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RV-18 ;-) (A P51 Mustang)

Thanks for the flight review!

I flew the back seat in the Collings P51 N251MX back in 2008. It was incredible fun. I don’t remember it being noisy as you describe, though it was far from quiet. The Merlin is a delight to share a plane with, incredibly smooth. (That year I also took a V12 E-type for a drive – my only V12 experiences and both thoroughly enjoyable).

We did some aerobatics, just basic stuff, loops and rolls. It was delight to handle, as easy as in the Pitts.

Understandably I didn’t get to do the takeoff or landing. Though I did when a flew their B25 a couple of years earlier.

I also got a few flights in a T6. That’s a different story. The engine is noisy with lots of vibration. It’s a bit like flying a tractor, though still loads of fun. It does respectable basic aerobatics. I did do takeoffs and landings, it’s quite a handful to land and keep rolling straight. Actually the hardest part is the primer – once you’re strapped in it’s so stiff that you can’t operate it, so you have to unstrap, prime, then get strapped back in again.

I still dream of riding a Spitfire, there are a couple of places in England. Not sure if I’ll get to it though.

LFMD, France

The noise would surely have been better with the right intercom and better specialized headset, not a normal GA setup.

I own and sometimes drive a V12 powered car but based on experience I think this might be the ultimate P-51

Another friend just finished a long term SNJ restoration (he’s an ex Navy Top Gun pilot so it’s not a T-6 ) and I’d like to try it. His everyday plane is an RV-6 but the T-6 seems to come out about once a month.

I have a family connection to Supermarine but there aren’t enough of their products around to provide any reasonable opportunity to get in one. I would instead really like like to fly a Messerschmitt Taifun, the predecessor to the BF109. That one was a really advanced plane for its era and also carries four people.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 09 Nov 15:14

I think this might be the ultimate P-51

Performance-wise probably so, but not looks-wise. I miss that characteristic oil cooler bump down below

Son Alberti LEJF, Mallorca, Spain

It’s a glycol coolant radiator behind and below the cockpit, as pictured in my post #05 above. The radiator has a thermostatically controlled flap that’s closed to warm up the engine and by the time you’ve taxied out and are ready for takeoff on a warmish day, the engine is plenty warm. Prior to that you run the electric pre-oiler pump for four minutes to circulate oil through the engine prior to start up. Then when you start up somebody needs to be standing by with a fire extinguisher in case of a stack fire.

The large diameter coolant pipes running between the coolant radiator and the engine are the source of some of the cockpit heat. It’s not easy or simple to get this kind of power out of any reciprocating aircraft engine but if you have to do so, it’s easy for me to see the appeal of a single row air-cooled radial like North American themselves later used on the T-28. Eventually turboprops came along and were much better at making 1400 HP.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 10 Nov 05:29
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