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Thread: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

  1. #21
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    Sep 2002
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    Default Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    The high altitude DB's went fast as they got the power up high where the airplane's drag was low. Bf-109K-2/4 were about 450 at 30,000 or so.

    A -109E is about 340 at 5000, about the same for a Hispano according to some guys I spoke to...the three bladed props from the -111's or a DC-3 make them even slower.

    I worked up a racer spec for a Hispano in the mid 80's. If one retracted the tailwheel, closed the main gear up, extended the ramps for the radiator inlets, and made a bigger spinner/cowling and a sleeker windshield, closed the slats, and with a Z prop gear and blower gear on the otherwise stock Merlin 500 at 2000 hp; it was proposed to go 400 at 5000 feet.

    TWA was bought by Carl Icahn and I never got to try it out as the money went to other, safer places!

    Chris...

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Default Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Marsh
    the yellow brick road goes on and on..... cool.
    Someone pointed out to me rather critically the other day that this type of thread is sort of "pie in the sky"... I counter pointed that I'm pretty sure all of us who partake of same are pretty well aware of the "yellow brick road effect"

    But these dreams, they sure are damn fun ey!

    As for pie in the sky... I think Mr. Awesome and the 3350 "T-6" hybrid (sorry... oldsheimers, can't remember the name) are pretty pie in the sky..

    While we're at it... So is Czech Mate and... hell.. SteadFast...

    Ahh... a 3350 and cut down canopy on a ultra rare BearCat?

    Who would do such a thing!

    Dreaming is fun, sometimes, folks actually cut metal and build dreams!

    No harm in dreams if you ask me!



    carry on

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Ketchikan, Alaska
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    Lightbulb Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    'Razorback' vs. 'Turtledeck' - design styles defined:

    Along with the P-51 Mustang, most of WW2's classic single-engined fighter aircraft came off the drawing boards w/'razorback'-style fuselage designs: P-36, P-40, Thunderbolt, Corsair, Hellcat, Hurricane, Spitfire, Bf-109, Ki-61 Tony, etc. - the 'wild boar' nickname describing their similarly shaped- sharp, sloped backs.

    The more successful designs stayed in production throughout the conflict, and saw continuous refinement of their airframes and powerplants. The need for optimum fighter pilot visibility, quickly-rendered early birdcage canopy frameworks & razorback fuselages obsolete - in favor of modern bubble canopy styles for the cockpit, that are still state-of-the-art even on today's newest jet interceptors.

    'Turtledeck'-style fuselage designs go all the way back to WW1 aircraft, featuring a smaller-scaled streamlined 'second deck', beginning behind the pilot's cockpit headrest, and tapering aft to the vert. tail. Turtledeck-designs were standardly-utilized for early automobiles as well- especially for roadsters and racing cars, and remained popular throughout the 1920s thru 1930s into WW2. The Grumman F4F/FM-2 Wildcat is a good example of a WW2 fighter design employing a turtledeck.

    In regards to Unlimited air racers, we've seen many examples of fuselage turtledecks being adopted over the years for both original custom aircraft designs (Tsunami, Pond Racer, MAII) & used in modifying warbirds for air racing (the subject P-51s, Furias, Critical Mass, Czech Mate, Mr. Awesome, September Fury, etc.).

    Most WW2 aviation buffs & P-51 afficionados know that the Merlin-powered razorback Mustangs were a wee-bit faster than their followup bubble-canopied variants, and turtledeck-modding a P-51 for Unlimited air racing exploits this fact. Here's a selection of photos to compare the visual external airframe differences between military stock 'razorback' vs. bubble canopy vs. 'turtledeck' racer (L-R/top-bottom):

    1-t. Reno 1981 - Steve Hinton races Chino's Planes of Fame ultra-rare Allison-powered P-51A (N4235Y - s/n 43-6251) - Reno's first WW2 military stock razorback Mustang to compete in the Unlimited Class. Qualified as Race #91, and raced as #1 - 100 Day Wonder.

