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Grumman Wildcat

Old 06-04-2003, 01:59 PM
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dougimes
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Default Grumman Wildcat

I gave my Wildcat canopy plug to Leo Spychalla last week. In addition to being my flying buddy, and a heck of a nice guy, he also is a mold maker.

I am not sure what time frame he is working to, but he will eventually make a production quality mold to vac form canopies. I am guessing that sometime this summer we will see them.

If you are building from Bates plans, an email to Leo might shake things a little. Spread the word-

His email address is:

[email protected]


Also, if you are driving distance to Chicage- don't miss the Festival of the Giants in July in St. Charles.

Robarts 1/3 scale Wildcat, and my 1/5 scale machine with Robart's new gear should be in the air.
Old 06-04-2003, 05:41 PM
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juvatwad
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Default Grumman Wildcat

I'm collecting all the pieces for Bates's Wildcat myself. I have the Robart gear on order, but I've never even seen the prototype. What time frame have they given you for completion of the gear? I've wanted to build the Wildcat for a long time and can't wait to get started.
Old 06-04-2003, 05:55 PM
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FalconWings10
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Default Grumman Wildcat

I saw the Robart Wildcat gear at the WRAM this year. They're works of art!!! Expensive, but very nice. You'll love em.
Old 06-05-2003, 04:23 PM
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Spychalla Aircraft
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Default Wildcat Cowls & Canopies

The Bates Plans have really kicked-off an interest in the Wildcat. I have sold quite a few cowlings in the last 6 months. All the builders are counting on the gear to make there projects a success. Personally I will enjoy seeing ROBARTS gear at St. Charles in just 5 weeks.

I do have Doug's canopy plug now. It needs quite a bit of work to make saleable canopies from it. With schedules, vacation, and then NATS competition, I won't be getting to it until July. I don't think it is a problem though, because most projects are not that far along.

All this interest in the Wildcat does puzzle me. I don't know why anybody would want to build a Wildcat (Truck) when they could build a Brewster Buffalo (Sports Car) instead. Winner of the Navy Contract. Superior Fighting Machine. Pearl-of-the-sky.

Leo
Old 06-05-2003, 05:03 PM
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BobH
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Default wildcat

Ah but Leo, the wildcat has sex appeal!!..
Old 06-05-2003, 07:00 PM
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FalconWings10
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Default Grumman Wildcat

Yaa, and it's just plain coooolll!

I don't ever remember hearing about a,... gulp, Brewster Buffalo, flaming a nip!
Old 06-06-2003, 12:44 AM
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Steve Collins
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Default Grumman Wildcat

Yeah, but plenty of Buffalos got flamed!
Old 06-06-2003, 02:00 AM
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dougimes
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Default wildcats

Bob, you are right about the wcat having sex appeal. I have a basic theory that airplanes kind of follow the lines of the women from the area that the planes were made.

You have your Mustang, California, long legs, clean lines, tan and fit.

Wildcats- Long Island. Nice lines, well proportioned. Got some meat on her bones. Not going to rely on the airframe alone to get the job done like the california girl. She's got guts, and she'll have the respect of her airmen after a few times out.

Brewsters- made in Brooklyn in an old shoe factory. Where am I going with this?
Old 06-06-2003, 03:12 AM
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pittsdriver
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Default Grumman Wildcat

The Brewster was a poorly made plane with marginal handling qualitys. True it won the competition against the F4F-1 but the navy test pilot crashed the Wildcat before the competition was over. The redesign that Grumman did on the Wildcat produced a superior airplane to the Buffalo. Also Brewster was prosicuted later in the war because of the horrible workmanship it did on license built Corsairs. A lot of pilots would refuse to fly a Brewster built Corsair. Don
Old 06-06-2003, 04:44 PM
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Default Buffalo's

The Buffalo was a superior machine from an aerodynamic perspective. Look how Grumman tried to copy the lines but just didn't get it quite right. What it lacked was a decent company to build them and an engine that the Wildcat recieved later in its development. If the Buffalo would have been built by some reputable people and had recieved the H.P. then you would have never seen Wildcats.

Doug, the only way those Wildcat's got a score was to go out in pairs. Thatch Weave and all. Those pilots should have cut there victory markings in half. Finish Aces racked them up all on their own.

Buffalo! Pearl of the Sky!

Leo
Old 06-06-2003, 06:20 PM
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FalconWings10
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Default Grumman Wildcat

Yaa, but a Brewster is just "BUTT UGLY"!
Old 06-06-2003, 06:46 PM
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Steve Collins
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Default Grumman Wildcat

Seems to me that Brewster was the one that copied the lines from Grumman. You can clearly see the lineage of the Wildcat in the Grumman F3F Biplane. Grumman already had the lines and just further developed them into what we now know as the Wildcat. Compare pics of the F3F and the Wildcat. It is obvious where the lines of the Wildcat came from.

