P-51A and P-51D

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #1 GregP, Aug 30, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
    We're taking our airworthy Allison-powered bone-stock P-51A to Reno this year to race. It will be flown by John Hinton. We're also taking Steve Hinton's Merlin-powered bone-stock P-51D to race. It will be flown by Rob Patterson.

    By "Bone-stock," I mean they have the engine and props, with NO "hop ups" done. Neither have stock cockpit instruments and no P-51 today does except maybe non-flying museum corpses of formerly-flying aircraft. Miss Virginia has stock fabric-covered elevators while the Wee Willy has stock metal elevators. Both have stock fabric-covered rudders and metal ailerons. Neither has any aerodynamic cleanups ... except maybe some gap seals and a bit of polish or washing, but not any specific "race-prep." We DID do a "once over" and some needed repair to the P-51A found at annual time. Nothing to the P-51D. Both were and are regular fliers.

    So ... we MAY see at least one fast lap from each and get some comparisons at Reno altitudes! (about 5,000 feet plus temperature variation ... so density altitude may or may not play a part ... depends on the temp. No promises except the same air for both ... on the same course.

    They won't be exactly pushing either one at full bore for all the marbles, but we'll get some indication of relative speeds. Steve's "Wee Willy" is stock, but is a fast one relative to other P-51s we fly with including our own "Spam Can." Wee Willy will cruise side-by-side with Spam Can at a consistent two inches less MAP most of the time, at the same rpm.

    "Miss Virginia," our P-51A is stock but we DID install a water system for the race. Don't know if John Hinton will actually USE it, but can probably find out later ... he might tell us and might not. It is running a stock 3-blade, Curtiss Electric prop and Wee Willy is running a stock Hamilton-Standard 4-blade prop. Wee Willy is licensed as "Limited," so the prop meets stock specifications. Miss Virginia is, I believe, "Experimental," but the engine and prop are stock (as is the airframe). It was more of a matter of being licensed in 1980 and maintaining same than anything else. Even has the stock turf tires on it! They don't last all that well on pavement.

    So ... stay tuned for lap times and speeds about mid-September for both. Should be illuminating unless one or the other has mechanical issues.

    Hope not or it means a lot of work! That is never a good thing when you need to fly it home after the race! MUCH better to fly home with no issues ...

    The really technical questions will not be addressed as I have already stated they are basically stock airframes, props and engines. You can make your own estimates. I expect maybe 340 mph or less for a lap speed since they are NOT running in a straight line. I guess we'll see.

    If nobody is racing really hard, it will closer to 295 mph, which will not "kill" a stock engine or require a rebuild. But the relative difference will make itself known if neither DNFs.
     
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  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I met Rob for the first time at the Davis Monthan Heritage Flight this year. He was so very kind to my sister Gray and put her in Wee Willy's cockpit. First time for her since 1951.
     
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  3. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    greg, what is the weight difference between both these plane compared to a ww2? less the armor, guns, old style radio equipment ~700lbs??? and do they still have the fuse tanks?
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Glad you met Robbie, Bill, and glad it was a good time. He and his wife, Bonnie, are very nice people who will interact with anyone. I've never seen Robbie or Bonnie in anything but good humor.

    I confess I don't know the aircraft weights, but I'll try to find out empty and normal flying weights. Both are fairly stock, but neither one, of course, has guns. Installed. I believe Miss Virginia has gun ports with very short fake barrels, but Wee Willy has had the gun ports removed. Wee Willy also has a second seat behind the pilot's seat for a rider. Miss Virginia does not. So both are more or less stock airframes, probably without armor and guns. I'd say that is pretty normal for a P-51 today.

    Without knowing, I'd estimate they probably normally operate between 7,800 and 8,800 pounds. I'll try to find out next Saturday. It's getting close to Reno and someone should be around who knows.

    Here's a video of Steve-O leaving for home base from the Planes of Fame, with Wee Willy.



    That's Robbie Patterson in Wee Willy.
     
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  5. Old Wizard

    Old Wizard Well-Known Member

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  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    When Steve departed Davis Monthan for his daughter's graduation, Rob flew Wee Willy for the rest of the Heritage.

    Empty weight for P-51A - without guns or fuel or bomb racks is 6574 pounds - which includes trapped fluids. The P-51D is 6956 without guns or 85 gallon tank or racks.

    The P-51B empty weight is the same as the P-51D. The only significant difference between a late P-51B/C w/85 gallon tank and racks is the different 50 caliber battery/ammo load out.

    The comparable F4U-1 Empty weight sans guns and racks but including trapped fluids is about 8853 pounds.
     
