The North American P-51 Mustang is one of the most succesful fighters that has ever been produced and while most of us will never be able to fly an authentic P-51, Titan Aircraft is offering an airplane that will allow you to do the next best thing. They have developed a 3/4 scale replica of the famous P-51 and I must say, having seen it in person, that it is a beauty! They call it the T-51 Mustang.
|The Titan T-51
The Titan T-51 is an all metal two seat, dual control aircraft that can be built and licensed in either the Experimental or Light Sport categories. The category that you decide to license the airplane in basically dictates the engine, propeller, and landing gear configuration that you need to use.
Titan Aircraft designed the T-51 to be docile as well as good looking and that was certainly demonstrated in the flight that I saw at Sun ‘N Fun. The T-51 took off from a short grass strip, flew several flight manuevers and landed with ease and from a distance you could hardly tell that it wasn’t the actual P-51 flying! The absence of the sound of a Merlin V-12 might give it away but if you use the “Mini Merlin” V-6 engine option that Titan offers you will sound pretty convincing though.
• Crew: 2
• Length: 23 ft 6 in (7.16 m) with rotors
• Wingspan: 24 ft 0 in (7.32 m)
• Width: 8 ft 7 in (2.62 m) (Fuselage)
• Height: 9 ft 2 in (2.79 m)
• Cabin width: 26 in (660.4 mm)
• Cabin Head Room: 48 in (1219.2 mm)
• Cabin Leg Room: 46 in (1168.4 mm)
• Empty weight: 850 lb (385.6 kg)
• Gross weight: 1450 lb (657.7 kg)
• Gross weight- Light Sport: 1320 lb
• Fuel capacity: 25 gallons (94.6 lt.)
• Powerplants: Rotax 912S or S/914S, Suzuki 2.5/2.7L V-6, Honda 3.5L V6
|Kits and More Information
Titan Aircraft has estimated that the T-51 can be completed in as little as 1600 hours and their kits include all of the required materials, components and fasteners, with the exception of the engine, propeller, and instruments which are up to the customer to choose based on individual preference. They have everything available in a complete kit or you can build in stages, it’s all up to you.
For more information or pricing go to Titan Aircraft and ask them about the T-51.
|Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey”
In 1952 the United States Army determined that they needed a helicopter that was smaller and less complicated to maintain than the helicopters of the time and it was to fulfill medical evacuation and utility operations. Bell Helicopter was eventually chosen to build 3 prototypes designated XH-40, which first flew in October 1956. Later designated HU-1, it would be the first turbine-powered helicopter to enter production for the United States military, and more than 16,000 have been produced worldwide.
The helicopter quickly developed its nickname “Huey” from the Army HU-1 designation, and even after the re-designation in 1962 to UH-1 the nickname still held. (Huey became so popular that Bell began casting it on the anti-torque pedals which you can see in the cockpit photo below.)
|Bell was awarded a production contract for 100 aircraft in March of 1963, which was designated as the HU-1A and the official name of Iroquois. The HU-1A models were powered by Lycoming T53-L-1A powerplants developing 770 shp.
Since 1956 when the XH-40 first flew, Bell has produced 46 variants of the helicopter with improvements in power, handling, and seating. Beginning in 1966, the UH-1H would become the most produced model (5,435 were built) with power increased to 1,400 shp. thanks to the Lycoming T-53-L-13 engine. Today there is even a twin engine model flying (UH-1N).
|Slicks, Guns, and Dustoffs
While Huey was the nickname of the aircraft, the role or task that the helicopter performed during its service in Vietnam was given a term as well.
|UH-1s tasked and configured for troop transport were often called “Slicks” due to an absence of weapons pods. Slicks did have door gunners, but were generally employed in the troop transport and medevac roles. Slicks could seat 2 pilots and up to 13 additional crew or passengers in the cabin.|
|UH-1s tasked with a ground attack or armed escort role were outfitted with rocket launchers, grenade launchers, and machine guns. These gunship UH-1s were commonly referred to as Frogs or Hogs if they carried rockets, or simply "Guns" if they had guns.|
|The medevac Hueys with large red crosses were known by their radio call sign "Dustoff" because of the dirt they kicked up as they took the wounded to safety. The UH-1H, could carry up to 6 stretchers with a trained medic inside the cabin.|
• Crew: 1-4
• Capacity: 3,113 lb including 13 troops, or 6 stretchers, or equivalent cargo
• Length: 41 ft 10 in (12.50 m) with rotors
• Wingspan: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
• Width: 8 ft 7 in (2.62 m) (Fuselage)
• Height: 14 ft 6 in (4.4 m)
• Empty weight: 4,973 lb (2,255 kg)
• Gross weight: 9,499 lb (4,308 kg)
• Max takeoff weight: 9,500 lb (4,308 kg)
• Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming T53-L-13 turboshaft, 1,400 shp
• Main rotor diameter: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
• Fuel capacity: 211 gallons (2.8 hrs endurance no reserves)
• Maximum speed: 127 mph (110 kts)
Variable, but may include a combination of:
• 2x 7.62 mm M60 machine gun, or 2x 7.62 mm GAU-17/A machine gun
The UH-1 has been around a long time, the first entering service with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the 57th Medical Detachment. Although US Army has phased out the UH-1 with the introduction of the UH-60 Black Hawk, they still have 700 UH-1s that are to be retained until 2015. The U.S. Marines Corps are still using the twin engine variant (UH-1Y) which entered service in 2008. So if you hear the “thump thump” of helicopter rotors you might just see a Huey flying towards you!
|I read this book several times; it’s about a helicopter pilot in Vietnam Chickenhawk- by Robert Mason|