    1-b. Tue. 9/14/82 - Pete Regina's P-51C #68 'Shangri-La' (N51PR - s/n 43-25147) was the next military stock Mustang razorback to race at Reno - Flown in competition by Skip Holm, after Skipper's main ride- #69 Jeannie was sidelined by mechanical gremlins. This Merlin-motored P-51 razorback later became Joe Kasparoff's crimson Race #97 'The Believer' (did not compete), and is presently Jim Beasley's- 'Princess Elizabeth'.

    2-t. Thur. 9/15/05 - Gerry Gabe's P-51A Race #25 'Polar Bear' (N51Z - s/n 43-6006) rounding Outer Pylon 7 during Lap 6 of Heat 1-C, with pilot- Dave Morss at the controls, was the third & most-recent Reno razorback P-51 to see competition.

    2-b. Mon. 9/12/05 - Dave Morss taxis-out Polar Bear for first day of Reno '05 qualifying time trials. A good comparison of subtle airframe differences between the Merlin (#68) & Allison (#25) razorback Mustang airframe profiles.

    3.-t. Tue. 9/10/02 - Bob Button's turtledeck'd high-mod racing Mustang - #5 Voodoo (N551VC) approaches Pylon 7 during race pilot- Matt Jackson's qualifying run. (Compare this photo angle with similar shot of razorback #25 Polar Bear & stock bubble-canopy P-51D #2 below, to note streamlining differences of canopy styles.)

    3-b. Wed. 9/10/80 - Ace Bob Love turns old Outer 6 Pylon on his qualifying run in P-51D Race #2 Hovey Mustang (N3580), which shows the D-model bubble canopy to good effect for comparison with the P-51A/B razorback birdcage style canopy & Voodoo's racing turtledeck/low profile mini-canopy. (Note: I'd bet that's probably Bob's good pal - photo-journalist - Ron Burda riding in back...lucky guy!)

    4-t. Tue. 9/15/00 - Matt Jackson takes #5 Voodoo around Outer 4 Pylon during Lap 4 of Heat-2A to go for a 2nd-place finish. Excellent shot of Voodoo's turtledeck construction - compare with #5 in bubble-canopy configuration as shown below.

    4-b. Tue. 9/13/05 - Bob Button drives Voodoo (sans-turtledeck w/bubble canopy fitted) past Outer 7 Pylon during Reno '05 Qualifying. Top & bottom photos well-illustrate comparison of high-mod Unlimited w/'Super-duper Stocker' configuration.

    5-t. Sat. 9/14/85 - Crew Chief - Bill Kerchenfaut directs crew maintenance on John Crocker's exotic high-mod P-51 Unlimited - Race #6 Sumthin' Else (N51VC). Diffused light from passing clouds accent the beautiful Jim Larsen-designed turtledeck modification done on this Mustang. Note the streamlining difference from the stock P-51D bubble canopy.

    5-b. Mon. 9/16/96 - David Price's stock P-51D - Race #49 Cottonmouth (N151DP) gets an engine test runup on the Stead Field ramp. Highlighting of the stock Mustang bubble canopy accents the smooth contouring of North American design work.

    There are the examples of 'razorback' vs.- 'bubble-canopy' vs.- 'turtledeck' for clarification - next, we'll look at comparing turtledecks of the individual subject Unlimited Class P-51 racers. DBD

    (P.S. - Many thanks for your kind words of appreciation in response to my postings. )
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    Last edited by BuckyD; 06-28-2008 at 05:02 PM.

  4. #24

    Default Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    Quote Originally Posted by AAFO_WSagar
    Someone pointed out to me rather critically the other day that this type of thread is sort of "pie in the sky"... I counter pointed that I'm pretty sure all of us who partake of same are pretty well aware of the "yellow brick road effect"

    But these dreams, they sure are damn fun ey!


    carry on
    If just ONE of these "Pie in the Sky" revelations leads to a viable contribution, it's worth it, ey!
    I'm sure Bruce Boland & Dave Zeuschel are smiling down from OZ...D.

  5. #25

    Default Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    I know I have said it before but there are few forms nicer than Voodoo with the deck. Can't wait to see it with the scoop off and the deck on ( I know I've said that too ).

