look if it had a C-172 paint scheme?

    Put another way, if I put Sofia Vergara clothes and lipstick on a fat chick, would she look "almost exactly" like Sofia?

    If someone wants to "replicate" a 1920's era airplane, I'm all on board. Tim Gallagher did an excellent job of that with his Rotec powered Pober Jr. Ace. If his goal was to build a replica of a Davis D-1, then he failed miserably. When the only common elements are a name and paint job, it's not really a replica and time to drop any relationship. That's why I said way back, there are plenty of alternatives where the grunt work is done. Why start from scratch when one can choose a decent flying machine and simply change cosmetics to suit his goal. (Unfortunately, I believe it was the latter than put Tim's bird out of commission, a failed wire wheel and the plane ended up on it's belly)
     
  12. Dec 10, 2016 #72

    TerryM76

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    I really like what Tim has done there and it certainly is not a replica of any particular aircraft but it does represent an era. I really like the idea of taking current designs and massaging them into something that makes them different from the rest of the herd. I had not heard about the wheel failure until now. Hopefully there wasn't any injuries or substantial damage to the aircraft.

    On the subject of wire wheels, a copy of a Corben Super Ace was recently restored back to flying at the Poplar Grove Airport back in October and it has spoked wheels with nicely done bare aluminum covers......anybody know where to source those items? From what I understand, wire spoked wheels are "higher than a cats back" for out of pocket costs.

    Terry
     
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  13. Dec 10, 2016 #73

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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    Groundlooped while departing OSH in 2009. I know one of the wheels collapsed from the side load. I'm sure it's been repaired.

    Humm, I'd weld/turn my own hubs--wide enough to fit a standard aircraft axle. That should reduce side load issues. Off the shelf rims and lace them up with stainless spokes. I can't see it being any more expensive than a set of "aircraft" wheels.
     
  14. Dec 11, 2016 #74

    TerryM76

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    That sounds like a good solution. I was thinking earlier about how to go about doing that and if covers are going to be used and spokes won't be seen anyway that would be such a waste. How about suitable aluminum motorcycle rims if covers are going to hiding things?

    Not as light or as authentic.
     
  15. Dec 11, 2016 #75

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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    Yes, something like the Akront rims we used on 70's era motocross bikes would work great, Had a wide flat flange which will facilitate attachment of a cover. Those were pretty tough rims and good enough for Evel Knievel, lol.
     
  16. Dec 12, 2016 #76

    ironnerd

    ironnerd

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    Who said anything about "Replicating"?
    I would certainly like to discuss the Flivver with the guys from Midland, because it's a pretty cool project, but not because I want to do it the exact same way.

    You example is (typically) over simplified and willfully ignorant.
    Basically your asking, "If I paint "FORD" on the side of a CGS Hawk, does that make it a Flivver?" Nope. Or "Sophia Vergara wears a red dress, so any woman in a red dress is Sophia Vergara, right?" Very simplistic and wildly inaccurate arguments. Typical of the clueless and under-imaginative.

    A more accurate Sophia Vergara example might be: If a woman looks a bit like Sophia Vergara, but is much less loud, annoying, high maintenance, and does not have a totally over-done accent is that good enough for me? Yes (even though I don't find her all that attractive, I tried to follow along in the spirit of Turd's argument... I'm more "Grace Park" than "Sophia Vergara, but I'm not going to spend the next dozen or so posts using inane examples to explain why TURD is wrong for lusting for Ms. Vergara as he does).

    So what TURD has established is that he is not terribly interested in this idea, which could have been expressed far more efficiently and we all could have moved on. Why he feels the need to expand upon the topic is beyond me. What I probably should have done was inquire with the forum experts about what plane I should build, or rather Which RV I should build because they are the best. Nothing comes close. Or perhaps I should have asked "What is a worthy build?" for a project inspired by aircraft from the 1920's or 1930's. That would have narrowed things down right there. See, after 30 years of messing about with planes, I am still amazingly ignorant of pretty much everything. Thankfully TURD is here to save me from myself.

    But look around this forum. People are building (or thinking about building) some completely whacked stuff. For some reason, though, TURD is okay with that. He's just wrapped around the axle on this one plane. Maybe he was traumatized by a Ford once (well... who hasn't been?). Maybe he doesn't know what he's talking about (there is evidence to support that). Maybe he lacks vision. Maybe he's just a Turd. I dunno.

    I do know that I think the 3218 Flivver is a good looking little plane. AND I know of a few similar planes on the kit and plans-built market that neat Flivveroids. AND I know that it's fun to ponder how Old Henry could have brought a little plane to the masses, of how we could do it today with improved manufacturing processes. Sometime I just get a kick out of thinking about this kind of thing.
     
  17. Dec 12, 2016 #77

    BJC

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    I find discussions of different opinions and view points about HBA both educational and entertaining. After all, we each have our preferences and biases. However, when one HBAer critizes another (and I am not immune from behaving badly, but I am trying hard to reform) it detracts from the purpose of this forum.

    Anything new in the works there at Lockheed Georgia? (I know - just stuck in the past.)


    BJC
     
  18. Dec 12, 2016 #78

    BBerson

    BBerson

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    The first post didn't really explain anything, other than ask how it flew.

    What is the point of this thread?
    Why not start over with what you are trying to do.
     
  19. Dec 12, 2016 #79

    TerryM76

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    Ok.....let's start with something simple. How does one replicate the covers used on the wire spoked rims? Could you hammer form and finish shaping with an English Wheel? Or is there another approach that can be taken by the average builder here's?
     
  20. Dec 12, 2016 #80

    Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson

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