Re: OT:Why real and not replicas

And "replicas" brings up another point. Some more "reasonably priced" replicas in homebuilt or kit form are not bad in some aspects. The old
WAR Aircraft Replica half scale line of wood, foam & fiberglass kits from the '70s was not a bad idea, except they are small. My dad & a friend & I started on a Corsair but sold it unfinished a few years later. A couple of other friends finished their P-47 but sold it. With composites having come as far as they have now, I think most any single engine & many twin engine reproduction warbirds would be feasible, tho you're probably looking at at least a half mil in one. But make something unique, like a Typhoon or Tempest or Jap. George, Val, Kate (hey, even the Tora birds are getting tired). IIRC, the WAR kits' plans were essentially enlarged from balsa & tissue kits & modified. So enlarge 'em again to get to 75% - to 100%. Since they're lighter, you don't need a 2,000+ HP engine dragging them around. After all, it's for looks now. Strap a 600 HP R-1340 in it. Yeah, I'm sure screaming along at 300+ Kts. is cool, but you really can't get away with it anyway. As for inline a/c, there are a number of modified automotive based V-8s that would work fine. Or even the newer built Russian radials. Or follow the lead of that outfit making an all-composite P-51 with a turboprop, a T53 IIRC. I'm quite sure it really doesn't NEED that much. I bet a 550 or so HP PT-6 would be just fine for "touring" purposes. Composites technology now-a-days can make just about any shape. Or, sort of like the Tora birds, use existing airframes to make a "passable" replica. I remember back in the '70s a guy converted the airframe of a PT-19/26 to a 7/10 scale Stuka. I've heard of, but not seen, some replica app. 3/4 scale FW-190s being built from Globe Swift airframes. I remember seeing a Westland Whirlwind app. 3/4 scale replica built using most of a Grumman-American Trainer airframe. About 25 years ago, I recall hearing about a guy who was building an FW-190 from a P-51D airframe. How about the replica Martin-Baker MB-5 currently being made from a P-51D? Besides, even today, P-51s are still out in numbers. ISTR reading about someone in England converting a Sea Fury to a Tempest look-a-like, using a composite nose & a RR Merlin. I've also heard of some guys building a 3/4 scale Corsair around a Grumman AgCat fuselage, to be powered by a 450HP R-985, IIRC. Whatever the case, there'll always be someone who wants the real thing. I like to see the old birds fly, but, they're old now. They were old 25-30 years ago, but now, most are older than the guys flying them! There will come a time when a replica/reproduction is all we can have, especially to fly.
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--snippage--
As I mentioned in email Hub, I really appreciate your putting this together. That took a lot of energy and was very informative.
So if building replicas is cost prohibitive in most cases, and if flying artifacts becomes riskier (as they become rarer), what other middle ground is there?
What can we do to make it less risky to show them?
--
Stephen Tontoni < snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com>

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You're welcome! Training and maintenance are the best hope as is responsible ownership. Most owners are not "cowboys' but consider themselves custodians of a piece of history and take great care of their birds. But like everything else, parts break and humans make mistakes. the best thing is to try and minimize as many of both as we can, again going back to training and maintenance. As to the WAR replicas that Frank mentioned, they are nice and from those I have talked to are fun, but they are no more a "real" P-47 than a VW kit car is what it is made to resemble.To be a true replica it would have to be exactly like the original and again while possible, it would be expensive. Hub
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One of a very few (and I mean VERY few...) warbird replicas I mght consider respect-worthy might be a Mosquito. Since they were made of wood, I've always thought that a community project to build an airframe and finish it off with as many original surviving Mossie metal parts might be a feat worthy of praise.
Other than that, I have to agree with Hub - a replica is a replica, as a model is a model. Fly the real thing resposibly...but fly it as long as it's airworthy.
--
- Rufus

