P-51 - who currently owns rights?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wolfpack, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. wolfpack

    wolfpack New Member

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    Hi,

    I was wondering if anyone has any idea who currently owns the rights (presumably the copyright in the original drawings/blueprints etc.) to the P-51 Mustang?

    I've read on a few websites (e.g. North American P-51 Mustang - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), that they were purchased from North American Aircraft by the Cavalier Aircraft Corporation.

    Apparently Cavalier was trying to sell a turboprop-powered version of the Mustang to the USAF, but it seems that they lacked the production facilities, political clout, etc. to secure an order for the aircraft, so they sold the project to Piper who apparently ended up selling a few of the new planes to various buyers.

    From what I've read, it's not clear whether Cavalier just sold the rights to the turboprop Mustang to Piper, or whether they also sold the overall rights to the Mustang.

    Cavalier apparently shut-up shop after selling the project to Piper.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers.
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The original patents are a moot point as a P-51 copy built in 2010 would use modern construction techniques.

    A few years ago somebody built a modern copy of the Me-262. Externally it looks like the real thing but internally it's a modern aircraft. The engines are also modern rather then just copying the antique Jumo004.
     
  3. tail end charlie

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    I thought patents only had a certain time of validity? A P 51 has a rolls royce engine which is, I would think, property of RollsRoyce (same for the allison) and I am sure dozens of other parts like propellors made by other manufacturers. I dont know if a patent can apply to a shape. Whereas the P51 is a unique looking airplane, there is no part of it which is paricularly different to many others. Bubble hoods were common, air intake similar to hurricane, wings similar to Bf 109, front similar to any merlin engined plane.
     
  4. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    Northrop-Grumman gets in a big stink if a game has one of their a/c in it and is not properly credited.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #5 FLYBOYJ, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    There are no "real" rights to a particular airframe per se. When manufacturing replicas (I assume that's where this is leading to) one change in the design and it establishes the basis of the aircraft being an entirely different airframe. You can rebuild an airframe up from a data plate and although you essentially have a brand new aircraft, it can be considered a rebuild.

    Keep in mind that depending on the country, one must also look into what type of civilian aviation laws apply for the operation of the aircraft. For example, in the US, more than likely if one was to remanufacture a P-51 from the ground up, it would probably be register "Experimental" exhibition which would place limits on its operation. That in itself would show that the aircraft was built from a different design specification from the original design. One can try to apply for a manufacturing certificate that would have the FAA issues a Type Certificate for the aircraft but that process is lengthy and expensive.

    There have been several people who have basically remanufactured WW2 airframe from the ground up. For some on to claim "rights" to such an endeavor would be silly and far-fetched.
     
  6. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    It may be currently owned by Boeing
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #7 FLYBOYJ, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    And you're guessing?

    Actually Cal pacific Airmotive owns the TCDS for the P-51C, D and K. Cut and paste the link in your browser.

    http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgMakeModel.nsf/0/4f7a595fdcb10b5b862576ab006a4ffd/$FILE/LTC-11.pdf

    This means they own the specific manufacturing rights for the original design. This does not mean that someone cannot manufacture a complete airframe from the ground up or rebuild an airframe from a dataplate.
     
  8. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    #8 norab, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    Actually FlyboyJ, not guessing, just putting forth a simple fact. North American Aviation, the manufacturer of the P-51, was absorbed by Boeing, and Boeing does not provide plans for their products.

    If you check these links you will find that all the North American aircraft and in particular the P-51 are owned by Boeing

    http://www.boeing.com/history/bna/p51.htm

    http://www.boeing.com/history/master_index.html

    Boeing guards their trademarks quite zealously, even requiring their permission to create a model for computer flight sims. If you tried to build one and use the name P-51 or mustang you can look foward to long court battle which you will probably be on the losing end of, assuming it did not bankrupt you first.

    not a guess, a simple fact
    .
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #9 FLYBOYJ, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    I am well aware of the NA/ Boeing merge/ buyout (I used to work for Boeing) and Boeing DOES NOT own the manufacturing rights for the P-51. The document I posted shows who can produce the aircraft under the current TCDS requirements.

    Those links are nothing more than marketing tools used by Boeing because of their mergers. Lockheed does the same thing with Martin and Convair/ General Dynamic products. In actuality they are meaningless.

    There have already been several P-51s built from the ground up and several have been flown and one even crash at Oshkosh a few years ago. Boeing had no leagal base should Cal Pacific Airmotive start rolling brand new P-51s down an assembly line, as long as they have their manufacturing certificate good with the local FAA MIDO office (Providing they are not going to be produced with an Experimental Airworthiness Certificate) and they build it to the data on the TCDS.

    Not a guess, a known fact.
     
  10. tail end charlie

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    That sounds a bit like a Rolls Royce car, Rolls Royce make jet engines, a Rolls Royce car is only called that with the permission of the engine company.
    Over years brand names and rights get changed and sold so many times they disappear up their own behind.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    To a point correct.

    In this case however, when the Feds (and we're talking in the US) identify who holds the current manufacturing rights, its pretty hard to say otherwise.

    In reality, I would guess Boeing would not want to touch this as if they tried to claim patent or trademark rights, they would also be liable should someone crash a newly minted P-51 into a crowd of people.
     
  12. tail end charlie

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    That is the point I am making as well. There is the public perception of what is what and the business fact which is set in law. For a long time Rolls cars were actually part of Vickers and more bizarrely Daimler Benz group cannot use the name "Daimler" on their cars even though it was founded by Gotleib Daimler/Karl Benz because the name Daimler was sold as a franchise now held by Tata under the Jaguar name.

    Anyway my mate down the pub has a merlin we just need a P51 airframe and we are in business:lol:
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    And a data plate! ;)
     
  14. tail end charlie

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    :lol: Flyboy, I dont harbour fantasies about flying a war bird, I got my rocks off racing motorcycles in my teens and twenties and I wouldnt even do that anymore (I dont bounce as well as I used to).

    The second world war had a huge, really huge number of deaths by accidents from memory the US airforce had over 4000 fatal accidents by 1944, and the RAF was the same (probably worse because of our weather) That was with new planes and a dedicated ground crew who knew their planes and young men trained to do it. I admire and respect the men and women who did it and indeed those who do it today but a WW2 war bird is like a GP racing machine not for the faint hearted, inexperienced or stupid.
     
  15. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    If you look on page 3 of the PDF you link to, it specifically says on the right hand side of the line headed Production basis " production of new aircraft is not allowed"
     
  16. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    That is an FAA document, not a Boeing document.
     
  17. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    This is an interesting discussion because the producers of plastic scale model kits have been approached about licensing the design of aircraft. Just a few days ago I saw a P-39 Aircobra kit that had a sticker applied to the package affirming that it was a licensed kit.
    This of course is a sensitive issue with modelers.
     
  18. tail end charlie

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    I dont know how you can hold a patent for a shape after almost 70 years when the most critical "shape" was the wing profile which was reseaarched/designed/developed by NACA.
     
  19. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    #19 norab, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    that is exactly my point. the firm the document has been issued to, in this case , Cal Pacific Airmotive, is specifically prohibited by the FAA from producing new aircraft of the P-51 type. they have the right to repair and rebuild them but the right to produce is retained by Boeing until it chooses to build them or licence someone else to, and because of liability issues that is unlikely to happen
     
  20. tail end charlie

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    Are you saying that boeing realise the P51 was rubbish?
     
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