Replicas of original engines for warbirds

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jenisch, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #1 Jenisch, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
    Why they are not made, high cost? I can think of aircraft like the Yaks and the Ki-43 from the video I posted in the other topic benefited from this.
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Extreme expense of tooling up, limited market, horrendous liabillity if a warbird crashes with a "new build" engine in it.
     
  3. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    The expense, combined with the limited market. How many Ki-43 engines would be needed worldwide?
    TVAL are manufacturing new WW1 aircraft engines, but these engines are a lot simpler to manufcture.
    oberursel-engine
    raf1-engine-reproduction
    Note: TVAL refer to these engines (and all their aircraft) as reproductions, not replicas.

    There may come a time when you could buy all the new components for a Merlin or an Allison.
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    If anyone needs an Allison V-1710, we build those and have about 100 avialble for rebuild and sale. We can build E, F, and G engines and have two auxilliary supercharger stages if someone wants to race an Allison. If so, PM me!
     
  5. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    And thats another reason why no-one's building new. There are still plenty of originals around!
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    No, there aren't. We have the largest inventory of Allsions and Allison parts in the world and we are a full service shop ... we'll overhaul your Allsion or build one up for you, your choice.

    And, unlike other Allison builders, we guarantee ours and will fly behind them ourselves. Want a 12 - 15 year engine? Call Joe Yancey at YanceyAllisons.com

    Serious inquiries nly please!
     
  7. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    Worldwide, there are a lot more of those engines around than airframes (at the moment). Certainly there isn't a market for new engines while people have them sitting on the shelf (or ready to build up for you).
    I can see a time when it is viable, but not until parts shortages make repairing engines impossible. I guess it'll probably start with companies manufacturing smaller parts, and then gradually making bigger and bigger sub-assemblies until they are effectivley manufacturing new engines bar the data plate. There must be a certain number of parts that are currently manufactured.
     
  8. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #8 GregP, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
    We are at a critical point in WWII warbird ownership.

    There are few Merlins available and they are flying parts today that they would have thrown away 20 years ago.

    There are no P-51 Mustang propellers left (actually few ...) and if you want to make a new P-51 prop, you need to buy both props from a Grumman Albatross, and use two balanced blades opposite from each other for the four blades.

    Curtiss Electric props are also a bit scarce, as are accessories. We can work on Merlins, too ... but usually don't. Many Alilison / Merlin / DB600 cases have spun bearings and you have to line bore the case to rebuild it. We can DO it, but not many people can because the tools are getting increasingly scarce. A good line hone capable of honing a Merlin, Allison, or Daimler-Benz is no longer made. You need to find an old one and overhaul it. We found one in average shape and spent 3 months overhauiling it. It is pristine now and we can line hone WWII V-12's. Not many shops can make that claim.

    If you spin a bearing, the case is usually lost to the world population. What you do is to drill out the bad bearing race bigger than stock, weld it back to smaller than stock, drill it back to just a small bit smaller than stock, and then hone it back to stock dimensions. If you have the machinery and the know-how, you have just rescued an otehrwise useless engine case, and can return one to service. WE can, but not many shops can or do.

    Increasingly, the warbirds are the perview of the ultra wealthy because the parts are so scarce and expensive. That's OK, after 70+ years, maybe it's only the way life goes.

    The point is, yes, WE happen to have Alllison engines available, but they aren't cheap or easily rebuildable. If we start with a complete Allison, we can usually rebuiltd one in about 6 - 8 weeks unless the schedule is full. Then the timeframe is variable depending on the backlog.

    So ... enjoy them while you can because their time is limited. When the peoplpe with the knowledge to overhaul WWII V-12 and radial engines in bad condition retire or pass way, the skill is lost and the engines become unsupportable. The same is true for propellers and other critical parts. For instance, all the parts for Allisons (and other WWII engines) that will ever be made HAVE been made. When a water pump shaft is worn, we don't throw it away. We send it out to be machined down, replated, and then remachined back to stock specifications.

