The first aircraft shop I work in did a fair amount of vintage aviation work before their corporate buyout. Lots of heat transfer equipment and such for planes like the P-51, P38, P-61, and even the odd Hawker Typhoon or Tempest and once we recored a pair of ME-110 radiators. You'd be surprised how much copper and brass is in some of those planes.
Sadly, the new corporate overlords felt there wasn't enough money in it and didn't care how cool it was.
WWII aircraft junkie myself...
Occasionally a restored B-17 fly's over the shop here in NH during the summer giving tours to a lucky few. Always have my ears tuned to the sky for that.
One of my fondest memories is when I was growing up in PA, there used to be an air show in the Quakertown area if I recall correctly. If you were lucky, sometimes a few would fly over head as they would regroup for run's at the show near my house. One summer afternoon, I was outside playing across the street at a friends house (I must have been maybe 7 or 8?) and I heard this low rumble slowly growing and growing. Ran around the front of the house to witness 3 WWII fighter planes roar over head just a bit higher than tree-top level (I know one was a corsair and another was a P-51 but can't recall the 3rd). What a f'n thrill. I'll never forget that day. We need some sound...
Thanks for this thread. Love these old planes - this reminded me to sift through the old flat storage files and dig these linocuts I did 20 years ago in college. I'm missing my P40 (personal favorite) but found a few others. Done with a sharp gouge and warm lino for sure - don't think I'd have the patience for this today. The slides were a sort of "miniscule expressionism" project where we'd draw with marker/rapidograph directly on the slide as our canvas, then presented to the class critique on the projector. I went with old war planes because I'd already bored everyone in the art center with the subjects of classic cars. I think every instructor at some point tried to get me to loosen up. I'm still trying. There's a Spitfire in there for Musgrave.
Years ago when I lived in a different part of the St Louis area nearly all my rides would take me past the local airport where many of the guys who were into that sort of thing kept / restored their planes. One of my favorites was what I'm pretty sure was a Stearman biplane. That thing was so slow I was always amazed that it managed to stay in the air.
This is a neat pic I shot a long time ago across the pond. It's R.J. Mitchell's S.6B - the plane that won the Schneider Cup trophy outright in 1931, and led Mitchell to design the Spitfire.
But the last time I went to OSH, a few years ago, I didn't see much rough work, and not only due to the excellent kits from Van's (the RV series), Lancair, and others. Even the average level of scratch-built workmanship seems high to me. And in many cases it's stunning. Perhaps the EAA's Sportair workshops and other resources have brought the level up, or people without the skills to scratch-build instead choose one of the excellent kits. Or don't bring their rough work to the "big show"... In any case, I love Oshkosh. The EAA museum is really nice, too. A side note; if your non-airplane-loving significant other gets sick of the airshow, Oshkosh has a pretty nice little art gallery: <http://www.thepaine.org/exhibitions/index.html> .
My interest in bicycle framebuilding was originally supposed to be just a brief diversion from the original goal of building a Marquart Charger or Steen Skybolt. Or a carbon update of the Polen Special, my childhood dream-plane. Or Dick Eaves' Nexus Mustang. Or a Cozy-IV. Or a Pitts S-1-11B. Or a replica Ryan STA... (I wasn't short on enthusiasm, anyway). But sometimes diversions end up as the new main idea.
By the way, if you ever get the chance to go for a ride in a P-51, don't turn it down! I once got about an hour's ride in the back "seat" (former radio and armor area) of one. Unforgettable! A bit embarrassing getting greyed out by sudden-onset Gs that didn't phase the elderly WWII-veteran pilot, but at least I could be happy I kept down my breakfast. One of the most exciting things I've ever gotten to do.
Didn't the US military borrow lots of imaginative engineers fro m the other side when the war ended
I watched a documentary the other night on the horten flying wing which by all accounts there was only one in existence in storage somewhere which was shipped back from the european front
The german engineers were some pretty clever guys....if not slightly misguided
Nothing like building a plane that can fly higher and faster than any Russian SAM known at the time, and was never shot down in three decades of service.