½ Scale Replica
Curtiss Kitty Hawk
Designed by:   Grant "Trains" Haywood ©
Much has been written on the P40 in its various forms and roles in every theatre of war, so I will not go into that here. However the WAR aircraft replica 1/2 scale P40E has a very interesting history.
It began some years ago when I was looking at flying, and decided that it would be a better option to build, rather than buy an aircraft.
Then I had to decide what aircraft to build. I was interested in a sports plane.
Some time went in to looking at what kits were available, their safety record, availability etc.
It was then that I realised I wanted a single seat sports plane, and if I was going that way, why not a P40 replica? My favourite was the P40E.
As I was soon to find out, there wasn't much on offer in the half scale replica fighter range, or type of aircraft I wanted to build.
Loehle offer a very nice package, but it was cost prohibitive for me to purchase a pre-built kit.
In my countless hours of searching for half scale replica fighters I came across a picture of a 1/2 sized F4u Corsair. I was rapped!.
Upon my enquires into the picture on the website, I received a reply saying that it was a WAR aircraft replica, and they were no longer available, as the company had finished.
I was very disappointed, but had to find out more about this little aircraft, and what had happened to WAR aircraft replicas.
It was one night when I was almost ready to give up I came across the late "Bill Stevens" webpage on the WAR aircraft concept type of aircraft.
I was hooked there and then, and over time built up a strong friendship with Bill.
Of course my first question was: "Is there a WAR p40?.
The answer was that at the moment there wasn't one, however rumour had it that there was one being worked on but getting details were vague.
I contacted Carl at WAR aircraft replicas and after some correspondence received a reply that someone had worked on them but they were incomplete.
I offered to continue work on them and an agreement was settled upon.
When I first received the plans, it took several weeks to fully go over them.
By that time, I realised that I would have to start again from scratch, using them as a guide and base to work from.
That was at the beginning of 2000, and Aussie WAR replicas.
The fuselage frame is of a totally different shape, length, and slightly wider so that it fits the P40s shape well.
I have spent alot of time trying to simplify the building process, and the top longerons are flat to make it alot easier for fuselage construction.
Roger and Bill both informed me that many were adding higher HP engines to their WAR replicas, which they were not designed for; so I looked at how to strengthen the front section of the fuselage and transmit the extra torque load.
While I have not heard of a WAR aircraft having a failure in this department, I would not suggest adding HP like some builders have done.
The fuselage front section is made a little stronger now, but by changing the front fuse section, it is not an open invitation to put in higher HP engines in these replicas. Please remember that they were originally designed for 80hp, and 100hp is more than enough if you build lightly.
I would like to say that 125hp would be more than enough and 130 HP max for the P40.
I built the spars first, as they are easily stored out the way, and need table space when being built.
However I realised that they were not the right dihedral of 6 deg, or the correct length with the wing modifications.
I decided to add more wing area, as I wanted to slow the stall speed, and reduce the wingloading. And anyway using the fuselage length as a guide, the P40's wingspan is larger than the other WAR aircraft.
Thus more research was required, including talking to other builders to see what they had done.
This including those who were building very simmilar aircraft to the WAR design.
(thankyou Keith) who had just completed a wonderfull minicab, which is his 16th? aircraft he has built. His advice is well respected and much appreciated.
More modifications and improvements were looked at, and a rough draft was completed with correct diheral in the center section, changed spar dimentions and wing attacth fittings.
After a consult with an engineer, I found the changes to be ok in the spar dimentions, and after a change to the wing attach fittings, I was happy with the result.
Of interest, it took me an afternoon of drawing to complete what 3+ months of research invested into the required changes took.
I stood back.
HHHmmmmmmmmm not a lot to show for 3 months work. >grin<
The landing gear has been adapted from the Corsair to suite the P40 as both use the 90 deg rotating gear.
Some changes include the position of the gear mounting, different mounts, new side braces (a known weak point in the Corsair, especially when they were made of allum.), different actuator arm design and swing arc, different top leg, and I am currently looking at some further changes to lighten the whole assy.
The Rear landing gear is changed as the fuse section is a different shape, and now works free from the push pull elevator tube.
The rear spar locations are moved to be closer to scale, and easier to build with the required angle of attack.
The new rear spars are single taper, and of laminated construction, thus easier to build than the earlier double tapered spars.
The Rudder and H stab's now has naca 0010 and 0009 airfoil sections, as these fit the framework, and cord length the best.
The tail control surfaces have points at which they can be easily statically balanced, and the ailerons can also be balanced, but require a little more work than the tail section.
Balancing of all control surfaces is required on the P40, and I would strongly reccomend that all WAR aircraft have balanced control surfaces.
After all its only a small amount of work required, but it's benefits are more than worth it.
Fuselage Construction Page
As time permits, I will add more to this page including some pictures of the spar construction, and fitment of them to the fuselage.
I would like to thank you all for dropping by and for your continual emails of encouragement, and questions regarding the P40, and its progress.
My apologies for not updating the webpage as often as I would like to, as there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.
I have been busy with designing a new wing for another type of aircraft, this project has taken up alot of time, however I hope that it will enable
me to continue to build my own P40.
Thankyou again for dropping by.
WAR Aircraft Links including some flight test reports
Some fun War P40 advertisements
Feel free to print them off and spread the word of WAR.
A quick piccy of the test foam stage to get the shape correct.
The rudder was cut oversize, and it's partly covered by washing on the line ;).
Not a very good shot. But it still shows the fuse shape a bit. Really needed more room for a good shot.
Would you believe that getting the shapes right took 3 goes untill I was satisfied it looks the part.
Others who love WWII aircraft, have commented on its appearance. Inc one chap who built a lovely Rc P40e model with a 6ft wingspan.
A shot showing the form up of the nose section and checking the lines. It looks much better than this shot really shows.
It was a very windy day, and no sooner had I positioned the nose section, and it would get blown off its spot.
Time for some hanger flying. Im 5' 11, and I have plenty of room.
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Website Copyright April 18, 2008 by Grant Haywood