    My own estimate is we can expect to see WWII fighers flying around for perhpas another 40 years and it will be done becasue the parts and skills to keep them flying will simply be gone.

    I am 61 years old and the younger generation simply doesn't care that much about WWII aircraft or even flying in general. WWII WAS 70 years ago. So even though the hulks are rebuildable, there is little modern desire to do so from young people. We see it at the museum ... we have 300 volunteers and maybe 10 -15 are younger than 40 years old. And they usually don't become A&P mechanics or even get pilot's licenses.

    I've had a good go at flying and have flown Cessnas, Pipers, Stearmans, and even have a bit of time in a MiG-15 UTI along with some VERY unusual time (got to fly right seat for awhile in a Convair 580). We even restored and got running a WWII V-1 pulsejet (Google Chino Pulsejet and you can see my pickup being pushed dowbn the runway with the pulsejet). I wish the younger generation had more interest in it, but they seem willing to fly on a jetliner with a computer for a pilot. Not me, ever.

    I grieve for the great birds when our generation is gone. A Spitfire or Mustang should be flying once in awhile, not static in a museum with dust on it.
     
  9. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    Greg, I'm a bit more positive about the state of operating warbirds.
    Yes, it is more expensive, but (down here in New Zealand at least) we are starting to see a resurgence of people interested.
    I have continually heard the line about not having the parts and skills to keep maintaining these birds, and yet, we have a certified WW1 aircraft manufacturer, who has redeveloped the skills and is now using original methods, techniques and practices to build these machines. I have no doubt that when the time comes, the same will happen with WW2 aircraft. Already we see it happening with airframes, and it will happen with engines.

    MT Propellers is currently doing this for props (They manufacture the prop for the FW-190), and you can buy a new prop for a Spitfire, I am sure that when Albatross blades run out, someone will start manufacturing them.

    I am part of the generation that will inherit (is inheriting) this legacy, and I can guarantee you, that while the appreciation is different for the different generations, there is still a desire to keep these machines flying.
    Around where I live, the warbird scene is mostly based on WW1 machines, and probably half of the people involved would be in the 30-45 age group, which is where you have the money and wherewithall to be able to indulge in this sort of thing, but they will keep flying.
     
  10. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #10 GregP, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
    Great to hear! I hope there IS interest in late-generation propeller fighters going forward.

    My fondest hope is that 60 years from now, when I won't be here, some airshow happens where a P-38 and a P-51, and Spitifre, and a Zero, and an Me 109 or Fw 190 gets flown for the people, and does something other than a flyby. It should do a loop, a roll (possibly a point roll), a slow flyby, and a high-speed pass at the minimum ... not just fly past the assembled masses.

    Warbirds are all about power, speed, and agility. Unfortunately, we usually can't demonstrate their other talent ... weapons delivery.

    Since you are in New Zealand, you can see one of our engines down there in a newly-completed Yak-3. We sent an Allison V-1710 down to Graham Frue (not sure of the spelling of his last name) and they flew it at the Waribird Over Wanaka Airshow just recently. The Allison is very relaible and it SHOULD be flying down there for a long time. I hope you enjoy it. The engine ran great on the test stand (they ALL do or we fix them!) and Graham was very pleased to find he could show the Mustangs a thing or two about maneuverabilty and climb rate. In point of fact, he can wax their butts in ACM below 15,000 feet.

    Our buddy Wuzak is also down in New Zealand and I hope you both went to the show, saw the Yak-3, and enjoyed it.

    I really like the restorations you are doing in New Zealand, particularly the Japanese stuff such as the Ki-43, and would LOVE to be in on it. The Russian I-16's were pretty great, too. Keep it up! Maybe you guys should try to get our Mitsubishi J2M Raiden and restore it! It isn't on our schedule for at least a few years.
     
  11. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I was in New Zealand....





    ....for about 3 hours, at Aukland Airport. Actually, I have been there 4 times. The total amount of time I have spent in New Zealand wouldn't add up to a half day.

