Modern Equipment on Restored Warbirds

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GatorDude, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. GatorDude

    GatorDude New Member

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    I've been reading a lot about the P-40 Warhawk lately and I was wondering about the equipment on restored warbirds. Do pilots of restored Warbirds use modern equipment while flying? If so, what kind of equipment? Radios, GPS, etc. Are there any fundamental safety issues that owners of restoration projects typically address? Are there any modern civil aviation requirements that mandate the installation of new gear? :?:
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Many operators will put new radios and GPS on their aircraft. There is nothing specific about what type of equipment they must have, as long as meet the minimum requirements of FAR 91 for day VFR, night VFR, and or instrument flight. When the aircraft receives its airworthiness certificate after restoration, the FAA will also have a say where and when the aircraft could operate. Generally the FAA don't like warbirds with experimental airworthiness certificates to operate over large population areas.

    As far as safety issues during the restoration - the big enemy is corrosion. Depending on how much of the aircraft is rebuilt, you're looking at basically a near new aircraft after restoration. On recips engines could be a problem as many of them are built from parts and assemblies over 60 years old .

    This is all pretty generic but I hope it answers most of your questions.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great summary Joe. I'm guessing there might be different requirements in different countries, but, as Joe stated, some, if not most of these, will be geared to the clearance or restrictions on flight. Some aircraft have a fatigue meter and 'G' meter fitted, where there never was one before, an example being the BBMF's Lancaster, which is also equipped with TACAN, the latter more at the behest of the RAF than anything else.
    In the UK, some 'warbirds' might have, for example, a more modern altimeter or compass but, as far as I know, this is more a case of whether the original passes or fails such things as pressure tests, deviation etc. Virtually all of these aircraft, in the UK, will have a modern radio/nav set up, but owners/operators try to keep these as discreet as possible, so as not to 'spoil' the otherwise authentic layout of the cockpit. In recent years, more and more operators have made great efforts to present the intenal arrangements as close as possible to the original, not just the external appearance, and this has sometimes included 'camouflaging' modern items 'inside' original fitments. Other equipment fittings , where they are not obvious, are, wherever possible, updated, such as the material hoses and wiring is made from, fittings and unions, brake linings and so on. On the other hand, some items tend to be rather rare and expensive, as they have to be produced specially, or as a limited run if a major manufacturer, one such being landing gear tyres, an item not normally available at 'Tyres r Us'!!
     
  4. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    The two guys above pretty much covered it. The only thing I'd add is sometimes, guys who buy the birds want the warbird and as much ease of use as is possible. Common to see a GPS attached somewhere to make navigation simpler. Also, as Flyboy noted, the radios are rarely left original. New stuff is so much more effective.

    Another point, sometimes you'll get a foriegn made bird. In that case, you either have to label everything in English or replace the odd part here and there. Aircraft from Europe often come in with Airspeed/altimeters in kilometers/meters. I am not sure but I think you have to change the altilimeter (I did on a Yak) but left the KPH indicator as is. Was trained to fly that bird using KPH so it made sense.

    One last point, you have to keep your airplane up to date with all the certs and whatnot (letter of intent,ect). The FAA does ramp checks on airplanes and if you've got a warbird out there you can absolutely guarantee they are going to want to see all the paperwork on it. Warbirds are magnets for the FAA.
     
  5. GatorDude

    GatorDude New Member

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    Thanks for the responses. It's pretty amazing to see that some are still flying.
     
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