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Jairus- How about that race plane CPB?


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#21 Eric Stone

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 04:30 PM

I hate to bring up the 'R' word, but were there rules governing the specs and construction of these types of planes, or was it pretty much unlimited? If that's a dumb question, forgive me since I'm not all that familiar with them. Would we be looking at a certain time period for these planes to have competed in (say, 1945-60 or so, when surplus planes were around and newer prop driven aerobatic planes hadn't arrived yet)..?

Am I thinking too much about this?? :lol:

The idea is intriguing... I have a terrible little 1/72 P-51 kit that came from a dollar store for $1 that has been hiding in the bottom of a plastic organizing cabinet for years. It might be good for this- something to chop up and throw some paint on just for kicks.

#22 LDO

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 04:48 PM

I hate to bring up the 'R' word, but were there rules governing the specs and construction of these types of planes, or was it pretty much unlimited? If that's a dumb question, forgive me since I'm not all that familiar with them. Would we be looking at a certain time period for these planes to have competed in (say, 1945-60 or so, when surplus planes were around and newer prop driven aerobatic planes hadn't arrived yet)..?

Am I thinking too much about this?? :o

The idea is intriguing... I have a terrible little 1/72 P-51 kit that came from a dollar store for $1 that has been hiding in the bottom of a plastic organizing cabinet for years. It might be good for this- something to chop up and throw some paint on just for kicks.


The class these planes race in is commonly called "Unlimited Warbird". I don't know if that's an official name or not. They still race today. As far as modifications go, it really is pretty much unlimited. Tiny teardrop-shaped canopies, cockpits moved several feet aft, some have even eliminated radiators in the quest for better aerodynamics. The engine is still water cooled, but after the water leaves the engine, it just gets sprayed away. It does cut down on drag, but if you run out of water, you land NOW, Engine swaps are fine. There have been several P-51 Mustangs with Rolls-Royce Griffon engines. That one uses contra-rotating props to counteract the massive torque. (look up World Jet, Precious Metal, Red Baron RB-51, and Miss Ashley II.) Several Sea Furies and one Corsair have run with a 28cylinder R-4360 engine. (Look up Dreadnought Sea Fury, Furias Sea Fury, and All-Coast Super Corsair). There have even been a couple of wing swaps. Vendetta was a P-51 with Lear Jet flying surfaces. Many radial engine aircraft did not have a prop spinner in military service, but got one as a racer to clean up the aerodynamics. See Perestroika Yak, All-Coast Super Corsair, and Rare Bear F8F Bearcat.

One thing that Jairus has stressed and I agree with 100%, a racing plane should be built to win races. They fly around a closed course at low altitude and make high-g turns. A 4-engine bomber would not win a race. It's not a long-distance marathon, it's several laps at a furious pace. Some of these engines are so highly modified that they have a 1-hour Time Between Overhaul rating.

#23 Jairus

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 06:09 PM

Scale is not that huge a deal and 1/72 will photograph as well as a 1/48th provided you set it up and detail the model. This is a photo contest afterall based on how well the craft is finished and set up. As usual.... the red craft will most likely win!

Hmmmmmm a red FW 190, shades of the red baron. I love it! :o

#24 Tony T

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:11 AM

Sounds intriguing. I love warbirds. Upgrading to modern gear sounds like fun.

#25 Jairus

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:02 AM

Long post.
Here is a sampling of the best choices of WW2 as requested by pappy Gregg.

