# P-51 Mustang Replica Tehnical Question

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##### New Member
I am planning to build a P-51 Mustang 1:1 Replica. I will make it flyable. I have all the parts/pieces from the structure ready to cut and assemble. From what material and what thickness should I use for this structure to be strong (to support human weight) and also light in the same time ? Steel, aluminium ? And what thickness ? 1, 2 or 3 mm etc. ??? Thanks again.

#### rv7charlie

##### Well-Known Member
Hi, welcome to HBA.

I'm guessing that this is your 1st aircraft project. A word of warning; a full scale P-51 will be a *huge* undertaking. I'm also guessing that you aren't an aero or mechanical engineer. Another word of warning; I suspect that there aren't two people on this forum that would consider trying what you're describing, and that would include some very talented and experienced engineers. I know that I've been maintaining homebuilts since 1991, I have two talented mechanical engineers as friends/advisors, I'm about 95% done with another homebuilt, and I'd *never* tackle a task like a scratch-built P-51.

If you really want to build one, have you looked into a kit version?

Charlie

#### pictsidhe

##### Well-Known Member
Buy plans or a kit. 1:1 would be horrifically expensive.

#### mcrae0104

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
I am planning to build a P-51 Mustang 1:1 Replica. I will make it flyable. I have all the parts/pieces from the structure ready to cut and assemble. From what material and what thickness should I use for this structure to be strong (to support human weight) and also light in the same time ? Steel, aluminium ? And what thickness ? 1, 2 or 3 mm etc. ??? Thanks again.
At least 3mm steel throughout. You should never scrimp when your safety is at stake.

#### Malcolm C

##### Active Member
Go for 6 mm better safe than sorry......

#### Dana

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Steel, aluminium ? And what thickness ? 1, 2 or 3 mm etc. ??? Thanks again.
Yes. All of the above. And other materials and sizes as well, according to the stress analysis and other engineering requirements.

HBA Supporter

#### cvairwerks

If you are going to build full scale, then just use the existing prints. Be forewarned that the cost for a flyable engine, prop, radiator and gear set are going to cost you in excess of $250,000 these days. CRG #### pictsidhe ##### Well-Known Member If you are going to build full scale, then just use the existing prints. Be forewarned that the cost for a flyable engine, prop, radiator and gear set are going to cost you in excess of$250,000 these days.
Pfft, the rest of the plane has to be at least a million.

##### New Member
Thank you for taking the time to respond. You are all very kind and I am glad I met such passionate people. To respond to your replies, a stress engineer told me that 6 mm steel is too thick and too heavy and it will create problems. For the other matter, I don't have any money to buy an entire kit. I just have some sponsors and friends, in terms of CNC owners, moulders, aerospace design engineers etc.

#### CRG

##### Member
They're yanking your chain a little. As mentioned, use the NAA prints. Everything is called out in detail. Also previously mentioned, this is a monumental undertaking, your chances of completion if working alone are effectively zero. It takes teams of experts years to restore/replicate a P-51. It would take years of part-time work to just create the fixtures.
I don't remember all the skin thicknesses from my time at a Mustang shop, but the forward fuselage sides are .080" 2024-T3. Lots of .040" and .050" elsewhere. Also many castings that you will need to buy or fabricate.

#### mcrae0104

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
For the other matter, I don't have any money to buy an entire kit.
The availalabilty of a kit is the least of your challenges. If you can access all of the plans you need and the tooling and materials, and if you have the know-how, it's an incredible undertaking. Read up on the large-scale Jurca replicas and see what the experience of other builders has been. Also check out some restoration videos like the ones AirCorps puts out to get a taste of the magnitude and complexity of what you want to do. @Deuelly may have done insight on the subject to offer as well.

#### Dana

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't have any money to buy an entire kit. I just have some sponsors and friends, in terms of CNC owners, moulders, aerospace design engineers etc.
The aerospace design engineer is the one who should be telling you what materials to use. There are thousands of parts in a P-51, of many different sizes and materials. There is no single answer to "what size should I use?"

#### cvairwerks

##### Well-Known Member
Something to understand about certain skins used on the Mustang...they were formed in a stretcher press. There is no way to form them otherwise.

#### pictsidhe

##### Well-Known Member
Is that kit looking more attractive yet?

#### BJC

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Is that kit looking more attractive yet?
It probably would, if one existed.

BJC

#### Derswede

##### Well-Known Member
It would be easier to start with a simpler project to get used to the building methods you will need to learn. That way, you could build something to fly in for awhile during your build project. Ultralights are a popular way to get airborne on a budget.

Considering what you want to build, something easier, like a Saturn V, should be considered to get that experience.

Joke...I hope you accomplish what you want to build. The Kits are actually a cheap way to accomplish that task. Most use an auto engine, MUCH cheaper than finding and buying a Merlin.

Derswede

#### Toobuilder

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
There are "new" Mustangs being built (or were). I visited a shop in ND 20 years ago that was building them from scratch (full scale, to NA blueprints).

Its possible, but not very realistic.

#### CRG

##### Member
They can be wheeled.

Something to understand about certain skins used on the Mustang...they were formed in a stretcher press. There is no way to form them otherwise.

Still are.

There are "new" Mustangs being built (or were). I visited a shop in ND 20 years ago that was building them from scratch (full scale, to NA blueprints).

Its possible, but not very realistic.