Hub & Diane Plott wrote:
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did anything ever come of the attempts to acquire and restore the mexican mossie that was part, ( if my memory is correct.) of a chiken coop?
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Stephen,
I think I understand your concern, however, there are larger issues here:
First of all, if an aircraft is private property, then as long as it meets all appropriate regulations for its condition, maintenance etc. (certified airworthy by FAA), then if the owner wants to fly it, that is his right, not a privilege.
The same issues you raised about people flying those old Warbirds exist in the antique car hobby, the old railroad locomotive restoration groups, even in antique ships. Do we put it in a museum, or show it as it was in its heyday, in its natural element (air for a plane, the road for a car, the high iron for a steam loco, and in deep seas for a ship)?
With any antique vehicle (land, sea, or air) there is risk, even in the museum setting. Museums have burned, been ripped apart by tornadoes, hurricanes, even earthquakes (several hundred thousand dollars worth of damage to the Merle Norman Collection of antique and classic cars at San Sylmar Museum in CA during the Northridge Quake several years back!)
On the other hand, rare and valuable antique and classic cars have been destroyed (or at least seriously damaged) in road accidents, even in controlled speed tours, historic aircraft have been crashed, and at least a couple of historic sailing ships have sunk in recent decades. On a couple of occasions, historic steam loco's have been derailed, although I know of no instance where one has been truly wrecked.
In all this, I think the bottom line is: If enough of the public thinks that such artifacts belong on static display, in museums, then it becomes the responsibility of those interested in such, to come up with the funds to buy, retire, and display them as such, but not to insist, somehow, that he/she who owns the plane, car, locomotive, ship, or other artifact do so out of someone else's "concern" for its preservation.
To advocate that the owners of historic planes, cars or ships place them in preservation (static) when that is not what the owner wants, is really someone telling someone else what to do with THEIR money, their property, and, I believe, THAT goes against some of our basic principles in this country.
Art Anderson
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Well for the most part, a mechanical failure of a car or locomotive will generally not make it crash into the ground violently. That's the problem with aircraft; it's very difficult to make these analogies work because of their nature.
I went and saw vintage car races last week and my favorite was a 1948 Allard out there. He was pulling up the rear and I don't think it was for lack of power etc; I think the driver knew his car's limitations and didnt' push it past that. I really respect his reserve.
--
Stephen Tontoni < snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com>

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I am involved in vintage oval racing cars, and for some of the popular famous cars, there are far more 'replicas' around to day than cars that people like AJ Watson ever built themselves. In a sense the result is a devaluation of the true vintage cars. Of course, race cars were easier to build than airplanes.
However, there WERE many airplanes for which fancy jigs and fixtures were NOT required. Most of the wood, steel tube, and fabric planes were of this type. I have seen umpteen replicas of WW1 aircraft. Only during the tremendous production rates of WW2 were stampings and fancy jigs really that important.
I'm involved now with a replica Curtiss Jenny. Almost no fancy jigs needed. As far as cowlings for later planes, an English wheel can do a marvelous job.
Hub & Diane Plott wrote:

--
Don Stauffer in Minnesota
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I was at the Can Am 30th reunion with 15 of the original 8 McLaren M8Fs there... ;-)

Significant historic cars with documented histories are still commanding high prices, in normal economic times. Bargans to be had during recessions... The nature of the sport means many original cars will be rebuilt many times over their life, becoming a little less original each time. And as time passes and prices climb, wrecks considered not worth restoring become viable candidates. We have a lot of Porsche 917s because chassis were wrecked, replaced, and later repaired and new cars built on them.

Yep. Racecars used to be built from chalk marks on the floor of a garage. Have you seen Super Speedway, the IMAX film Mario Andretti did years ago? Its out on DVD. One of the story lines is a guy retoring an old front engined roadster that you would love. He did an awesome job.
Great article in a magazine a while back about Tommy Sopwith adopting Ford's production line methods to airplanes.

Cool! I think they have one in a museum down here.
See you at Nordican Don!
Tom
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I don't know about reproductions of other race cars, but AJ Watson has built perhaps 10 new Watson Roadsters over the past 15 or so years, but I doubt they could truly be called reproductions, as he built them himself, from his own plans (and no, Watson didn't use chalk marks on the shop floor--that honor, I believe, goes to the late Jim Hurtubise and the 1967-74 Mallard/Turbo Offy Roadster), with original or modern-made parts from old suppliers such as Halibrand (Quick-Change rear ends, wheels), rebuilt Offenhauser engines, the whole 9 yards.
Last I knew, he got an even $100,000 for the chassis if the buyer supplied the engine, and $150,000 with rebuilt Offy installed. At least, we can hear the rumbling growling roar of a balls-to-the-walls 4cylinder racing engine again, huh?
Art Anderson
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Don: right you are, but I was talking about WWII and post WWII aircraft only. Hub

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