Warbird Information Exchange

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this site are the responsibility of the poster and do not reflect the views of the management.
It is currently Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:28 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:57 pm 
Offline
Flight Lieutenant

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 12:26 am
Posts: 131
Location: Bryan Ohio
With the recent addition of Lope's Hope 3rd my question to fellow Wixer's is this P-51 the new bar for Mustang Restorations? I frankly don't have an opinion. A lot of discussion has been talked about with several Mustang Restorations. I'm partial to the Razorback Mustangs I know there not to be referred to that way it is what I call them.
Anyway it looks stunning, but the recent Mustang to come out of Pacific Fighters with the Mustang formerly known as Polar Bear I also think is fabulous though I might be partial since I have a history with that Mustang. Midwest Aero also has former Grand Champions. Having said this once again what do other people think regarding the bar set for Lope's Hope 3rd?
Texas Flying Legends is building a really first rate Warbird Collection.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:10 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 3:57 pm
Posts: 1437
Location: Minnesota
You can't destinguish any greater amount of accuracy/authenticity between Lope's Hope 3rd or Sierra Sue II - both are tied for being the most accurate/authentic Mustang restorations, of any variant, to-date. Lope's Hope 3rd is the most accurate/authentic flying P-51B/C and Sierra Sue II is the most accurate/authentic P-51D flying. Part of the bar-setting aspects of these two restorations is the fact they aren't "over restored", and are simply the closest to the way they originally were during WWII than any other Mustang restoration (and top all other flying warbird restorations in this regard, in my personal belief). No polish, all of the rivets are original WWII-era spec, all of the hardware and fittings are period-original and correct to what NAA used, and all of the primers and paints are either exact or as close as can be achieved today to the original WWII-era stuff, down to the chemical composition. While you see plenty of shades of yellow and green zinc chromate in other restorations, touted as "authentic", it is usually always modern paints tinted to look like the original primers, which it never does because the modern paints have a different, smooth, imperfection-free finish. To me, one of the coolest things about these two restorations are the factory-authentic imperfections - like the streaks in the primer finishes on parts that were dipped in zinc chromate rather than sprayed, as per original, and the chips and scuff marks in the authentic primer finishes. These two are also among the very few restored Mustangs that are restored to an exact/specific production variant, with post-production T.O. mods as done before and within combat service - rather than some restorations, accepted as genuinely accurate/authentic, but are actually a generic conglomeration of various production details that never existed altogether on any particular production or military Mustang. Both of these Mustangs still happen to look stunning, despite the fact that they weren't restored to be polished perfection - they are covered in acid-etched and unpolished aluminum panels, a number of which outwardly display their period-correct Alcoa and Reynolds aluminum watermarks, and authentic patchworks of rivets of various period-correct finishes. In some areas you'll even find paint overspray, due to the production timeline and at which stages during the production that certain paints/primers were applied/not applied. Just as yet another indication of the attention to detail in these aircraft - the armor glass and laminated bullet-resistant glass was made to original wartime factory spec, rather than just taking the easy route of substituting-in general plexiglas. So much more can be said about these two restorations in particular, but I'll leave it at that for tonight

For added mention, the most authentic Allison-engined Mustang flying is the Collings Foundation A-36A - you won't find any D-model parts on that one, and it has every detail in it that you can imagine.


Last edited by JohnTerrell on Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:21 am 
Offline
Group Captain

Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:19 pm
Posts: 603
For me the pinnacle would be the most untouched: both of those mentioned appear to have been "restored" to death (I'm prepared to bow to superior knowledge though :) ).

I think we're getting there in the classic automotive world but though these P-51 recreations are interesting to behold, and display superlative hand skills many of them can't really be termed 'restorations' or even 'warbirds'.

So in terms of new-builds you can't beat the modern jets (military and civil) for build quality. And in terms of age, they are contemporary with many a P-51 recreation.

But for small-scale manufacturing facilities these smaller aircraft are still impressive feats. Does make one wonder what they do with the discarded bits though.

So I'd nominate Flak Bait as the pinnacle, and unlikely to be surpassed.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:10 am 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 3:57 pm
Posts: 1437
Location: Minnesota
For clarification, Sierra Sue II is one of the most original warbirds, that flew combat missions in WWII, still flying today. The vast majority of it's structure is original, as are even a number of the skins.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:08 am 
Offline
3000+ Post Club
3000+ Post Club
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 7:13 pm
Posts: 4976
Location: Minnesota, USA
JohnTerrell wrote:
For clarification, Sierra Sue II is one of the most original warbirds, that flew combat missions in WWII, still flying today. The vast majority of it's structure is original, as are even a number of the skins.



John, since the original poster asked about the highest bar of current MUSTANG restorations, I doubt many reading this thread feel that you are the one who needs to clarify anything.

_________________
It was a good idea, it just didn't work.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:31 pm 
Offline
Flight Sergeant

Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:34 pm
Posts: 82
JohnTerrell wrote:
For added mention, the most authentic Allison-engined Mustang flying is the Collings Foundation A-36A - you won't find any D-model parts on that one, and it has every detail in it that you can imagine.


