P-51D Filled Wing Panels-Help Please!

Discussion in 'Schematics' started by Alte Hase, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm wondering if anybody has a link to a diagram showing exactly which wing panels on the P-51D Mustang were filled with putty during the latter part of WW2? (Late '44). I know that the factory puttied in most of the join lines to improve speed, but I'm looking for a diagram or similar?

    I have a copy of the P-51 In Action and P-51 Walkaround, but the pictures in there, while showing a wing in the factory, are very old and not terribly clear.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #2 Airframes, Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
    If I can find it, I have a diagram posted on this forum a couple of years back, showing the areas puttied, painted etc.
    Basically, it was from the main spar forward, with the entire main wing then polished, sealed and painted. I'll post the diagram if I can find it!
    EDIT: Sorry, I have the stencils diagram, but it looks like I didn't save the other one. It is here on the forum somewhere, possibly in the modelling section, and the title is something like "P51 Mustang painting diagram" . I think it might have been posted by Antoni.
     
  3. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    It was, in fact, the Spitfire, which had the front 25% of its wings filled, and sanded smooth (after August 1942); the Mustang had the whole wing (apart from access panels) filled and smoothed. Only the flaps and ailerons were left in bare metal.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Edgar, you are correct. I seem to recall that the front section of the Mustang wing was completely coated in a special putty, which was then polished, with the remainder having the joints puttied and polished, and the whole lot painted and clear laquered, apart from the control surfaces and wing-tip fairings.
     
  5. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Thanks chaps! That is very interesting, and the info is most gratefully received. I'm sure that the puttying/sanding must have added a lot more man hours onto the production time of the P-51D.
     
  6. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    How interesting is this????
    I had no idea. Great post, great question! Huzzah.
     
  7. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    Can't tell you about the P-51, but it added 50 man-hours to the Spitfire (added about 5-10 mph, as well, though.)
     
  8. barney

    barney Member

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    I had been wondering why P-51's, after the Air Corps wanted planes in plain metal, still had their wings painted. Now I know.
     
  9. Florence

    Florence Member

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    Were the Australian built CAC Mustangs finished in the same manner? ie puttied and painted?
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #10 Wurger, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
    Here you are the diagram from Aj-Press Modelmania no.3 I have found via the net.

    Blue areas - two layers of sprayed putty and polished for the smooth surface entirely with no rivets seen. Then sprayed with a silver paint.
    Green areas - one layer of sprayed putty and polished for the smooth surface entirely with no rivets seen. Then sprayed with a silver paint.
    Yellow areas - a silver paint only.


    p51szpachla.jpg
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Wojtek, that's the diagram I referred to in my previous post.
    I would presume the CAC aircraft were the same, as this process was carried out in order to maintain the laminar flow characteristics of the wing.
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I agree. Besides the production process seems to be the same in all factories.
     
  13. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Thank you for the diagram! It's interesting that the putty was sprayed on... great info!
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    You'r welcome.
     
  15. jim

    jim Banned

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    What speed benefit was this procedure created in case of p51?
    In case of the spitfire the 5-10 mph benefit was in addition to the common reported speeds?( eg 408mph for the early IXs + 10mph because of the procedure?)
     
  16. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic info guys, thanks! Will come in very handy for some future Mustang builds!
     
  17. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    So then, by that diagram, the wing tops were painted silver, no panel seams showing? Cwpt for the ones that open, guns and stuff. Am I correct? Cuz when I look at the pictures of Merlin's Magic in the air, the underside of the wing is painted. When it was rebuilt, it looks like the wing top was covered with minimum number of panels, no gun bay doors.
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    That's correct bill. Of course, currently flying 'racing' Mustangs might possibly benefit from 'modern technology', and have new upper wing panels - only an examination of the actual aircraft in question can verify this.
     
  19. barney

    barney Member

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    In the pictures I've seen the silver paint on the wings tended to look more like light gray when contrasted with the plain metal of the fuselage.
     
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