They may add an Accusim package to this somewhere down the road...
They may add an Accusim package to this somewhere down the road...
I'm looking forward to watching this project develop! Those are some great people that are part of the restoration of Louisiana Heatwave - I've gotten some tremendous assistance from a couple of them in the past on my own projects.
Yesterday I donated my collection of roughly 3,000 original P-51H factory engineering drawings to A2A for the cause, so hopefully they'll be able to be put to good use.
Excellent news! I'll finally get my favorite Mustang in FSX.
The P-51H, along with the test designs such as the XP-51F, XP-51G, and XP-51J, have sometimes been referred to as the "plastic Mustangs". This is due to the fact that phenolic resin (one of the plastics of the day) was used, quite a bit, in lieu of metal for several parts, or to line the surfaces of lighter-constructed metal parts, in an effort to cut the weight down as much as possible. The results and testing from the XP-51F and XP-51G designs led straight into the development of the production model P-51H, while the XP-51J was a further test development after the P-51H design had already been secured.
For those curious, there are currently two airworthy P-51H's in the world, and both are actually quite actively flown, and there are three P-51H's under restoration to fly. There is also an XP-51G under restoration to airworthy condition as well.
Hopefully the A2A P-51H will have the proper laminar airflow wing design by the time it is completed.
Awesome image, John, thanks for posting it!
This is the only other airworthy P-51H, having been owned and flown by the Whittington brothers since the late 1970's. It's sort of a pimped-out version of a P-51H, still sporting modifications it received back in the 70's, including a one-piece windscreen, sleeker-canopy, and red-leather interior. Although it is not the original, it is painted to resemble KN987, which was the only P-51H that was supplied to the RAF (for evaluation). The actual airframe was used by the NACA following WWII. (Note the clear laminar airfoil design of the wing in this view.) The Mike Coutches example, pictured above, is closer to a stock example.
Who is restoring the XP-51G? That will be very cool to see as well.
The XP-51G restoration is based out in California, owned by John Morgan. Unfortunately, there is so much involved in a project like this, since the project didn't arrive as a complete airframe, and of course finding parts for an XP-51G is just not possible.
Here is a link to the project website, though the last update was made back in 2009: http://xp51g.com/XP51G/Welcome.html
One of the neat stories regarding this project, is tied with the Tom Reilly XP-82 restoration in Florida. When Reilly was out looking around the property of the late Walter Soplata (where his XP-82 and the C&P F-82 projects came from) for P-82 related parts, he found a windscreen, labeled as a P-51 windscreen, that he had never seen before, so he took note of it, but really didn't think much of it afterward - it wasn't for any P-51 he had seen, or for a P-82 either. Jumping forward a little, some weeks/months later, Reilly was still on the look-out for a fuselage for his P-82 restoration, as he only had the fuselage for one side (I forget if it was the right-hand or left-hand fuselage he had), and needed to find a fuselage for the other, missing side. If I recall correctly, through his searching, he came to find out that John Morgan had a P-82 fuselage, and it was from the very side that was needed, but upon enquiring about it, Morgan stated that he would not sell the fuselage, but if Reilly had any parts for an XP-51G, he would arrange to trade the fuselage for them, and the most important part that Morgan was on the look-out for, was a XP-51G windscreen. Morgan sent some photos to Reilly to show what the windscreen looked like, and as it turns out, it is the very same windscreen that Reilly had found back at the Soplata property - so with that and other parts for the XP-51G project, a trade was arranged.
I just saw this announcement at the Heatwave restoration project:
When we started out in this business, aviation community and flight simulation community were completely apart. We’ve come a long way. I’m going to blow our own horn here when I say, four years ago when visiting Dover AFB to take pictures of their KC-97 (fuel transport version of the 377 Stratocruiser), when I walked in, I saw 5 or 6 old timers gathered around a large monitor. As I walked closer, I realized they were flying what was our very own WoP P-51D. Instead of just blurting out who I was, I kept quiet and just watched them listening to their comments. It was that moment, watching these guys I realized that the tide was really beginning to turn. Here we had a bunch of old aviators flying a flight simulation and enjoying it. Many years ago, I had to always convince some aviator to forget their past experiences on the old DOS flight simulators, games, etc. and believe we’re at a very different point these days with simulation. Now, when we release a plane, we have a lot of aviators responding. Also, I can say, as a pilot who had full access to flyable aircraft at the time, I found flight simulation had some clear advantages over real flying. For example, you could fly under those bridges when flying down the Hudson River, or bank over Manhattan rather than stay in that tight, narrow corridor. Flying, to me anyway, was always about freedom, which is why I always appreciated a nice large class G airspace, or for that matter, a believable flight simulation.
(BTW, I don’t miss flying around Manhattan, though it was breathtaking at night, but those news choppers and small craft were always swarming around like bees, many, not paying attention. It amazes me we haven't had more collisions in that area).