Baby Carmen is one of the most gorgeous "Mustangs" on the planet. I remember seeing some of the first air-to-air photos and my jaw dropped. Everything about it is spectacular and the payload adds to the beauty.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:43 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:29 pm
Posts: 1439
Location: Stockton, California
At one point Lope's Hope was coming to the National Aviation Heritage Invitational (NAHI) judging event in California last year. Other aircraft that registered were the Slattery SBD and Dottie Mae. As a judge I can't remember being more excited for such a line up. It was going to be the end all of competitions in my feeble little mind but sadly it fell apart. Each of the various aircraft pulled out for one reason or another and the ultimate competition was not meant to be. Dang it!

We may see Dottie Mae and Lopes Hope go at it in the future but I kind of doubt the SBD will come out and play. Too bad.

_________________
To donate to the PV-2D project via PayPal click here http://www.twinbeech.com/84062restoration.htm

We brought her from: Image to this in 3 months: Image Help us get her all the way back Image

All donations are tax deductible as the Stockton Field Aviation Museum is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Tell a friend as the Harpoon needs all the help she can get.

Thank you!

Taigh Ramey
Vintage Aircraft, Stockton, California
http://www.twinbeech.com
'KEEP ‘EM FLYING…FOR HISTORY!'


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:27 pm 
Offline
3000+ Post Club
3000+ Post Club
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 7:13 pm
Posts: 4976
Location: Minnesota, USA
GRNDP51 wrote:
JohnTerrell wrote:
For added mention, the most authentic Allison-engined Mustang flying is the Collings Foundation A-36A - you won't find any D-model parts on that one, and it has every detail in it that you can imagine.


Baby Carmen is one of the most gorgeous "Mustangs" on the planet. I remember seeing some of the first air-to-air photos and my jaw dropped. Everything about it is spectacular and the payload adds to the beauty.




All in favor, say "Oooooo..."




Image


Image

_________________
It was a good idea, it just didn't work.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:07 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 3:57 pm
Posts: 1437
Location: Minnesota
Note they even got the finish right on the engine mount, being silver - on the early Allison-engined Mustangs, aluminum paint was applied as a final coating to the engine mounts.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:12 pm 
Offline
Sergeant

Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:40 pm
Posts: 64
Location: south jersey
Not to send this off topic, but can't we have just one mustang, that isn't original at all, one that has been pieced together with new parts, or built from 5 or 6 wrecks,carry one of the great civilian schemes from back in the day. Mustangs in civilian clothes look so darn good.

_________________
I once got a ride in FiFi, that i can never forget.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:39 am 
Offline
3000+ Post Club
3000+ Post Club
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 7:13 pm
Posts: 4976
Location: Minnesota, USA
pontiac58 wrote:
Not to send this off topic, but can't we have just one mustang, that isn't original at all, one that has been pieced together with new parts, or built from 5 or 6 wrecks,carry one of the great civilian schemes from back in the day. Mustangs in civilian clothes look so darn good.





I thought that's what Thunder Mustangs are for! :wink:



Image

_________________
It was a good idea, it just didn't work.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:00 pm 
Offline
Group Captain

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:44 am
Posts: 674
Location: DAL glidepath
Just out of curiosity, where would Upopa Epops fit in?

I thought it was at or near the tops? What would disqualify it in the WIX trust's minds?

BTW, this is just curiosity. I have no dog in this hunt.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:09 pm 
Offline
2000+ Post Club
2000+ Post Club
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:11 pm
Posts: 2480
Location: 16 mi. N of DFW Airport
The new issue of Warbird Digest has an in-depth article about Lope's Hope 3rd. VERY impressive restoration!

_________________
Dean Hemphill, K5DH

Crew Chief, NAA F-86F Sabre 52-4689
Vintage Flying Museum
Fort Worth, Republic of Texas

"The thing of it is, it is what it is." - some TV reporter talking about damage from Hurricane Irma


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:25 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 3:57 pm
Posts: 1437
Location: Minnesota
StangStung wrote:
Just out of curiosity, where would Upopa Epops fit in?

I thought it was at or near the tops? What would disqualify it in the WIX trust's minds?

BTW, this is just curiosity. I have no dog in this hunt.


Just to add my thoughts again (and I have no involvement with any party either)...

