P-51 Replica. It's a Slow Day, so Let's Design One.

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cluttonfred

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The other thing that strongly colors opinions on aircraft is whether or not they were right for the mission. The P-39 is a perfect example...the USA pushed them to secondary roles in the Pacific as soon as possible, largely because of short range. The British pulled them almost immediately because they were intercepting bombers at medium to high altitudes where the Airacobra was a dog, even assigning Spitfires to American fighter squadrons waiting for their P-39s who kept them until re-equipping with Mustangs. The Soviets, on the other hand, were fighting a low to medium altitude war shooting down or defending tactical bombers and attack aircraft over the battlefield. In those circumstances, the Airacobra was absolutely fantastic and they loved it. If you haven't read Attack of the Airacobras: Soviet Aces, American P-39s, and the Air War Against Germany by Dmitriy Loza, it's eye-opening.
 

Deuelly

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You have first hand knowledge of the P-47 vs. the P-51? Way cool, I'm jealous!
I've been fortunate enough in life to end up running one of the top restoration shops in the United States. It allows me to work directly with some of the top warbird pilots past and present. Both in the air and on the ground.

If you're ever near southwestern MN give me a shout, I'll take you through the shop and museum. When this Corvid-19 craziness is done anyway.

Brandon
 

TXFlyGuy

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I've been fortunate enough in life to end up running one of the top restoration shops in the United States. It allows me to work directly with some of the top warbird pilots past and present. Both in the air and on the ground.

If you're ever near southwestern MN give me a shout, I'll take you through the shop and museum. When this Corvid-19 craziness is done anyway.

Brandon
Brandon -

Where are you located? That sounds like it warrants a special trip. I have family in North Central Iowa, so maybe not that far?
 

Deuelly

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Brandon -

Where are you located? That sounds like it warrants a special trip. I have family in North Central Iowa, so maybe not that far?
Granite Falls, MN. We're about two hours straight west of Minneapolis.

It would be great to have you stop by some time. Preferably with your Mustang.:)

Brandon
 

TXFlyGuy

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Granite Falls, MN. We're about two hours straight west of Minneapolis.

It would be great to have you stop by some time. Preferably with your Mustang.:)

Brandon
Maybe that can be arranged. I have friends in the area also, not far from the Cities.
 

Saville

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Saville:

Do you recall the name of the Collins pilot? My neighbor, Bob, flew for them for many years.


BJC
Hi BJC - No I don't. I recall him having grey hair and a moustache...sort of a large guy.

In my logbook it looks like the Collings (to satisfy the picky) pilot on my flight was "Mark Heule" though it's a little hard to read the signature.
 
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Saville

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Yes the P-47 is better up high. It's comparable to the P-51 down low. What makes it a better choice than the P-51 down low, but not the best, is it's durability and fire power. This is only based on first hand knowledge and talking with the guys that flew them during WWII so the info may not be that accurate.

Brandon
Well ok but the original statement about P-47 being down low was with respect to flying qualities not the other aspects like survivability and gun power.

If you're going to open up the parameters that's ok but I was replying to the original statement. Hence my inclusion of a maneuverability study.
 

Saville

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My friend who owns Buzzin' Cuzzin says the P-51 is fairly easy to fly, as long as you stay inside of the normal operating envelope. Go outside that envelope, and she will bite you. You might live to talk about it, and you might not.

The recent fatal crashes of P-51's while carrying passengers illustrate this very well.
Bob Garriot came up to Massachusetts to get some Formation training. I was flying formation with Marc Nathanson out of Hanscom and/or Lawrence at the time so I got to fly the other plane in the training program. Bob was a really nice guy.
 

BJC

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Hi BJC - No I don't. I recall him having grey hair and a moustache...sort of a large guy.

In my logbook it looks like the Collings (to satisfy the picky) pilot on my flight was "Mark Heule" though it's a little hard to read the signature.
OK, it was a long shot. My friend and neighbor, Bob, flew the P-51s for Collings as well as the B-25. Another friend and neighbor, Steve, flew co-pilot on the B-17 for a week just before the crash.


BJC
 

TXFlyGuy

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Hi BJC - No I don't. I recall him having grey hair and a moustache...sort of a large guy.

In my logbook it looks like the Collings (to satisfy the picky) pilot on my flight was "Mark Heule" though it's a little hard to read the signature.
The spelling is either correct, or incorrect.
Not picky at all. My name gets misspelled frequently. So corrections are made on a regular basis.

I guess I am a bit anal on spelling...should have been an English major instead of Music!
 
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BJC

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My name gets misspelled frequently.
Myron:

My name is Byron. I worked with two men, best friends with each other, who had sons named Brian and Bryan. It usually took them three tries to get my name right.

Now, if we can decide on Marc verses Mark ......


BJC
 

Deuelly

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Well ok but the original statement about P-47 being down low was with respect to flying qualities not the other aspects like survivability and gun power.

If you're going to open up the parameters that's ok but I was replying to the original statement. Hence my inclusion of a maneuverability study.
Ok, so below is my original statement about the P-47. By the paragraph structure you can clearly see I stated probably a better choice during WWII. Right there, parameters set. To my knowledge aircraft were shooting guns and trying to survive battle damage during that time.

The P-51 was probably one of the worst allied fighters of WWII below 15,000 feet. The P-38, P-40, or P-47 are probably a far better choice. To make a scale replica, of any scale, with the same flying qualities is a bad idea. Build the plane to look like anything you want, but design it to fly in the environment your going to fly in.
You then unknowingly to anyone closed up the parameters to just maneuverability in the reply to that comment.

