brietling p51

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by DVH, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. DVH

    DVH Member

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    Looking at pictures of the brietling precious metal p51, its undoubtedly a beauty, but with all those modifications, is it still a p51?
    It now looks more like a kawasaki ki 61 to me.
    I know its not, but just looks similar.
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Precious Metal flies out of Kissimme , Florida from the Kissimmee Air Museum. As far as I know, it isn't assoicated with Brietling.

    It is currently the only Griffon-powered P-51 in the world, and the unique feature is the Shackleton contra-prop. Not altogether sure that is a good idea. It isn't cleared for the g-level that the airframe is.
     
  3. WJPearce

    WJPearce Active Member

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    Hello DVH,

    Technically speaking, it was never a P-51. The wings and enpennage are from a P-51 but the fuselage (originally a movie prop) was mated to a custom built firewall-forward section for the Griffon engine. Officially it is a World Jet P-51XR with the serial 44-88. World Jet was (or is) the Whittington brothers company in Florida. They built the aircraft in 1988, which explains the 88 part of the 44-88 serial. So, no, it is not really a North American P-51.

    Now, there were two other "Precious Metal" aircraft, so it can get a bit confusing. The first was a rather stock D model that was ditched in Galveston Bay (probably around 1990). The second is the Griffon-powered one that you asked about. Both of these aircraft were owned and operated by the Whittington bros in the late 1980s. The third was a new-build P-51A built by Jerry Gabe and named Precious Metal II for a movie. This aircraft was lost with Gabe at Oshkosh in 2007.

    Breitling has used the Griffon-powered Precious Metal and its owner, Thom Richard, in a number of ads. Breitling is the main sponsor of the Reno Air Races.
     
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  4. DVH

    DVH Member

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    #4 DVH, Jul 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
    Now thats the info I wasnt getting on google, thanks for the insight.
    I was asking due to a great billboard add i see recently on my way to work, where the aircraft is at an angle that made me curious as to what type it was.
    The canopy is open and it has an unfamiliar shape.
    Googling came up with the p51, but your info is far more enlightening.
    It does means i still dont know what this particular photo is, and i cant find it online, to show here but i am at least more enlightened.
    If anyone knows of this current uk campaign, it shows a pilot standing on the wing, open cockpit, yellow paint job, double prop. Cool image.
    It looks like it is the world jet p51 xr, going by the prop and shape of the canopy. I think its this aircraft.
    https://m.facebook.com/globalaviationresource/posts/10151615334247215
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #5 GregP, Jul 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
    It is a P-51 if it has a P-51 data plate ... and it does, I've seen it but didn't notice the registered category ... or it would not be flying in the USA.

    It is registered as a P-51 XR (probably for "counter rotating" ... XR), registration number N6WJ, manufactured by World Jet Inc.

    I don't know the category for sure, but it almost HAS to be Experimental Exhibition. Can't be in the Limited Category, that's certain. Not sure if it would qualify for Experimental Category or not. So it has to be either Experimental or Experimental Exhibition.
     
  6. WJPearce

    WJPearce Active Member

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    #6 WJPearce, Jul 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
    Is the billboard like the one below? If so, yes, it is Precious Metal. My whole point about it not being a P-51 is that the fuselage is not "original." I don't think many of us advocate cutting up warbirds, and so, I wanted everyone to know that a sawzall was not taken to a P-51D to create Precious Metal.

    The original canopy on Precious Metal had issues which could prevent someone from exiting the aircraft to take the silk elevator back to earth (which is exactly what happened one test flight with Whittington). Thom Richard and his team redesigned the canopy to improve vision and egress. They also extended it so a (large-ish) camera could be fitted behind the pilot. But yes, it is a very unique canopy. Further, Richard and his team have put a huge amount of work into Precious Metal to make it a much safer and more competitive aircraft. The whole team is a class act.

    10489959_911540828861472_6232652602114831653_n.jpg
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #7 GregP, Jul 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
    They show well as a team and are definitely in the Gold class but unless the fast guys break, they'll never be a front runner in the present confoguration. You don't have to run in front to be a class act, and they are. I just like seeing it fly, myself. Sounds good, looks good, and runs well if not quite in front.

    I don't think anyone uses a sawsall. You unbolt the existing engine mount and fabricate a new one. Then you make a cowling that fits ... not modify the existing one ... unless the mods are very minor. About the only modification to stock metal that everyone does is add Bondo to profile the wing section and some relatively minor mods to change the canopy. Most of the changed canopies can be brought back to stock with a bit of work.

    I believe the team that made Dago Red removed any and all offsets to the thrust angle (no downthrust or sidethrust) and fin / rudder. That is, everything is straight. Didn't exactly help the low speed handling, but DID gain on the top end, which was the goal.

    Good post, though WJPearce. A good, solid team.

    Now we all know why Brietling wtaches cost so much ... sponsorship money!
     
  8. DVH

    DVH Member

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    Thats the one, looks like its an internationsl campaign
    The canopy threw me, its an unfamiliar shape alright
     
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