First up is the Supermarine Spitfire. England updated this aircraft all during the war to keep up with Germany's FW-190. The Spit was actually based on a pre-war racing plane and makes perfect sense to convert one to racing trim as described by Lee in an earlier post using the Napier engine.
Monograms kit provides the builder with the option of retractable landing gear so this is a no brainer.
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The P-51 Mustang is today the most popular choice for a racing plane. The later versions utilized a Rolls Royce engine so stay away from the Allison early version. This was one of the fastest Prop driven aircraft of WW2!
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The P-38 lighting is remarkably maneuverable for it's weight and size. The twin Allison engines are turbo-supercharged and I can see this one with racing stripes for sure!
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Germany's fastest and most agile fighter of WW2 was the FW-190. This is my choice by the way... later versions used a more powerful engine but the darned kits are soooo expensive that I will stay with the 14 cylinder BMW radial. :)
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The plane on top is a Japanese Mitsubishi Zero. The one on the bottom is a F8F Bearcat. Both are acceptable and make great racing aircraft. The Bearcat entered the war too late to see action in WW2. However it was used in Korea and holds the distinction for being one of the fastest piston driven propellor aircraft. It is also very popular as a subject in Reno Air races as displayed in the second pic so it is allowed.
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This is a F4U Corsair. It would look wicked as a racing plane with a cut down canopy and propeller spinner don't cha' think?
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The P-38 Thunderbolt was the biggest and heaviest of all the single engined fighters. It used a huge engine to propel it and featured a fantastic turbo-supercharger system complete with inter-cooler. Thunderbolt drivers loved this aircraft!
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Okay, this is a sampling of the best of the best by wars end. Anything else such as a P-40 Warhawk, P-39 Aircobra, Bf 109, etc would be considered a less than ideal airframe but COULD be modified into a logical air racer if a better engine installed.
But then... this is not a real race, but instead just a vote of the people so make it pretty, cool and take great pics to win! :D

Edited by Jairus, 03 July 2010 - 02:07 PM.


#26 Jim Gibbons

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:25 AM

Thanks for posting the pictures, Jarius. My father's best friend flew fighters off the Essex in WW2. He flew F6F Hellcats, Corsairs, and after hostilities were over, Bearcats. His favorite was the Corsair, but he really liked the flight characteristics and performance of the Bearcat. I do actually have a Corsair I could use (an old Monogram working parts kit), but one of the inner upper wing sections was a short shot molding, so with a little scratchbuilding, it could be a candidate. Even if I end up not contributing, this will be a really cool topic to watch.

#27 LDO

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 09:14 AM

For those who like something different, a couple of Yak-11 trainers have been converted to racers. Here's a Yak-11 in stock form, notice the small spinner, huge 2-seat cockpit, and the fabric-covered section near the tail (where ribs are visible under the skin). Compare those to the modified planes.

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"Mr. Awesome" got a T-33 (American jet trainer) tail, along with all her other mods:

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"Perestroika" (Later "Czech Mate". The plane was actually Czech-built under license) has a cowling from a French bomber...and no, I have no idea which French bomber. Notice the NACA scoop below the cockpit. I would imagine that is for an oil cooler.

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As Czech Mate:

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The only 1/48 Yak-11 that I know of is a resin kit by RVHP. It's hard to find and about 50 bucks, IIRC. There is a 1/72 Yak-11 in styrene. I saw one on Ebay for 23 bucks. Kinda pricey for 1/72, if you ask me. If you want to do this on a budget, you could get an ICM kit of a V-12 Yak and widen the fuselage. You'll need a 1/48 cowl from a radial engine plane, then make the two mate up. Sounds like a lot of work, but it's not really that difficult. All your "surgery" will get covered with bondo and smoothed out for a glossy finish. No need to worry about panel line detail. There are ICM Yaks on ebay for 7 bucks.

You could also just build a Yak racer with a V-12 :huh:

#28 Wagoneer81

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 09:44 AM

Well, this may be the reason that this kit didn't sell when I put it on eBay...

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Might give me an excuse to work this pair in after I finish a few other projects...

#29 Aaronw

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 12:14 PM

First off I want to say that I do not yet have Gregg's blessing on this crazy build off. I will talk to him...

Second, I am very close to banning all twin engine aircraft so please don't push it. The twin Mustang was never a serious war machine in WW2 like the P-38 and since a racing sport plane needs to be maneuverable and quick. Anything big will have a serious disadvantage in cornering around pylons. The twin Mustang was also not widely produced until AFTER the war. None of the airframes saw action in WW2 according to all records so it is technically not a WW2 Warbird.
Talk me out of it if you want to try... but I initially want to say no.


