P-51D Loses Engine on Takeoff

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1st Lieutenant
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
Mid-American Flight Museum, Mount Pleasant, TX 26 Mar 2023

Screenshot 2023-04-05 at 18-43-16 Engine Failure on Takeoff! P-51D 26 March 2023 - YouTube.png

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTtv4uODWXE
A friend of mine recommended that for first flights after refurb or with newly overhauled engines that on takeoff after you are off the ground that you drift right of the runway. This makes the "impossible turn" - a 180 to land back on the runway - much easier to do, since you are making a 'U" turn rather than a complete circle. In the case of that P-51 with engine failure he had just enough runway to land and get stopped, so drifting right would not have done any good.

A friend of mine was taking off in her Ercoupe, demonstrating what she called power surges to her A&P. But this time the surges seemed to be worse so she chopped power and made a "impossible turn" - that airport has parallel runways. She made it down but hit three parked airplanes and totaled her own, but without injury. It turned out that the throttle cable was not well supported, leading to it flexing and transmitting that motion to the carburetor, causing the engine to go "RRRRR..rrrrr...RRRR," There was nothing wrong with the engine; it was simply as if you were working the throttle in and out slightly, but she chopped power needlessly as a result.
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Recall when Harrison Ford crashed his PT-22? Shortly after takeoff the Kinner engine carburetor had an internal part literally just fall out of place. They said there was no way to detect it or anticipate it occurring; I guess there was no way to safety wire it.
I remember him crashing a plane. I didn't know it was a PT-22. I do remember him landing on the wrong runway (taxiway?) almost on top of another plane.
Interesting thing abut the P-51 gear, is that the center gear doors hang down when there is no pressure in the hydraulic system. Then when the engine starts and pressure comes up, the center gear doors close so to allow an unimpeded flow of air to the radiator. Then when the gear is commanded to come up the doors open to let the wheels in and then close again to cover them. Probably the most complex gear retraction system of any WWII airplane.

Now look at the attached bit of box art, depicting Bob Hoover doing one of his famous acro routines. A superb job, but the artist really got the center gear doors wrong. First off, they would be closed under those circumstances, and second, the Left center gear door is on backwards. And of course I rather think the flaps would have been down at least a bit, too.

Screenshot 2023-04-06 at 16-35-45 Revell NAA P-51D Bob Hoover '74.png
The artist for the P-51D flown by Mr Hoover has one issue with his/her rendition of a Mustang.

Who sees the issue?

No prizes, but folks will see the first person with the correct answer as a rock-star!

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