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  •  That pilot modified his P-51. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, jds1978

    He shortened his wing span a good bit and that interfered with his outer ailerons from working correctly.

    Silence = Consent. Don't be silent any longer

    by doingbusinessas on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 11:27:36 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  he *mucked up* his Mustang severely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doingbusinessas, jds1978

      didn't just shorten the wings, also messed with the tailplane & other surfaces. Supposed to have been an experienced racer.

      Waste of a good airplane IMO.

      LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 01:20:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Common mods (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doingbusinessas

        that were done many years ago.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 01:34:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  many years ago the airframes hadn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doingbusinessas

          been as fatigued.

          LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 01:37:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The airframe had what to do with the crash? (0+ / 0-)

            My understanding was it was a connector to a control surface.

            Now if you want to argue metal fatigue start with the hours. And since its not a historical restoration no one cares if the airframe is 90% original or not.

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 03:31:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  piece of airframe fell off -- (0+ / 0-)

              according to Popular Mechanix'sreview of the preliminary NTSB report.

              To steady the P-51 at full racing speed, the trim tab has to deploy outward nearly as far as it can. Pushed out into the high-speed airstream, it’s vulnerable to rapid vibration called flutter. The back-and-forth flexing can quickly cause severe metal fatigue; think of bending a paper clip back and forth until it breaks. Leeward’s plane, the Galloping Ghost, had already completed several laps and was heading for the home pylon in a steep left turn when, the NTSB report says, "witnesses reported and photographic evidence indicates that a piece of the airframe separated." This is the trim tab falling off.

              Read more: What Went Wrong at the Reno Air Races - P-51 Crash - Popular Mechanics

              In an interview for the May issue of Sport Aviation magazine Leeward, who bought the plane in 1983, described the modifications he made to the fighter, saying he had trimmed the wings by 10 feet, among other things.

              The magazine said it was built during World War II and named after Chicago Bears running back Red Grange, who went by the nickname "The Galloping Ghost."

              NTSB later suggested the piece that fell off was a trim tab.

              LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 at 04:29:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  technically the trim tab is called (0+ / 0-)

                part of the airframe, nevertheless the trim tab is a control surface. And photgraphs show the trim tab falling off...

                Technicaly UR right, but in all practicality, no.

                SO again were not talking about a historical restoration, so there is no concern about keeping airframe content above the 90% mark.....

                So replacing fatigued parts is SOP in any racing aircraft.

                You might look into the orginal dive studys conducted on the P-51 and other planes like the Hellcat and Lightning, they saw severe damage on trim tabs and rear elevators. The Mustang was allowed to mach .83 in a dive, the same as the ME262. US studies found the Mustang was unrecoverable at mach .86.

                Many of these compression studies resulted in reinforcement of the frame parts and the control surfaces mounted in those frame sections at the rear of the plane. Airpower mag had a neat article about the test pilot work at Gruman prewar. These represent some of the fisrt US work on compressability during dives in the US, circa 1940-1941.

                TO suggest that these parts were old because the plane was old and thus subject to fatigue is inane.

                In general terms racing Mustangs undergo these upgrades: The mounts for the Merlin get replaced and I would assume that none of the control surfaces were original in fact all control systems (cables, brackets etc)get replaced as needed, and in fact the wing roots are generally replaced in  P-51 racers. P-51 wing shedding was well documented by 1944.

                The rear of the X-51 was lengthened between the cockpit and rudder by  Irving Ashkenas who also installed the first laminar flow wing on the Mustang and also developed the first functional ventral air intake on the Mustang.

                FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:09:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  NTSB prelim report (0+ / 0-)

                http://www.ntsb.gov/...

                Not a lot to go on, but that the trim tab came off.

                FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 12:47:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  ten feet off the wings is a *big* mod (0+ / 0-)

                  and the Mustang was damn fast before that.

                  Unrecoverable past .86M in a dive? Had not seen that before....but then my warbird of choice is a Corsair ......

                  LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

                  by BlackSheep1 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 02:05:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, wartime tests (0+ / 0-)

                    The Mustang was then rated at mach .83 in a (I think it was) 60% dive. And the documents are online, amazingly enough.

                    And that speed allowed Mustangs that had altitude over ME262's, to dive and get that first strafing run. And the Mustang was one of the cheaper US fighters, about 50k, IIRC the P-38 cost 100k.

                    Both the Mustang and the Lightning suffered from compressibility problems, the P-38 wing was redesigned early on, and IIRC might have been rated at .77 mach in a dive.

                    Clipped wing Mustangs go back to 1946

                    http://www.mustangsmustangs.com/...

                    And Mustang copies give you a choice of wings
                    http://www.whttp://www.cameronaircraft.com/cameron_aircraft_history_2.htmlarbirdaeropress.com/articles/Modifications/Mods.htm

                    But the idea that because the plane was old, the parts were old is a major misnomer about any racer Mustang, secondly the Ghost had already been crashed and rebuilt maybe 40+ yrs ago.

                    Irv Ashkenas was a student at Cal Tech-Cal Tech might have built the first full size US wind tunnel, when North American asked Cal Tech to study the prototype Mustang, which truthfully almost sucked. Ashkenas solved all the major problems, went to North American, as soon as the Mustang production was ramped up Ashkenas went to work for Northrop, where he was group chief for lift and control surfaces on the flying wing projects. Haskenas is likely responsible for the P-61 Black Widow, and worked in the industry until his death just lat year.

                    My Dad served on an escort carrier in WW2, his carrier flew F4-U's, so I always like the Corsair. But the Hellcat was truly the premiere carrier plane.

                    After reading Shattered Sword earlier this year from my library, I just bought a copy Saturday, the definitive story of the Battle of Midway. I highly rec the book.

                    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                    by Roger Fox on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 10:30:26 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

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