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Everett,wa
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    89

    Default Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    Wonderful topic and information. Keep it coming. PLEASE !! Rad

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Bishop, CA
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    513

    Default Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    The info and pics here are awesome... Thanks for your effort BuckyD!!! Share the knowlage/Love and it will catch to new people.
    Cheers

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Sky Ranch, birthplace of the NCAR
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    Default Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    Pic#4 of Voodoo looks like the canopy is either not closed securely, or it's getting sucked open.......The Jim Larson canopy on Sumthin else is a beautiful work of art! I can't wait to see it on GG!
    "Racefuel, It's not just for breakfast anymore!" http://www.twracefotos.net

  9. #29

    Default Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    Hey peoples...........

    "Nothing in life is truely free........."

    NOT


    If "we the people" on this board knew how much fun we are all having and our spouses knew what the real deal is that I am having (we are having).... my female spouse... "the wife" would have a "honney-du" list 10 miles long!!!!!!!!!

    THANKS TO ALL OF US IN HAVING A BLAST....... and my wife doesnt have a clue.

    You want "free".... get it right here folks.

    Thanks to Waner too!

    "Tight pants" Bmarsh

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ketchikan, Alaska
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    Default Re: TURTLEDECK'D P-51 AIR RACERS

    Now that we've defined the differences between 'razorback' & 'turtledeck' fuselages, let's return to our original thread focus by viewing side-by-side comparison photos of the subtle turtledeck design variations & other distinctive external airframe modifications on some of these exotic P-51 Unlimiteds - 'IN FLIGHT' , this time around.

    Top row (L-R):

    1. #69 Jeannie (N79111) turns Outer 4 Pylon at Reno '81 w/rookie Unlimited Class pilot -Skip Holm at the controls. As the previous- Miss Candace & as- Jeannie, N79111 sported the smallest-profile turtledeck mod ever fitted onto a P-51 Unlimited.

    2. Sat. 9/13/80 - Roy 'Mac' McClain takes #69 Jeannie tight around Outer 2 Pylon during Gold Heat #2. Now, let's compare Jeannie's t-deck look to variations adapted for her three 'clone sisters' - Dago, Strega & Voodoo...

    3. Sat. 9/16/95 - David Price flies #4 Dago Red (N5410V) past Outer 4, during Lap-6 of Heat-3A, for a 3rd-place finish.

    4. Sat. 9/13/97 - Bill 'Tiger' Destefani drives #7 Strega (N71FT) around P-4 on Lap-6, to snag the Heat-3A win that year, and the Gold the next day.

    5. Sun. 9/19/99 - Bob 'Hurricane' Hannah at the controls of #5 Voodoo (N551VC) turning P-4 on Lap-1, headed for a Silver Race win.

    Bottom row (L-R):

    1. Fri. 9/15/00 - 'Clone-sister P-51 comparison' - Skip Holm in Dago Red & Matt Jackson in Voodoo duel for the lead going around Outer 4 during Heat-2A.

    2. Sat. 9/17/88 - Scott Sherman takes Race #84 Stiletto (N332) past Outer 2 Pylon during the beginning of Reno '88's gremlin-plagued Unlimited Heat-3A, just prior to his joining the Mayday ranks for a DNF.

    3. Tue. 9/12/89 - John Crocker flies his exquisite #6 Sumthin' Else (N51VC) past P-4 during Unlimited Class Qualifying & Practice periods.

    4. Sun. 9/14/97 - Gary Levitz runs by P-4 with the beautiful Griffon-powered #38 Miss Ashley II (N57LR), to garner a 4th-place finish in the Gold.

    5. Sun. 9/17/95 - Don Whittington rounds Outer 4 on Lap-4 during the Gold Race at Reno '95 in his brutish-but-beautiful- #38 World Jet Griffon-Mixmaster Mustang (N6WJ). Don completed 6 of 7-laps, for a sixth-place finish.

    Looking over this gorgeous herd of sleek Heavy-Metal Mustang Thoroughbreds - to judge a winner by appearances is strictly a personal matter of choice in good taste. (As for me - I gotta love 'em ALL!). However, we all know winning out on the race course is an entirely different matter! DBD
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    Last edited by BuckyD; 06-28-2008 at 05:32 PM.

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