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  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #7 GregP, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
    I'm assuming those weights are for standard military P-51 aircraft. Wee Willy was built up from unused spares and Miss Virginia was restored in 1980. I am not sure if everything is stock in them, but I am assuming their basic weight and balance numbers are available. If some of the GFE was considered unnecessary, it may well have been omitted. I have no idea if they sport stock fuel tanks or not, though I'm pretty sure whatever tanks are in them are in stock locations since their fuel fills are the same as all the other mustangs we have visiting on a frequent basis. Don't know if we have fuselage tanks or not. I'm assuming they normally operate with a few spares or perhaps even headsets, etc. in the wing ammo boxes, somewhere around half to one third fuel for local flights, and their panels are a bit more modern than WWII. We keep ours looking pretty stock, but we rather naturally have modern radios in them. More modern means more capable, but "lighter" is also implied.

    I'll try to find out empty and normal weights. Won't even ask about Voodoo.

    I'm not too sure what will happen when we must have ADSB installed in 2020 since that will likely run on the north side of $6500 per aircraft. We currently fly some 20 or so of our aircraft and that would run $130k! Not an inconsequential cost for a museum. It would be VERY nice to have several sets of ADSB equipment that could slide in and out in a rack, but ADSB identifiers are assigned to a particular aircraft, and the avionics makers aren't fond of allowing their pet children to change aircraft at will. At least I know Garmin and Avidyne aren't. The end solution has not been decided yet. We have 3.5 years and counting down to go. Well, not just the Planes of Fame ... this affects everyone who flies around the world. Well, MOST of the world that allows airliners in their airspace anyway. I suppose there may be some small pockets of airspace that won't require ADSB, but it won't amount to much airspace.
     
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  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  9. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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  10. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    hopefully as it gets closer the price will drop even further. i wont need one for my tiny kite but know a bunch of guys who will...
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #11 GregP, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
    I know that for ADS-B out only, but for a higher-performance aircraft like a warbird, I'd sure like to also have ADS-B in with a separate altitiude encoder so the pitot-static system doesn't have to recertified if the ADS-B gets worked on for some reason. If the encoder is separate, then it only has to to be recertified when the encoder or the pitot-static system gets work.

    I'm thinking of the costs of ongoing ownership since museum aircraft usually have a pretty decently long lifetime.

    What would be wonderful is a Garmin GTN-750 or Avidyne IFD-540 in every warbird! But those are in the ballpark of $18k each installed and certified. I got to fly one Bonanza with a full-on new all-Garmin panel with a pair of G500 displays, GTN 650 / 750, GDL-88 ADS-B, etc. The audio panel was a PS Engineering PMA8000 and was about the only thing not Garmin. It was a WONDERFUL plane! The owner had the panel refurbished to give it to his son but, when he flew it, he gave his son his other aircraft and kept the Bonanza. The panel was in the $90k range, putting it out of reach for a lot of pilots. The GTN 650 / 750 was coupled to the autopilot and that combination held climb ±2 knots! The air was rough that day and we help altitude ±20-30 feet by the digital altimeter. I really liked the drag-and-drop course changes.

    For my own aircraft, I think I'd rather have the Avidyne IFD 540 for a few of the features, but a GTN 750 leaves little to no room for any dissatisfaction versus the IFD 540. Nothing to do with ADS-B, but makes for a pretty good display of information for the pilot.

    I suppose glass panels are not really required for most warbirds. Most are experimental and more than a few are Experimental Exhibition category. Ours fly in severe clear only and we try to keep them at least close to wartime panels. I don't really know anyone who scud runs in a warbird anymore.
     
  12. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    So it looks like our P-51A's empty weight is right at 5,800 pounds. Don't know for Wee Willy yet.

    Here is a pic of Miss Virginia.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    :tonguewink::tonguewink::tonguewink:So these are Mil-Spec Mustangs?!? :poutingcat:
     
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  14. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    None of them have ever read a tech order.

    But the P-51A IS painted in Olive Drab green. And it has 5 stripes, so it might hold the rank of Tech Sergeant.

    Does that count?
     
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  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Greg - you might want to re-check any empty weight less than published XP-51 at 6278. I'm having a hard time conceptualizing the POF stripping out 1000+ pounds. The wing, tail, fuselage, landing gear, surface controls, prop, engine, cooling systems total up to 5737. That leaves out controls, lubricating and hydraulic systems, electrical and communications and fuel systems, battery, instruments, starting and engine control systems as well as any trapped fuel/oil, armament support (ammo bays, gun mounts, etc)
     
  16. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #16 GregP, Sep 2, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
    Hi Bill,

    I'll try to get a look at the actual weight and balance. The number 5,800 pounds came straight from John Hinton, who is the primary pilot of the aircraft. In fact, he is the only pilot I have seen fly it since I have been at the Museum, not that I may have not missed some flights ... I'm sure I have. I probably won't get a a chance to look at the weight and balance until tomorrow anyway, and whether or not I can see it will be determined by who is there tomorrow. You can figure no armor, no guns, and no provision for underwing stores except maybe tanks. The landing gear sports an overhaul sticker from Menasco. The radiator is a custom made unit by Steve Hinton that is somewhat smaller and a bit lighter than a stock radiator, but cools the Allison quite well ... they are very happy with the new radiator. The prop is a Curtiss Electric. The colors on the Allison make me think it was originally built or rebuilt by JRS. They are the only people I know of that painted the valve covers and oil pan red. Steve doesn't generally alter the paint on engines that are running, so I'm pretty sure it came to Steve in those colors. It certainly is not a Joe Yancey engine. All of Joe's engines have the stock Allison gray crankcase/nose case/accessory case with gloss black cylinder banks/valve covers and distributors.