I think the F-82 is neat, but I can't really disagree with your logic for wanting to exclude it. It is at best a what if racer, not a realistic option due to limited use.

The Twin Mustang was used in Korea as a successful nightfighter and ground attack. It scored some daylight kills early in the war against Soviet built prop fighters flown by the North Koreans, so the "not a serious fighter" is a bit harsh. It was very fast, nearly 500 mph. It's wing span and weight are nearly identical to the F7F Tigercat which has been used as a racer, although I don't know how successfully.


The Twin Mustang definately missed WW2, it's first flight was in mid 1945 and the first production version became available in 1946. It did not start to show up in fighter squadrons as a long range escort fighter and all weather / night fighter until 1948. At least the Tigercat, Bearcat and Sea Fury were available when the war ended even if not in time to see any combat.

No provision for spare parts was made when ordered so its wartime service in Korea saw many planes cannibalized for parts to keep the rest flying. As a result not many were left to be sold as surplus when it was phased out in the early 1950s. Only a 1/2 dozen or so still exist today and I don't believe any are air worthy.

#30 Aaronw

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 12:23 PM

Oh, and if anyone wants something truly unique (if unlikley, I think only 1 survived the war) have a look at the DO-335 Arrow :)

http://en.wikipedia..../Dornier_Do_335

#31 Jairus

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 12:47 PM

Hey Aaron, go for it if you want to do the Twin Mustang! I just don't think it was/is maneuverable enough for pylon racing. But since this is "bench racing" at it's greatest.... what does it matter? The Twin Mustang was designed to give support to the B-29 bomber because of their greater range and they were indeed fast.
The ME 262 was fast too but very bad at cornering so it only practiced hit and run missions on our bombers.
When chosing a subject it pays to know the stock performance before modifying it into a real racer! :)

#32 droogie

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 01:50 PM

Don't dismiss the P-39 Airacobra. A P-39 with an engine out of a P-63 Kingcobra won the 1st post WWII National Air Race Thompson Trophy. Although a pre WWII design, the P-39 was fast and highly maneuverable at low altitude (where most air racing takes place). The P-39 also features a unique mid-engine layout. Good P-39 kits in all of the major aircraft modeling scales are as common as dirt.

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#33 Jairus

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 02:17 PM

Robert, not forgetting and did mention it. I agree with you that the mid engine layout makes it a cool candidate as a racer for sure! I even have one on hand just in case my FW 190 bid falls through. Thanks for bringing it up tho. I wonder why nobody has raced one?

#34 Harry P.

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 02:28 PM

My knowledge of WWII planes amounts to about zero... but to me, the P51 Mustang just looks fast! Cool styling, it just looks like it run rings around the others. I remember building a kit as a kid... I seem to remember that it was all chrome? Anyone know the kit I'm remembering?

#35 Gregg

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 02:37 PM

Here's a possibility:
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#36 droogie

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 02:39 PM

My guess is that the airframes are in short supply. At least half of all P-39s produced were given to the Soviet Union via lend/lease. Many of the types that are currently raced (P-51, F8F, Sea Fury) were built in much larger numbers or post war.

#37 Gregg

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:00 PM

Or these two:
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Attached File  IMG_5915.jpg   273.2KB   19 downloads

#38 Jairus

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:14 PM

That 1/24th scale plane you posted Gregg is a Spitfire and very cool!

I have a 1/72 Bearcat that I started to make into an air racer. Got it out this afternoon and decided that I can't see details that small anymore... B)
Going to stick with 1/48th or larger.

#39 envious8420

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:44 PM

i picked up a built up p-51 for this, it will be completly rebuilt.

#40 Jim Gibbons

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:52 PM

I agree with Robert's (droogie's) assessment of the P-39. This is to be a sampling of theoretical racing planes, so I'd guess that anything goes within the basic guidelines (and frankly, I think a well done Aircobra could be a spoiler). If I'm gonna play with an F4F Corsair, it's going to be for fun, because so many of you are so much more talented than I! I'm looking forward to being a part of this, though.