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"She's still flying!!" Topic

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1,599 hits since 25 Dec 2012
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skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2012 9:50 a.m. PST


Any other WWII aircraft refurbished for today?

Any WWII aircraft you think should be modernised?

Me? I'd love ths Spruce Goose, B-25(=IL-28?) and Me-262 re-done fore today.

Is it me, or does the Pucara rmind you of a Stuka?

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Dec 2012 10:04 a.m. PST

Not WWII, but I think the Skyraider would still be good for tactical operations…

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2012 10:29 a.m. PST

I always wondered what would happen if you built a fighter to WWII specs using modern materials and components, how much more effective would it be than the designs of the day.

jpattern225 Dec 2012 10:40 a.m. PST

Boeing B-314 Flying Boat:


Sundance Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2012 11:02 a.m. PST

Interesting question, Patrick. I'll like to check out the Me-262 and Me-163 (perhaps with safer fuel components, however). Must have been a wild ride to say the least.

gfawcett25 Dec 2012 11:18 a.m. PST

They have built new versions of the Me 262 using a museum piece as a template but put modern turbojets in for power.


They have also built new Yak 9s,


Fw 190s

and numerous WWI aircraft as accurately as possible.

The last link for Vintage Aviators shows that they have even copied a WWI engine and started manufacturing them for sale. Want a German Oberursel UR.2 rotary :-)

Sundance Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2012 12:29 p.m. PST

Most of the modern built copies of WWII a/c that I am familiar with are actually 3/5 or 4/5 the size of the original.

gfawcett25 Dec 2012 12:42 p.m. PST

The sites listed above are all exact full size replicas.

Charlie 1225 Dec 2012 1:47 p.m. PST

There have also been some full size replicas of Russian I-16s.

Lion in the Stars25 Dec 2012 9:46 p.m. PST

Piston-engine fighters? I'm not sure that you'd see much improvement in performance, to be honest, and we've pretty much lost the ability to build new liquid-cooled engines on that scale. When the Brit Royal War Museum restored their Me109, Rolls Royce Aero Engines sent the crankshaft back wrapped in multiple layers of spray foam, with a note that said 'whatever you do, DO NOT HURT the crankshaft. We cannot repair or replace it.'

However, early jets would greatly benefit from lighter airframes and better blades.

Augustus25 Dec 2012 9:54 p.m. PST

They didn't have CNC tech? We can 3D laser-measure and directly copy any metal part (assuming you have the right metal in stock) – we do this all the time at work. The crankshaft would be a breeze – we've done them for old tractors….

Tom Bryant26 Dec 2012 12:58 a.m. PST

I'll agree with Augustus on that. With modern manufacturing methods any so-called "dead" aircraft with "lost","Destroyed" or "missing" prints can be made so long as they have a physical model available.

IIRC they had an article in either Wings or Airpower magazine that highlighted a turbo-prop conversion fro the DC-3 for Forest Service smoke jumpers about a dozen years ago.

To be honest I don't know why MCDonnell-Douglas hasn't re-manufactured the DC-3 as a short haul passenger/cargo bird with modern turbo props. The Gooney Bird is durable as hell, incredibly versitle and can land and take off from airfields that even the most sure footed sparrow would reject.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2012 5:08 a.m. PST

There was a version built with turbo-props. but there
are apparently so many DC-3's/ex-C-47's around and still
operating that there was no market for a modern/newer
version, at least no market which made sense from a
revenue standpoint.

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member26 Dec 2012 12:14 p.m. PST

Yes, here's another:

and we've pretty much lost the ability to build new liquid-cooled engines on that scale

Um, not even a little.
People make liquid-cooled marine diesels bigger than entire WW2 aircraft.

Khusrau26 Dec 2012 2:27 p.m. PST

Forged or Cast? (Crankshaft I mean).

And one of the principal reasons you don't fly a DC3 nowadays is she is heavy and slow, and thus expensive to run for fuel compared to more modern short-haul cargo carriers.

Lion in the Stars26 Dec 2012 10:34 p.m. PST

Augustus, take it up with Rolls Royce. Evidently the crankshaft tolerances of that particular engine (DB603?) were tighter than the CNC machines of the early 2000s could manage.

That was the quote from Rolls, as stated on the Wings (or whatever show it was) when they interviewed the guy from the RWM.

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member27 Dec 2012 5:31 a.m. PST

And one of the principal reasons you don't fly a DC3 nowadays

Still plenty in service.

Martin from Canada31 Dec 2012 12:08 p.m. PST

And one of the principal reasons you don't fly a DC3 nowadays

I guess you haven't seen these guys on what passes for History TV these days?

Lion in the Stars31 Dec 2012 1:11 p.m. PST

DC3s are still flown in places with lousy airstrips, where the low speed of the Gooney Bird is an advantage.

But in more competitive places, DC3s just aren't fast enough or cheap enough to operate.

IIRC, John Travolta has his own personal DC3. I'd rather have a PBY5A Catalina amphibian, personally, even if I had to make a turboprop conversion like the turbo DC3s.

chironex02 Jan 2013 12:00 a.m. PST

A Dornier Do 24 has also been modernised:


Etranger Inactive Member02 Jan 2013 8:51 p.m. PST

Still plenty of Tigermoths (a pre WWII design) flying too.

The Skyraider was a WWII design but didn't see active service until 1946.

Deadone Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 10:01 p.m. PST

Even the State Department uses C-47/CD-3s albeit modernised and equipped with turboprops. They're good for third world ops.

From memory Colombia operates AC-47 gunships (a Dakota armed with miniguns)! South Africa Defence Force still operates turbo prop Dakotas as well.

Lots of WWII stuff survived post-war and up to the 1990s in addition to the Dakota: T-6 Harvard, A-26 Invader. During the Soccer War in 1969 they were still using F-51 Mustangs and F4U Corsairs.

Personally I think a reengined A-1 Skyraider would be ideal for COIN. But then the OV-10 from the 1960/70s is also ideal for this.

Deadone Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 10:10 p.m. PST

To be honest I don't know why MCDonnell-Douglas hasn't re-manufactured the DC-3 as a short haul passenger/cargo bird with modern turbo props.

McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in the late 1990s.

Hence Boeing F-15, Boeing F/A-18, Boeing AH-64 and demise of McDonnell Douglas airliner manufacturing (though Boeing did produce DC-9s a Boeing 717 for a period of time).

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