But, Flight Simulation should be relaxing and while real flying CAN be relaxing, the reality is, it’s always a great responsibility when you fly, especially in congested areas (you feel it after you land, usually on the ride home). If you work hard for a living, it is hard to casually fit in real flying, because, you really shouldn’t fly unless you are properly rested. However, simulations are good anytime. This is what we want to bring – the fun of flight to anyone interested, and for those who can’t fly for real and want to take it seriously; they can push the envelope, work hard, and get the rewards.
As for this P-51H, keep in mind, most aircraft we make at A2A are planes we want to make, and not ones we think will sell (He-219, Boeing 377, Ta-152, etc.). We have maintained that you have to be passionate about your work if you are to ever attract a passionate following. A lot of the motivation for the P-51H is the folks at the Heatwave restoration. But like Chanute, we also have to pay our bills, so projects like this tends to get put on hold several times as immediate responsibilities and unexpected events happen.
So we are working our hardest to keep this project on track considering all of the projects in progress. Right now the internal cockpit is mapped and just starting to be painted. We’re taking this slow, and going to make sure the folks at Chanute approve this model, both inside and out along the way. While it’s not Accusimmed, there are a lot of important irons in this bird, and our main focus is on those folks at Chanute who have been working on this plane for years. We are fortunate to have their attention and support, and we can only wish we were 10X bigger so we could throw 10X more attention their way. Now that I think of it, they initiated contact with us years ago, so this is just another example of aviators and commercial simulation technology merging.
However, more important than this one project on A2A's plate, is the extreme difficulty for these restoration projects to get funding. I hope, at the very least, many interested in this bird will visit their sites and keep up with their progress:
Now as for this aircraft being ugly…. Grrrrrrrr. We have endured enough of that with our VERY PRETTY Boeing 377. Take a look at this beautiful illustration from CMR models:
This illustration convinced me that, this plane is, in fact, a beauty.
There is a nice California scheme too, but there are so many nice states to do. And of course, we’ll be doing our best job to make the Heatwave model.
There's nothing quite like getting positive feedback from those who work on and restore the actual aircraft, as they know them inside and out better than anyone else on the planet, so if they approve, whole-heartedly, then you know you've done alright. I've communicated with Norm, from the Chanute P-51H project team, a few times through another forum, and I know one of his biggest pet-peeves is getting all of the fonts used on the various placards and stencils correct/accurate - so consider yourself warned! ; ) Whether he knows it or not, one of my favorite compliments on my own work came from him, though I won't toot my horn any further than that. Trading information with the likes of Norm, or Glenn Wegman, Craig Quattlebaum, or Mike Vadeboncoeur, etc., is an absolute blast, and I think I enjoy working to impress guys like them more than anyone else, due to their passion for the Mustang and their work restoring them and other warbirds, and to the way they originally were.
Of course all Mustangs are beautiful (personal opinion), but the "H" has always interested me as a what if. What if there had been more than 555 built? What if they had arrived even 6 months earlier? What would a lighter and demonsterably faster (487 MPH) Mustang have done in actual combat? Just some random thoughts. I'm sure there are others. Anyhow, I look forward to seeing how this one turns out, as this one, like the "A" and "B" models, is among the rarest of the rare and even most current Mustang pilots will never fly one.
My computer:Win XP 32 Home SP3, Q9650 @ 3.8 GHz, 4GB DDR2-800 RAM @ 845 MHz, Zotac Nv 8800GT-OC. 21/07/2011
There was also a P-51/F-51 demo team and I think they were called the Red Devils? I've been trying to hunt down some paint info on them also...as I believe they had a bunch of either dayglo red or red paints areas on the aircraft they flew.
the P-51H shot you just posted of the MD ANG birds also shows they were carrying rocket launchers.
Indeed there were and they lasted longer as a team. They flew F-51s. The site above has some small pics of them but you can not see much. There was a recent article in "Aeroplane" magazine about them. I'll go look at the pictures in there.
I would to take few minutes to respond to Scott's comments above.
I am very familiar with the Chanute Air Museum and its P-51Restoration Project. I am on staff at the museum, and can safely say a partnership with A2A on the P-51H project is a great honor. Scott's kind words and support are greatly appreciated given the difficult financial times, and we are truly blessed by the amazing core volunteers responsible for the P-51 RestorationProject.
Scott mentioned the growing links between the aviation community and flight simulation, and flight simulation's ability to allow everyone to enjoy the stress-free freedom of flight. I would like to propose that flight simulation goes even farther than that. I believe flight simulation (done well and accurately!) has a role in historic preservation alongside traditional museums and flying restorations. I would even argue a simulation has the potential to be and interactive exhibit and educational tool. Certainly the A2A products qualify, and though I haven’t had the opportunity to experience the Warbirdsim P-51’s, I suspect they fall into the same category.
At the end of the day I think we all see the importance of preserving history (no matter where we’re from), especially military history, and remembering and honoring those folks who participated and in many instances sacrificed their lives for our future.
Hopefully, A2A's parternship with Chanute might lead to more such partnerships!