Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster." -MickAK

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Being Filthy Rich Would Have Its Advantages

Just the thing for personal transport.

One of these would be an acceptable substitute:

That's the Velocity V-Twin. The kit costs $110K, and that is just for the airframe. No engines, radios, instruments, or interior. It's pretty fast and it probably drinks less gas then a Cessna 400 (or whatever the hell they call those things now). Time you add in engines, props, a nice interior, and all of the IFR bells and whistles, probably looking at $200K and that assumes that you do all of the work. More likely $400K for a "builder-assisted" airplane.

Sure would be cool to fly one. But much cooler to fly a Mossie.


montag said...

Built from plywood because of wartime metal shortages, necessity was the mother of one beautiful invention in the Mossie. Two Merlins didn't hurt.

Deadstick said...

And another advantage: Britain was up to here in skilled woodworkers who didn't need much training to become airplane makers. The small radar cross-section was serendipitous: combined with the high speed, it was great for high-altitude photorecon.

Sarah said...

It is an awesome airplane. Like a spitfire twin.
See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGfQQWOsoB8&feature=youtu.be
for a cockpit view.

I've heard the airplane is on tour across the US this summer, and will be in the UK in the fall ( Duxford ). Sadly, it won't be at Oshkosh. The owner wanted $ to come fly it in the airshow and EAA declined.

The velocity .. OK sure. If I could have any airplane, for personal me-flying cross country, I'd go for something like a PC12, single engine turboprop. Plenty fast enough.

Back in the real world, I could see owning a Mooney. A nice F model, with manual gear, or if I win the lottery a newer J or Ovation.

Comrade Misfit said...

Nah, I don't think I'd want to be doing night cross-countries or serious IFR in a single. I've had to do one quasi-emergency landing and that dampened my ardor for flying on one recip engine when I can't be up high and have a good view of the terrain.

It'd be different with a PT-6, yeah.

Iron City said...

How about a new build Mossie like this with a pair of PT-6s? Wouldn't sound like Merlins, of course, but would be a lot cooler way to trundle 2 PT-6s around than a King Air. And more reliable.

CenterPuke88 said...

Would be nice to have a conversion like BOAC (British Overseas Airway Corporation) ran.


Between 1943 and the end of the war, Mosquitos were used as transport aircraft on a regular route over the North Sea between Leuchars in Scotland and Stockholm. Lockheed Hudsons and Lodestars were also used but these slower aircraft could only fly this route at night or in bad weather to avoid the risk of being shot down. During the long daylight hours of the Northern summer, the Mosquito was the only safe alternative.

Because Sweden was neutral, the aircraft carried civilian markings and were operated by crews who were nominally "civilian employees" of BOAC. They carried small, high value cargoes such as precision ball bearings and machine-tool steel. Occasionally, important passengers were carried in an improvised cabin in the bomb bay, one notable passenger being the physicist Niels Bohr, who was evacuated from Stockholm in 1943. The flight almost ended in tragedy as Bohr did not don his oxygen equipment as instructed, and passed out. He would have died had not the pilot, surmising from Bohr's lack of response to intercom communication that he had lost consciousness, descended to a lower altitude for the remainder of the flight. Bohr's comment was that he had slept like a baby for the entire flight."


"Nine Mk VI aircraft (plus one Mk IV and three Mk III) modified for use by BOAC, in civil markings, on courier service between Scotland and Sweden, making 520 round trips between February 1943 and May 1945"


A fun little entry from a book on the Mossie describes the accommodations...


So you could carry three...but make sure you don't use that cheap Chinese plywood!

Comrade Misfit said...

Yeah, but without the sound, it would not be as cool. Maybe a pair of Falconer V-12s. Some Frenchmen built a 75-80% scale Mossie with auto engines and from the video, it sounds about right.

Comrade Misfit said...

I read about the BOAC Mossie flights in Flying magazine a very long time ago. It might of been part of the series of stories that Ernie K. Gann wrote about airline operations.

Sarah said...

I'm pretty cautious about night and IMC in singles, and don't do much of either. They both require a lot of trust in Lycoming - which is actually pretty warranted. These engines, when well maintained, are pretty darn reliable. That doesn't make me feel better over cold water or hard rocks, day or night.

I've had to land in fields 3x now .. all of them with gliders, which are even more fickle than single engine airplanes. All the long cross country, night IFR has been done in a friends light twin, so I guess we agree.

Nangleator said...

The Mossie would be my top choice of warbirds for actual, real-world flying. I've got a soft spot for B-25's, but I hear they make you deaf pretty quickly.

Anonymous said...

With those big tires and the oleo movement you see in taxiing, it must have been a natural for soft field landing

Comrade Misfit said...

If you look at photos of RAF bases from the war, you'll see that a heck of a lot of them were grass airports.

Which made some sense, made it harder for Jerry to find the right fields to bomb....

CenterPuke88 said...

Plus take-off/land into the wind regardless (most of the WW2 grass fields were roughly square, the hitch was taking-off into the wind might require a big taxi...but the fighters that heavily used the grass fields early in the war could take-off on a short roll regardless).

Not to mention that repairs to a bombed grass strip are pretty much a few guys with a truck, some wheelbarrows, some shovels, a little sod and a roller or two.

Comrade Misfit said...

Some of the older naval air stations had "landing mats", which were paved circles about 1,500' in diameter, since crosswind landings weren't done on the old straight-deck carriers. You can see the remnant of one at the old South Weymouth NAS (MA) if you look at it on Google Earth or Acme Mapper.

BadTux said...

Man, Mossies were beasts. Two Merlins in something that didn't weigh a whole lot more than a Spitfire? Talk about your overkill. Heh heh heheheheh....

The Velocity V-Twin looks cool, but I'm sort of dubious. If you're going to have a twin-engine plane a canard design might deal with the engine out stall spin issue better than a conventional layout, but it's hard work getting the handling issues worked out at the margins and even harder with an unconventional design where the aerodynamics of how things work at the margin aren't as well known. Granted, I'd rather fly the Velocity than a conventional twin -- there's a *reason* why a certain plane was called the "fork tailed doctor killer", conventional twins crash more easily than they fly in engine-out situations -- but I've seen too many unconventional designs that had similarly unconventional failure modes in situations where conventional designs would work fine due to the decades of development work that have gone into making conventional designs work fine. Maybe that's just the engineer in me, I'm fundamentally conservative where technology is concerned, I try to limit the number of completely new technologies to one (1) in any product I design to help reduce the risks involved in advancing the state of the art. So it goes...

Comrade Misfit said...

The "fork-tailed doctor killer" was the Bonanza, single engine. Airplanes have to be flown with more precision and skill as they increase in size, power and complexity. True, the J-3 flies just fast enough to kill you, but it's a lot more difficult to do something that stupid in a J-3.

I imagine that the quirks on canard twins has been sort of worked out with the certification of the Beech Starship and, to a lesser extend the Piaggo Avanti (though it has a conventional tail). Yes, the Starship was a failure, but that had to do a lot more with the FAA's not understanding composites and some other issues involving flight characteristics.

Anonymous said...

I learned to fly in the mid '60's at Bowman Field in Louisville, KY....it still *was* a big square field...with paved runways in it.