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P-51 Mustang Replica Tehnical Question

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BoKu

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I am planning to build a P-51 Mustang 1:1 Replica. I will make it flyable...
One way of assessing the scale of such a project is with simple economics. According to the P-51 Wikipedia page, the per-unit price on the P-51 was about $51,000 in 1945. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, that comes out to about $733,000 in today's dollars. About as much as a well-equipped Cirrus SR22.

However, that was when the aircraft was in active series production resulting in a total build of 15,000 units.

If you had to make just one, the cost of making the parts onesey-twosey while reverse-engineering the assembly process and making all the jigs and fixtures would probably put the price between 5x and 10x what it is for series production units. So I'd figure on at least $733 x 5x = $2.7 million.

That said, if someone came at me with a blank check asking for a full-scale P-51 replica, I'd probably make it out of carbon fiber using CNC-cut single-use molds. I would just bid on the basic airframe and control systems, and let someone else do the engine, cooling, electric, hydraulic, undercarriage, and all that stuff. But even just the bare airframe would probably be the better part of a half a million dollars, and the total fly-away price tag wouldn't be much below the $2.7 million arrived at above.
 

radfordc

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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.
Nice troll...I think you have several on the line. Play them slowly so they don't break off.
 

BJC

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There was a “scratch built” P-51 that was destroyed on a landing collision with another P-51 at Oshkosh.

Someone here who follows warbirds can chime in, and, hopefully, tell us the cost.


BJC
 

pictsidhe

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One way of assessing the scale of such a project is with simple economics. According to the P-51 Wikipedia page, the per-unit price on the P-51 was about $51,000 in 1945. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, that comes out to about $733,000 in today's dollars. About as much as a well-equipped Cirrus SR22.

However, that was when the aircraft was in active series production resulting in a total build of 15,000 units.

If you had to make just one, the cost of making the parts onesey-twosey while reverse-engineering the assembly process and making all the jigs and fixtures would probably put the price between 5x and 10x what it is for series production units. So I'd figure on at least $733 x 5x = $2.7 million.

That said, if someone came at me with a blank check asking for a full-scale P-51 replica, I'd probably make it out of carbon fiber using CNC-cut single-use molds. I would just bid on the basic airframe and control systems, and let someone else do the engine, cooling, electric, hydraulic, undercarriage, and all that stuff. But even just the bare airframe would probably be the better part of a half a million dollars, and the total fly-away price tag wouldn't be much below the $2.7 million arrived at above.
There are a lot of variables in play. How it was built is a really big one. As examples, the Spitfire and Hurricane. The Spitfire was a lot harder to build, needed higher skilled workers and more hours. Not surprisingly, it was not cheap. The Hurricane was designed for easy mass production. It didn't need as much skill or nearly as many hours. However, it made good use of dedicated machinery to churn parts out at high speed. It was cheap and early in the war, was built over twice as fast as Spitfires.
Now, fast forward 75 years. You find one of each in a barn. Ok, calm down, they need a LOT of work. The cheapo Hurricane will cost twice as much to restore as the thoroughbred Spitfire. The Spitfire was built by artisans, not machines. This is much easier to replicate in limited runs.
 

BBerson

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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 ?
A 1:1 scale Replica is not necessarily the same as "exact replica". Which are you asking about? What empty weight is proposed?
A 37' span experimental "light replica" of say 1500 pounds empty (7600 original) should not be difficult for an experienced builder.
 

rv7charlie

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BoKu probably knows this; a couple of decades ago, someone did pull molds off an actual P51 & made at least one in composite. I never heard whether it went further than the prototype.

Woops...
HOME | Cameronaircraft

I don't remember if that's the same one...
 

cvairwerks

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The fuselage longerons are one of the trickiest items for building one from scratch. Last time I saw some for sale was about 20 years ago and they were getting 8 grand for the set of 4 parts. Screw one up and they would only sell you a set.
 

J Galt

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BoKu probably knows this; a couple of decades ago, someone did pull molds off an actual P51 & made at least one in composite. I never heard whether it went further than the prototype.

Woops...
HOME | Cameronaircraft

I don't remember if that's the same one...

Unfortunately that shop (shown in the link, in CDA, Idaho) just went up for sale. It's around $400k +/- . No word on the business, could be moving to full production facility though or who knows.
Justin
 

TXFlyGuy

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A 1:1 scale Replica is not necessarily the same as "exact replica". Which are you asking about? What empty weight is proposed?
A 37' span experimental "light replica" of say 1500 pounds empty (7600 original) should not be difficult for an experienced builder.
My 3/4 scale, 28' wingspan version has an empty weight of 1748 lbs.

