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Barnstormers of '48

Started by Weaver, July 15, 2008, 04:23:24 AM

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Weaver

Nice as Reno air racers are, it's struck me several times that the modifications done tend to make them more alike than distinct, so I got to wondering about alternative recreational uses for surplus WWII fighters. Post WWI, the craze was barnstorming: "travelling circuses" equipped with (largely) surplus military aircraft travelling the USA, putting on death-defying stunt-flying shows. We've all seen The Great Waldo Pepper, right?

So as a What If GB, how about What If barnstorming had taken off again after WWII? Instead of being modified for speed, the aircraft would be stripped of all excess weight and modified for maximum maneuverability. In the extreme instance, they might even be biplane-ised and and fitted with fixed, spatted u/c (got to get Brian on side, at least). Whatever the level of mods, they would all feature gaudy colour schemes and display equipment such as smoke generators, streamers or wing-walking frames ("free" wing-walking isn't really on at 250mph  :blink:)

Model builds might be anything from a pretty standard fighter, de-gunned and with a paint job, to a radically modified "Pitts Special Mustang". The requirement is simply that it's a WWII fighter, credibly declared surplus by 1948 (so not too late or exotic a model), modified for aerobatic display flying. Model builds might be anything from a pretty standard fighter, de-gunned and with a paint job, to a radically modified "Pitts Special Mustang". Remember, it's not about speed, it's about agility and showmanship. :wacko:
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '

Weaver

Couple of variations:

Re-enactments: the Barnstorming companies might try to stage somewhat ramshackle and under-resourced re-enactments of famous air battles, i.e. The Battle of Midway with four Brewster Buffaloes and chipboard aircraft carriers mounted on old cars. ;D

Barnstormskis: the Soviets wouldn't allow anything as free-enterprise as barnstorming companies, but they might have travelling propaganda companies: red-painted Yaks with patriotic slogans etc.....

"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '

Brian da Basher

I always on the side with spats!
:thumbsup:
Brian da Basher

Tophe

Quote from: Weaver on July 15, 2008, 04:23:24 AM
Model builds might be anything from a pretty standard fighter, de-gunned and with a paint job, to a radically modified "Pitts Special Mustang". :wacko:
Could you describe a little more this "Pitts Special Mustang"? Even if nobody ever builds her, I would like to draw her... Biplane? Spats? Open cockpit? Smaller engine? Tell me please, or else I would invent by myself :blink:
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

B777LR

Quote from: Tophe on October 26, 2008, 10:00:02 PM
Quote from: Weaver on July 15, 2008, 04:23:24 AM
Model builds might be anything from a pretty standard fighter, de-gunned and with a paint job, to a radically modified "Pitts Special Mustang". :wacko:
Could you describe a little more this "Pitts Special Mustang"? Even if nobody ever builds her, I would like to draw her... Biplane? Spats? Open cockpit? Smaller engine? Tell me please, or else I would invent by myself :blink:

If you invent yourself, i might have 2 designs to drool at :wub:

Weaver

#5
Quote from: Tophe on October 26, 2008, 10:00:02 PM
Quote from: Weaver on July 15, 2008, 04:23:24 AM
Model builds might be anything from a pretty standard fighter, de-gunned and with a paint job, to a radically modified "Pitts Special Mustang". :wacko:
Could you describe a little more this "Pitts Special Mustang"? Even if nobody ever builds her, I would like to draw her... Biplane? Spats? Open cockpit? Smaller engine? Tell me please, or else I would invent by myself :blink:

Well it was a pretty vague idea, but basically, yes to all of the above, except the smaller engine  :wacko:. The supercharger would probably be removed (no need for high-altitude performance where non-one can see you), and the fancy variable radiator would probably be fixed in the interests of lightness and simplicity (no need for super-high speed), all in the interests of lightness and simplicity. Guns would be dumped of course.

The upper wing might be two standard wings bolted directly together, and the lower one cropped to match. The easiest u/c solution would probably be to fix the standard gear in the down position and fair/spat it over.

Edit: it might look something like this:



:wacko: :wacko: :wacko:


Edit again: Thinking it through some more, the struts couldn't work like that because there are no stressed mounting points on the fuselage ahead of the cockpit. The "cabane" would have to come up from the lower wing roots. Since the wings would be cantilever anyway, you could probably get away with slanted struts from the lower wing roots to about 1/3 span on the upper, with braces back down to the lower half-way along.

Like this:

"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '

Brian da Basher

That's an outstanding strut arrangement for cantilever-wing biplanes, Weaver! I hope you don't mind if I borrow it someday as I've got a cantilever-wing biplane project planned.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Brian da Basher

Weaver

Quote from: Brian da Basher on October 27, 2008, 01:45:05 PM
That's an outstanding strut arrangement for cantilever-wing biplanes, Weaver! I hope you don't mind if I borrow it someday as I've got a cantilever-wing biplane project planned.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Brian da Basher

Hey go for it - I'm never likely to get around to using it anyway. :thumbsup:
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '

Jschmus

Another option might be to use the Midget Mustang.  It was designed right after WWII, and has the same power-to-weight ratio as the full-size aircraft.  As an added bonus the Midget can be built with fixed, spatted undercarriage.
"Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky."-Alan Moore