I then stayed with the original parameters with my comment below.

Yes the P-47 is better up high. It's comparable to the P-51 down low. What makes it a better choice than the P-51 down low, but not the best, is it's durability and fire power. This is only based on first hand knowledge and talking with the guys that flew them during WWII so the info may not be that accurate.

Brandon
Please don't accuse me of changing parameters when you clearly did. Also, please don't start a "maneuverability flame" under the guise of not wanting to start one.

Sorry to the mods for pulling this so far off topic. I will not post anymore on this thread.

Brandon
 

TXFlyGuy

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Myron:

My name is Byron. I worked with two men, best friends with each other, who had sons named Brian and Bryan. It usually took them three tries to get my name right.

Now, if we can decide on Marc verses Mark ......


BJC
Yes! I can relate to that! My last name is Oleson (original Danish spelling) and you would not believe how it has been butchered!
 

Richard6

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Found this information in the local Minneapolis Star Tribune April 5, 2020 edition.

This outfit in Bemidji, MN claims to have original drawings of the P51. I know nothing about them and I am not associated with them. Just passing this information along for anyone who might me interested.

Here is is the website link:

Access is NOT free.

Richard
 

Victor Bravo

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But I’m thinking there might have been some Mustangs in the Danish Air Force.
I have a dear friend from flying sailplanes (Max Skovgaard) who is originally from Denmark.

Over and above drinking that horrific Alborg Akavit liquor, he's famous for saying "You can always tell a Dane, but you can't tell him much!"
 

Bigshu

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Hi Billski and Pepsi;

That question has certainly occurred to me too. It seems wasteful, but, it is also very common in homebuilts, especially replicas. I've seen oodles of examples.

I can't answer for everyone, but I'll try to answer for the Mustang replica that I am re-working.

First, I'm no engineer. I have an Aerospace Technology diploma, which qualifies me to work somewhat on aerospace stuff, but certainly doesn't make me capable of calculating anything related to airframe loads. I might have been qualified to do this, had I been a MUCH better student, 25 years ago at Ryerson (Toronto) but stress analysis was my worst subject, and the day after I graduated, I wouldn't have been qualified to design a true moncoque structure. For that matter, I'm not qualified to design a truss tube fuselage either, but my intentions are to use the work of others and "design" an aircraft with a weight and structure similar to others. However, I acknowledge your good point. And with changes I want, I'll still have to illustrate the strength of any structure on paper before building. God knows how I'm going to do that, because I sure don't.

Second, sheet metal forming can be truly difficult. I haven't used an English Wheel, have you? If you have, how'd it go? Making compound curves in aluminum, and ensuring that they are now capable of carrying loads would be WAAAY beyond my abilities.

Third, the truss tube just acts like a good place to hang things (other hardware) like bulkheads, control sticks, engine, tail, etc. It's like the skeleton. Just add meat and skin. I make it sound so easy, don't I?

Forth, like the Hawker Hurricane, a truss tube construction should be simpler for a one-off build. The Spitfire, a better aircraft in many respects (but not all) was much harder to build, and took more man-hours (and woman hours, sorry Rosie) than the Hurricane, even as production became "routine." So I think a space frame of tubes is more beginner-friendly for the homebuilder.

Fifth, riveting. I had hoped to stay away from solid rivets, for the most part, since this now takes additional equipment, at least some level of additional practice in riveting, two people ( a real disadvantage if you can't find a buck-bar volunteer), and makes real noise (neighbours would love me). I'd like to use Avex rivets, as these are one man items. The skin wouldn't really be load-carrying, so it just has to withstand the aerodynamic forces in flight. The wings are a different matter, I realize, and they might indeed be stressed skin. So I might have to go through these motions. I haven't dived into the whole wing-thing yet.

Lastly, weight. A distinct disadvantage to use a truss frame under the skin. You're right that a not-so-carefully designed structure would add weight and be inefficient, but, I will be without guns, armour plating, oxygen system, and the fuel to make it all the way to Berlin. I might want to take off and make it all the way to the breakfast meet at the nearest airport, or some sort of modest cross-country, but that's about it.

I can't speak for Titan, since I am not involved with the company, but I think I can see why they've gone this route and used small pieces of fuselage skin with simple 2-D curves, as opposed to fully wheel-formed 3-D curves. The average home builder has no skills for this work, or the equipment. So they approximate a curve by using a few pieces to make a chin cowl shape, a top nose shape, or a wing root fillet, rather than rely on real skill to form each piece. And, the more I see of the kit, the more respect I have for some of their design decisions, even though I'd like to see an aircraft that looks more like a D-model Mustang. Especially when they've gone to all that trouble to make an airplane kit for the masses. A few simple tweaks would even improve the replica look, especially in the V-stab area.

Thanks gents, for the points you've made. As always, feel free to point out flaws in my way of thinking. It all gets sifted and computed.

Cheers, Tom.
That's one of my sticking points in homebuilding. There's tons of resources available to allow "unqualified" builders to design and build whatever they want. Yeah, you have to at some point, run numbers and do real world testing, but if only diploma holding aerospace engineers got to design airplanes, we'd have a lot fewer choices, and maybe not even have experimental aviation to work on. Don't let lack of an aerospace engineering degree hold back your ideas. There are so many people who will gently nudge you away from really dangerous foolishness. Even during the building process, there are people who will examine your work and declare it airworthy or not. Tech advisors will discourage bad ideas or poor quality workmanship. Just do like the original experimenters did and test concepts with models (or now days, computer programs), scale up and test, test, test, until you have something light and safe.
 
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