"Upupa Epops" is right up there at the top too. For me, it has long been a pinnacle of Mustang restorations as well. "Upupa Epops" had been, I believe, the only Mustang restoration prior to "Sierra Sue II" and "Lope's Hope 3rd" that had also gone to the depth of having the rivets used in the restoration specially manufactured to WWII-spec (though of only one finish, unlike the multiple authentic finishes accurately incorporated on "Sierra Sue II", "Lope's Hope 3rd" and "Dottie Mae"). As I alluded to in my first post, the big part of what makes "Sierra Sue II" and "Lope's Hope 3rd" so special, besides accuracy down to the smallest detail, is the fact that while the craftsmanship/workmanship is first rate/of the highest quality, the look of the aircraft is authentic by not being overly neat or overly perfect. For instance, when NAA applied an acid wash to the skins where spot welding was performed, they did so with a good-sized brush, just free-hand, as you can see in period factory photos and on the surfaces of the skins on "SSII" and "Lope's Hope 3rd". The "Upupa Epops" restoration, which was completed way back in 2003, also has a few areas of acid etching on the skins where there is spot welding, but it is done in an extremely precise, neat, and limited fashion that doesn't match up with the way things were done during original NAA production/manufacturing. During original wartime NAA production, many ribs, frames and brackets were dipped in primer rather than sprayed - "SSII" and "Lope's Hope 3rd" are the only restorations I know of that had these parts treated the same way, creating the true authentic imperfect finish (and using the same period-authentic primers, no less, which have quite a different look and feel than the modern representations of zinc chromates in other restorations). When Mustangs rolled out of the factory during WWII, they already had some rash to them, with chips and scuff marks and scratches. In the restorations of "SSII" and "Lope's Hope 3rd", they have all of this, not intentionally, but when using the same factory processes and original wartime-era type primers and paints (no modern Imron/polyurethane paints), that's all going to happen just the same. "Sierra Sue II" and "Lope's Hope 3rd" also have pioneered the use of using stamps to apply the majority of the stencils across the exterior of the aircraft, as was done originally, which you don't see on previous Mustang restorations (though you can see a bit of this on Midwest Aero's "Frenesi" restoration as well, where some of the production block is stamped and some is stenciled, per original.) A huge (majority, from what I can tell) swath of wartime P-51 production had yellow zinc chromate rub plates on the landing gear clam shell doors, including Allison-engine variants, B's, C's, D's (both Dallas and Inglewood) and K's, and "SSII" and "Lope's Hope 3rd" are the only restorations to-date to have this detail.

To be nit-picky to the nth degree, in the "Upupa Epops" restoration, all of the interior-facing areas of skins that were originally left bare metal from the NAA factory, and would remain as such in a restoration today to the caliber of "SSII"/"Lope's Hope 3rd", were instead painted yellow zinc chromate in the restoration, and you won't find any of the Alcoa/Reynolds aluminum watermarks reproduced on any of the skins as there was originally and has been faithfully reproduced on several restorations in more recent years (pioneered by Midwest Aero on their "Happy Jack's Go Buggy" restoration, completed in 2008). There are some finer details that are also just a little off on "Upupa Epops" - like the flying instruments outline on the instrument panel from the restoration is white where it should be yellow (since the switch from white to yellow came well before the "Upupa Epops" airframe was manufactured), and the seat is painted black where in which during WWII it was only ever painted dark dull green or interior green. All of this is really not worth mentioning, but I do so just to highlight the very fine line between all of these superb restorations - you really have to dig deep, down to the finest details, if you're trying to separate them. Mustangs like "Upupa Epops", "Sierra Sue II", "Lope's Hope 3rd", "Baby Carmen", "Berlin Express", etc., all have very much the same type of, extremely limited (as limited as you can possibly get), modern avionics, which are attached in the cockpit, in each individual case, in ways that don't remove or prevent the inclusion of any of the original cockpit instrumentation, radio boxes, hardware, brackets, etc.

With so many fantastic restorations, you're dealing with quite a number of Mustangs that are very near and tied for placements on a list of most authentic/accurate. Midwest Aero's most recent restoration, "Frenesi", for instance, is really a clone of "Happy Jack's Go Buggy", with just different markings. Fagen Fighter's "Twilight Tear" also has just as much authenticity and original period-correct fittings, hardware, WWII equipment, etc., throughout, but has a very polished exterior (just about the only thing not authentic on it - it and "SSII" share some unique, correct, earlier-style D-model cockpit details, specific to their production block, that can't be seen in any other D-model restoration). Then you have "Little Rebel", which it too could be considered very much like "SSII" and "Lope's Hope 3rd", with accuracy down to the tiniest bit of hardware, primer finishes, aluminum finishes, etc., but it lacks the fuselage tank and aft cockpit fit-out as expected in a fully-WWII era authentic Mustang, since it has a jump seat installed in back and the front seat is modified to tilt forward. The P-51B "Berlin Express" restoration of course is also phenomenal. When you really look closely into the details of all of these restorations, you'll even find that the period-correct watermarks on the aluminum panels are different on the earlier Mustang variant restorations compared to the later Mustang variant restorations - accurate to the different time periods of manufacturing/watermark usage during the war years.


Last edited by JohnTerrell on Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:21 pm 
Offline
1000+ Posts!
1000+ Posts!
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:31 pm
Posts: 1172
Location: Galveston County
JT ... it is a joy to listen to you expound, sir! 8)

_________________
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas

"It's the same thing, only different."


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Chuck Gardner, CraigQ, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot] and 15 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group