Building a WW2 plane from scratch, how hard can it be?

Building a WW2 plane from scratch, how hard can it be?

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bumblebee

548 posts

197 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
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eharding said:

I went out for a blast in an RV8 (G-HILZ) a couple of weeks ago - stunning bit of kit - goes like stink, very comfortable, scope to equip it with more gadgets that your average Airbus, and certainly capable of Standard level competition aerobatics - although I'd recommend that your mate fit a full inverted oil system and a C/S prop if that is in prospect. There is also a growing band of RV owners taking part in formation training (and its a hell of a lot cheaper to run than a Yak!) - if he hasn't already, tell your mate to take a look here. Some nice photos of G-HILZ (and a dodgy Herman Goering look-alike) here
I have been following A & E's build for a while - fantastic machine. They've done a beautiful job of it. Nice to think that my Easybid subscriptions have gone towards something so worthwhile. smile

sstein

6,249 posts

224 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
Do WW2 planes have haynes manuals ?

Mr Dave

3,233 posts

165 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
sstein said:
Do WW2 planes have haynes manuals ?
Spitfire and Lancaster do.

Other than that, I reckon if you chucked 92 Million quid at it, you could get a reproduction Spitfire made in 2 years.

Same as a Stirling or whatever else takes your fancy it isnt impossible just impossibly expensive.


Eric Mc

116,146 posts

235 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
Apart from the airframes and flight control systems, which by WW2 were complex enough, there is the question of engines.

A Stirling would require four Britol Hercules sleeve valve radials. I'm not sure how many running Hercules engines of the right version are still in existence but I'd guess there aren't many.

As has been mentioned, there have been a few "new build" WW2 projects, the most notable being the Messerschmitt Me 262 project, the Focke-Wulf Fw190 project, the Yak-3 project and the Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 projects.
In the case of the 262, some of the Fw-190s and the Yak-3, original type engines were not used due to common sense in the case of the 262 and non-existence in the case of the Fw-190s and Yaks.
There is one VIRTUAL new build 190 with an original BME 801 but the follow on builds will use a Polish radial engine instead.


When in production, all these aircraft had their maintenance manuals and pilots' notes. In the case of aircraft like Spitfires and Messerschmitt 109s, there were so many versions of these planes that many different manuals had to be run off to cover the various sub-types. Using the wrong manual for the version you were operating could be fatal.
In Britain, hardly any of the original manuafacturers exist in the form they did in the 1930s or 40s (if they exist at all) and in the intervening 60 to 70 years, much in the way of engineering drawings, blueprints etc have been lost or destroyed. Trying to find the plans for the various Stirling marks would be almost impossible today.


The Haynes manuals are quite recent and more novelty items than for real.

Edited by Eric Mc on Saturday 7th March 08:25

plasticpig

12,644 posts

195 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
eldar said:
eccles said:
eharding said:
eccles said:
I'm Helping a chap in work build a modern 2 seater kit aircraft (Vans RV8)
I went out for a blast in an RV8 (G-HILZ) a couple of weeks ago - stunning bit of kit - goes like stink, very comfortable, scope to equip it with more gadgets that your average Airbus, and certainly capable of Standard level competition aerobatics - although I'd recommend that your mate fit a full inverted oil system and a C/S prop if that is in prospect. There is also a growing band of RV owners taking part in formation training (and its a hell of a lot cheaper to run than a Yak!) - if he hasn't already, tell your mate to take a look here. Some nice photos of G-HILZ (and a dodgy Herman Goering look-alike) here


Edited by eharding on Friday 6th March 22:03
Yup, full inverted oil system fitted, although it's a fixed pitch prop.
He used to own a Pitts a few years ago, and the chap who owns the other half is ex red arrows, so I think aeros will be on cards in the future.

I'm seeing him tomorrow (finish fitting the wings and final fit of the empennage)and will mention the Rv forum to him.
Rule 1 of engineering, build a million of something, unit cost bugger all. Build one, and go bankrupt. Rebuild ing a WW2 plane is for the very seriously rich, or make something which which was similar.

If you were doing something simple, like a Mk1 Cortina, would you really ignore 50 years of progress, and not make a better car?
Well some people do. Pur Sang in Argentina will build you a brand new Bugatti Type 35GP replica. IIRC over 80% of the componets are interchangeable with the original.

Simpo Two

76,317 posts

235 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
Trying to find the plans for the various Stirling marks would be almost impossible today.
I heard that Marshalls of Cambridge threw them away recently, and quite knowingly - which is incomprehensible to me.

BTW if anyone wants to see warbirds and others under restoration, take a trip to IWM Duxford - a great day out.

