Q. Are you working from a kit or plans?
A. I am working from a set of incomplete plans. Most all of the major drawings needed are present but some items such as the details on the rear wing spar attachment can only be inferred by examining photos of the prototype.
Q. Why are the plans Incomplete?
A. The designer Dick Rowely was in the process of drawing the plans when he had a fatal accident in the prototype due to a reduction drive failure on his two-stroke engine during climb-out. He attempted the infamous turn back to the runway but clipped a power pole in the attempt.
Q. Are plans available?
A. A fellow Replica Fighters Association member John Hartgerink has the rights to sell plans. At last contact he did have the rights up for sale. He can be reached by joining the on-line group at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/RFAprojects/ . A link also exists on the Replica Fighters Association web site.
Q. Is there any technical support for this particular plane?
A. I'm basically it. I will help anyone who acquires a set of plans and starts to build. There are definitely some things on the plans that need clarifying. It is understood that I am building and do not have a flight tested aircraft at the present time.
Q. Are other plans or kits available for a P-40?
A. I know of only two other sources for building a P-40 replica. One is Jurca Plans West. The other is a kit produced by Loehle.
Q. What materials are used in the plane?
A. The structure is mostly aluminum. A welded 4130 steel truss in the cockpit area transitions to an aluminum tube truss fore and aft held together via gusset plates. Aluminum formers give the rounded shape of the P-40 to which aluminum skins are riveted. Aircraft grade spruce is use to build-up the main spar of the wing and in the horizontal and vertical tail sections as well.
Q. What is the scale of the P-40?
A. It's not exactly a perfectly scaled replica. This is just over a 3/4 scale project. One example of a scale change is in the landing gear which is wider than normal scale to provide more directional stability and thus reduce the risk of ground-loops during landings.
Q. How long have you been working on your project?
A. It has been close to 15 years now. That is very part-time building as I enjoy other endeavors at the same time. It has been 2 years since I have retired and significant progress has been made recently. The fuselage does go together very quickly.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. To date I have just under $20,000 into it. Big ticket items yet to be purchased are the engine kit and avionics. Usually an airplane will have a cost equally divided int three parts: Structure, engine, and instruments. By choosing the Grate Plains VW based engine kit at just over $3,000, the Culver reduction drive and prop, and a Dynon engine / instrument system I hope to keep the final cost at or under $35,000.
Q. Can I contact you about other questions I have?
A. Yes, my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number in the USA is (925) 756-6172.