    Remember I gave you a boomerang? That should be a hint as to what country I am from!

    btw, have you tried it out?
     
  12. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    I know that aircraft reasonably well, its been done a a local shop.

    I didn't go to Warbirds over Wanaka, we've got a baby on the way, and I had some flying to complete in the CJ6. But I saw most of the test flying of the Yak, and it goes pretty well. There's plenty of time for me to see that aircraft in action. Gavin Conroy got some good photos of it as it came out of the shop: Classic Aircraft Photography - Classic Aircraft Photography, Air To Air photos taken by Gavin Conroy.

    Jay has only got one restoration in the shop at the moment, might be room for the Mitsubishi...

    Please, please don't get Tasmanians confused with New Zealanders again. It could start a war!
     
  13. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wuzak from Tassmania ... I sort of screwed that one up, didn't I? And I KNOW what country you are from, just sort of space cased while posting in public. Bummer. Abject apologies. Beat me. make me feel cheap.

    Yes I tried the boomberang in a grass park, no damage but I also didn't catch it. I started to try and decided I needed my good hand more than I needed to break a finger.

    Sorry you didn't get to this year's "Warbirds Over Wanaka." We have an Allison flying down there in a Yak-3 and it seems to be flying quite well at this time. Graham calls us from New Zealand from time to time and says that while the Yak was sort of looked down upon by the Mustang drivers, it actually can out maneuver them easily ... and they are a bit miffed now that they have found that out.

    Take care and pet the next local Tasmanian Devil you see for me. Maybe they need an engineering manager.
     
  14. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    Greg,
    Given that i get to get up close and personal to warbirds all the time, I don't feel I missed out on much, but it has been too many years since I've been down there.

    When they were test flying the Yak, the test pilot's wife was flying chase in a P-40 and was struggling to keep up.
     
  15. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gumbyk!

    Maybe she needs a Yancey's Allison for her trusty P-40!

    We had one at Reno two years ago (in the Bronze race) and it outran a Vought F4U Corsair who was really trying to catch up! All the P-40 pilot did was notch the rpm up from 3,000 to 3,400 and he pulled away from the Corsair. The normal limit for the Allison in aircraft is 3,000 rpm, but it was DESIGNED for 4,000 rpm. Not sure the Curtiss Electric propeller is, but that's another story ...
     
  16. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Did it return?

    I can't remember if I gave instructions on how to throw them. I have thrown a couple, but not since I was at school, many moons ago. So if I did give you instructions they're just as likely to be wrong!
     
  17. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I have thrown Australian Boomernags before and have caught them, so I know how to throw them.

    The real issue is catching them ... and I have, but not this one. When I did, I was wearing a catcher's mitt from American baseball, and it helped a lot.

    Meanwhile, pet a Tasmianian Devil for me ...

    Hope to see you within a few years.

    Cheers, mate!
     
  18. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    The problem for the Aborigines was that if they ar ecatching them they have missed their food....


    Like you, I like my hand!
     
  19. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wuzak,

    Actually, I've thrown them before and I already knew how. The trick is to throw horizontally, not add height and to throw at 90° to the ground. Once you master that, you can experiment with slight angles, but they usually just ruin the flight path. I've been told you and hit things with practive, but all I can hit is the ground in some unknown spot that is usually not that close to where I wanted it to be.

    Yes, it came back pretty close to me! Thanks for the neat Boomerang!
     
  20. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    I rather suspect that producing a replica engine wouldn't be too hard.

    1 Mill the engine out of a solid block (rather than casting) using CNC machine tools, dimensions would be captured into a 3D cad system using 3D cameras, lasers or schmematic capture. This is how the Jabiru engine of the Australian light plane is made.
    3 Mixture preperation: use and off the shelf multi-point or throttle body fuel injection system. It's no point wasting time remaking a Stromberg carburator unless Mr Money bags wants it.
     
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