If this thread is truly legit, you need to plan on spending 1 million on the build, minimum. Titan Aircraft had a full scale, 100% size kit in the works at one time. That kit would have sold well north of 500K.

Buy a set of plans from Jurca, and upscale it by 25%. That can be done.
 

BJC

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A 1:1 scale Replica is not necessarily the same as "exact replica". Which are you asking about? What empty weight is proposed?
A 37' span experimental "light replica" of say 1500 pounds empty (7600 original) should not be difficult for an experienced builder.


BJC
 

TFF

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I talked to the owner and saw a run up of this Spitfire about a year and a half ago. It’s made of a composite “cardboard” is my best description. I think they came up with it. It has an Allison. Full time helper employed. It’s about the guy’s tenth homebuilt including a Thunder Mustang. I don’t know if it has flown. Terrible airport for test flying. I don’t think it cost a million, but it probably cost half that. The only flaw I saw is no panel lines made it look like a giant toy. It was cool though. Funny how different an Allison sounds to a Merlin.
 

BBerson

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My 3/4 scale, 28' wingspan version has an empty weight of 1748 lbs.

If this thread is truly legit, you need to plan on spending 1 million on the build, minimum. Titan Aircraft had a full scale, 100% size kit in the works at one time. That kit would have sold well north of 500K.

Buy a set of plans from Jurca, and upscale it by 25%. That can be done.
It can be a replica and not exact. The T-51 is called a three quarter scale "replica" but hardly exact. Titan T-51 Mustang - Wikipedia
It doesn't have to be exact scale weight just because it is 1-1 scale size either. In theory, I could build a 1-1 scale replica ultralight. Which I think the OP was referring to.

It would be relatively easy to buy a wrecked C-206 and use the engine, instruments,wheels, etc. to build a 1-1 replica P-51 around the same size and weight as the C-206
 
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TXFlyGuy

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It can be a replica and not exact. The T-51 is called a three quarter scale "replica" but hardly exact. Titan T-51 Mustang - Wikipedia
It doesn't have to be exact scale weight just because it is 1-1 scale size either. In theory, I could build a 1-1 scale replica ultralight. Which I think the OP was referring to.

It would be relatively easy to buy a wrecked C-206 and use the engine, instruments,wheels, etc. to build a 1-1 replica P-51 around the same size and weight as the C-206
Correct, the T-51 is not exact, or 100% correct. Those photos represent very early examples. The latest versions are much more correct in overall appearance. See the photos below for a more up to date version of the T-51 Mustang.

8784E9A4-894E-454C-AF53-66FB8EC5683C.png

B4090B8F-DE79-4D19-BA18-9DBCB39A7D08.png

E6893B0B-F790-4332-A6B4-A7DB561B6B3B.jpg

A 100% scale replica Warbird is going to be expensive. Propeller and engine will eat up a lot of $$$.
 
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plncraze

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I spoke with someone about five years ago who talked about a group close to where Burt Rutan lived who were going to do a full scale Mustang. I asked if this Murdoch Cameron's and he said no but that Cameron was involved.
I believe the home built Mustang at OSH was made by the owner of a restoration shop. It was built from scratch but by a professional backed by an experienced shop.
 

Pops

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Used to be a father and son that had a shop that built P-51 wings in southern, WV. Can't remember their names.
My neighbor deals in military aircraft parts and also airplanes in the 1920's and 1930's, ( need any Jenny, DC-3 parts, 1930 Bird project). We meet a man at Sun-and-Fun one year and he swapped parts with a man that was piecing together a P-51. Said he first bought a left aileron and then used it as a pattern and built the right aileron, etc. Also don't remember his name. My neighbor had 4 engines and I think he traded some extra engine accessorys for other extra airframe parts.

Little trivia.
One time we stopped by the 8th Airforce Museum in Savannah, GA and we had work cloths on and I was on the floor on my back under a P-51 engine on display that was under a P-51 airplane. Had a flashlight calling out part numbers off of the accessories and people stopped and ask us about different things about the museum thinking we worked there. Told them we were first time visitors .
 

David Moxley

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BoKu probably knows this; a couple of decades ago, someone did pull molds off an actual P51 & made at least one in composite. I never heard whether it went further than the prototype.

Woops...
HOME | Cameronaircraft

I don't remember if that's the same one...
Murdo is a good friend,I see him quit a lot, most every time I’m down at my hanger , 2or 3 times a week.He has the molds for the full scale Mustang , the wing mold is a H model Mustang. He has his hanger up for sale, I really don’t think he is going anywhere? If his hanger dose sale he has another shop where he is going to continue working of the Mustang & several other projects.
 
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