Simpo Two

76,317 posts

235 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
plasticpig said:
Well some people do. Pur Sang in Argentina will build you a brand new Bugatti Type 35GP replica. IIRC over 80% of the componets are interchangeable with the original.
I'll tell you the problem with that.

'Wow, is that a Bugatti Type 35GP?'

'Er, no, it's a replica I had made...'

'Oh'


A replica is always only a replica.

Eric Mc

116,146 posts

235 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
There is an interesting restoration of an Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik in the US. The builders have found that they have to heavily modify some of the engineering aspects of thje original design simply because the aircraft will not receive a certificate to fly if they built it as a pure original.
On of the problems they came across was the fact that control runs were rubbing of internal stringers and formers. Eventually, this would cause the cable to fray and snap - with perhaps disastrous results.
This would happen after a couple of hundred hours of flying. During WW2, the Russians would not have been concerned about this because the average Sturmovik never lasted long enough to reach that stage in its life.

Merlin engine restorers these days use bearers and camshafts which have a much better quality of steel than used in WW2 for the same reasons.

Eric Mc

116,146 posts

235 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
Simpo Two said:
Eric Mc said:
Trying to find the plans for the various Stirling marks would be almost impossible today.
I heard that Marshalls of Cambridge threw them away recently, and quite knowingly - which is incomprehensible to me.

BTW if anyone wants to see warbirds and others under restoration, take a trip to IWM Duxford - a great day out.
That would have been almost criminal - if true. After their experiences with teh Vulcan Project, maybe they've had enouigh of getting involved in historic aircraft engineering projects and decided to remove the possibility of being asked to help out in any more.

bdx

75 posts

159 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
A crowd in the states is manufacturing 5 No. ME 262's

See link

www.stormbirds.com/project/index.html

Mark

Mr_B

10,480 posts

213 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
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Someone please build a Hawker Typhoon,even if it won't have a Napier Sabre.


Eric Mc

116,146 posts

235 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
bdx said:
A crowd in the states is manufacturing 5 No. ME 262's

See link

www.stormbirds.com/project/index.html

Mark
As already mentioned.

Two are currently flying - one of them in Germany. They have mmodern turbofan engines as no one in their right mind would fly one if it was still fitted with original Jumos.

Eric Mc

116,146 posts

235 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
Mr_B said:
Someone please build a Hawker Typhoon,even if it won't have a Napier Sabre.

It wouldn't be a Typhoon then, would it?

Mr_B

10,480 posts

213 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
Mr_B said:
Someone please build a Hawker Typhoon,even if it won't have a Napier Sabre.

It wouldn't be a Typhoon then, would it?
Ideally it would have, but the chances must be too slim ? Although, I did read somewhere that Kermit Weeks was building a Sabre to working condition, so maybe not totally a dream.

mackie1

8,028 posts

203 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
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One of my wife's hair dressing clients built spitfires during ze var. I've got some of her work books from the training and it's quite complex stuff!

Eric Mc

116,146 posts

235 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
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A client of mines' mum doped and painted Spifire rudders and ailerons down in Southampton during the war.

Burnedout

478 posts

160 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
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Army Aviation Museum over here is building a spit from scratch.....



A huge undertaking - even for this bunch of retired tradesmen.

ZR1cliff

17,999 posts

219 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
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Looks are everything in some cases. I remember as a kid only really wanting to build Lancaster bombers, other than their history they looked the part, where as the Stirling bomber was a right ugly duckling and second rate behind the Lanc. I wonder if this is how a lot of people feel about the Stirling ?


BruceV8

3,325 posts

217 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
ZR1cliff said:
Looks are everything in some cases. I remember as a kid only really wanting to build Lancaster bombers, other than their history they looked the part, where as the Stirling bomber was a right ugly duckling and second rate behind the Lanc. I wonder if this is how a lot of people feel about the Stirling ?

Looks are also subjective I've always thought that the Stirling was a good looking plane in a rugged no nonsense kind of way. And maybe there's that British thing of loving the underdog...

FourWheelDrift

82,955 posts

254 months

Saturday 7th March 2009
quotequote all
Stirling was by many pilots considered a great flyer, didn't have the altitude of a Lanc or Halifax and because of it's multi-cell bomb bay couldn't carry the bigger bombs the other two could it could still out turn a Ju-88 or Me-110 if attacked. Apart from the lower altitude making it more vulnerable to AA the only major issue was the undercarriage which wasn't really strong enough and could collapse if the landing was a little rough.

When I was 11 for me I liked making big models so I remember choosing the Stirling instead of the Lancaster, because the Stirling was bigger smile