    There SHOULD be someone in authority around as tomorrow is our regular monthly event and we will be flying our Skyraider and L-19. Also, Steve should be doing active tests on a freshly-restored F-86 if he is there. I saw the first runnup yesterday, and there was still some air in the fuel system at that time. Beautiful Sabre, though. It started life as a Canadair Sabre Mk VI, but has been converted so as to have leading edge slats, so it's now effectively an F-86F with some 2,500 pounds more thrust than a standard USAF F-86F (it is sporting an Orenda 16 engine). The auxiliary tanks were converted to standard USAF tank spacing from Canadian tank spacing, and the cockpit sports some good glass. This will very likely be one of the finest if not THE finest Sabre flying. I'll get a few pics.

    I will report what I can find on weight and balance. For the best chance of getting numbers, I'll probably just ask Steve if he is there.

    Recall Wee Willy was built up from P-51 Spares around the 1980 timeframe. I assume nothing not needed was likely installed at the time. It is Steve Hinton's personal bird and I'm sure it reflects that, equipment-wise. I know it is capable of running with underwing tanks in operation, but there have never been any guns, gun mounts, or any other armament provisions in it. There is a second seat behind the pilot, but the canopy is stock P-51D. I don't know if it even has armament switches in the cockpit, but would doubt it unless they are a built-in item. Useless weight in an airplane is not something I'd expect from Steve. But he also might have done the cockpit up completely stock (I have never been in the cockpit of Wee Willy).
     
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  17. chuter

    chuter Member

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    It looks like you referenced America's Hundred Thousand (great book) page 328 Table 48. That's referencing Merlin Mustangs. Table 47 just below it shows a P-51A empty weight (dry) of 6433 lbs or 555 lbs lighter than the Merlin Mustang but still 633 ibs over the 5800 lbs (no doubt a "ballpark" number) but one easily imagined after removing the (using the similar Merlin numbers) Armament (270 lbs), Armament Provisions (246 lbs) and Communications (163 lbs) . Actually, 6433 - 679 = 5754 and we still haven't addressed the armor plate (some of which is probably impractical to remove for CG or structural reasons).
     
  18. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    OK, I have the answers.

    Wee Willy's empty weight is 6,950 pounds. That's straight from Steve Hinton, the owner.

    Steve allowed as how his brother John was just a little optimistic. The actual empty weight of our P-51A Miss Virginia is slightly less than 5,500 pounds! So, I'd say that perhaps the information in America's Hundred Thousand could be a bit suspect or else we are flying about without some equipment that would otherwise seem necessary. It has an engine, standard tanks, landing gear, all control surfaces, all the controls wires and a fairly operational cockpit since it flies whenever they want it to. The elevator bob-weight is there and works. But no armor and no armament (or gunsight).

    I have no explanation. Steve was pretty busy and took time to give me the weights, so I didn't pursue it any further. If there is general interest I'll ask him next time I see him. Otherwise, I'll just take Steve's word for it.

    Right after I spoke with him we had a missing man formation for Ed Maloney this afternoon with 5 of Ed's favorites; the P-26, the F4U-1d, the P-47G, Ed's P-51D Spam Can, and Ed's most notable achievement everyone said couldn't be done, our A6M5 Zero. Steve was in the middle in the P-26 and pulled up in quite a fighter-like manner. All in all it was a very good celebration of Ed's Life. Many friends with stories, and we all feel lucky to have known and interacted with our founder, Ed Maloney.
     
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  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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  20. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The April 2, 1943 P-51A Test with full internal fuel, guns and ammo did
    376 mph at SL,
    390 mph at 5K
    415 mph at 10,4K

    The May 18, 1943 P-51B Test same conditions, same fuel, same internal load out at 61"
    348 mph at SL
    363 mph at 5K
    394 mph at 10K

    The June 15, 1945 P-51D test same full combat load out, 44-1 Fuel at 61"
    363 mph at SL
    382 mph at 5K
    401 mph at 10K

    Note: I selected this test because a.) load outs exactly the same, b.) surface prep the same, c.) at 61" boost with same fuel. (Not 44-1) for P-51A/B comparison.
    The P-51D with 1650-7 at 61" was faster than the P-51B with a 1650-1 at 61" boost result to level the playing field to compare 51A vs 51D at low level to 15K.
     

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