Besides, who has ever heard of any Brewster aircraft before the Buffalo? I am sure there are some but they are conspicuous by their extreme obscurity. For that matter, very few have even heard of the Buffalo.
Old 06-06-2003, 06:54 PM
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Steve Collins
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Default Grumman Wildcat

I have to admit though that both the Buffalo and the Wildcat had some real "monkey motion" landing gear!
Old 06-06-2003, 07:15 PM
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Default Grumman Wildcat

Brewster also made the SBA/SBN dive bomber, SB2A Buccaneer scout/bomber and the XA-32 attack fighter. All were midwing barrel shape aircraft similar looking to the Buffalo. All were known for poor performance and terrible workmanship and the SBA and SB2a were used for training only. Don
Old 06-07-2003, 12:57 AM
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Default High Tech Advanced Fighter - The Buffalo

The F4F started life as a Biplane. It got those lines from the biplane. Grumman was way behind in design technology. Dayton Brown caught Grumman flat footed and just blew right past them.

Consider the facts: "Corsairs enjoyed an 11 to 1 victory-to-loss ratio, while Grumman F6F Hellcats boasted a 19-to-1 ratio. But the rather obscure and maligned U.S. World War II Brewster naval fighter scored an amazing victory-to-loss ratio of 26-to-1..." (Aviation History p.34 11/96.)

"The Navy tested the Brewster and Grumman prototypes in 1938. The F2A handled like a sports car, the F4F-2 like a pikup truck, and the Brewster's Cyclone seemed a safer bet thant the complicated Twin Wasp. Brewster got the contract for 54 planes." Air & Space June/July 1996 p. 75.

The Brewster Buffalo was the highest scoring fighter plane of World War Two.

This great fighter just fell victim to the laws of supply and demand. Grumman cranks up a factory and makes cookie cutter airplanes so the government buys them in quantity. It reminds me of the auto industry in the 70's making 400,000 Pintos and Vegas a year.

Leo
Old 06-07-2003, 02:04 AM
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BobH
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Default Brewster..

doug, lol thats a good analogy.. true or otherwise...
Regardless of what the books say about the Brewster Buffalo, history has a way of keeping its own score. The Buffalo is low on the horizon with regards to the other planes of its time for lots of reasons.. beauty.. or rather lack there.. just being one of them..Regards BobH.
Old 06-07-2003, 06:07 AM
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k_sonn
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Default Grumman Wildcat

When I was six years old my uncle gave me a 1:48 scale model of a Wildcat. I have been in love with the Wildcat ever since. I am glad to see enough of an interest in the plane to warrant Robart manufacturing scale retracts. The Jerry Bates 1/5 scale Wildcat is definitely on my "to build" list.

Does anyone know if the Bates 1/5 scale has a one piece wing or two piece plug in wings. Without having to worry about landing gear in the wing it seems like it should be a two piece wing, especailly with wing span.
Old 06-08-2003, 09:25 PM
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Thrushdust
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Default Grumman Wildcat

I believe if you check Bates' website he has drawings for the Buffalo (in 4 sizes) too, just hasn't had enough interest to get the gear made for it. Jerry's "priority" must have been the Buffalo too, since he drew it first.

http://www.scaleaero.com/jerrybates.htm

D. Hayes
Old 06-08-2003, 11:08 PM
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FalconWings10
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Default Grumman Wildcat

Sorry, I'm still not impressed. I don't recall anyone winning the medal of honor flying one. IT'S STILL BUTT UGLY!
Old 08-09-2005, 12:33 AM
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WS
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Default RE: Grumman Wildcat

ORIGINAL: FalconWings10

Sorry, I'm still not impressed. I don't recall anyone winning the medal of honor flying one. IT'S STILL BUTT UGLY!
How many P-51 pilots earned MoH? 2
How many P-47 pilots earned MoH? 2
How many P-38 pilots earned MoH? 2
How many F4F pilots earned MoH? 8
How many F4U pilots earned MoH? 3
How many F6F pilots earned MoH? 1
Old 08-09-2005, 09:51 AM
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rrudytoo
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Default RE: Grumman Wildcat

FalconWings10,

Ever hear of Butch O'Hare, Marion Carl or Joe Foss? These guys worked miracles with the Wildcat as did many others whose names I cannot recall at the moment. The P-40, P-39 and the F4F was all we had when the Japanese attacked us. These planes and the pilots who flew them protected us when we were very vulnerable.

Now, you may think the Wildcat is ugly and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But, in my eyes, it is a thing of beauty and I'm damned glad we had them when it counted. And if you were to compare the rates of climb and sustainable battle damage between the P-51 Mustang and the F4F Wildcat, which plane do you think would be superior?

Al
Old 08-12-2005, 07:42 AM
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15thAF
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Default RE: Grumman Wildcat

In addition to O'Hare, Carl, and Foss, add the names Harold W. Bauer, Jefferson J. DeBlanc, Henry T. Elrod, Robert E. Galer, John L Smith, James E. Swett.
Old 03-15-2006, 01:05 PM
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Bill Lowen
 
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Default RE: Grumman Wildcat

I love these threads, The Wildcat and the Hellcat are my favorite WWII plans and I decided to buy the Bates plans for the 91 inch span Wildcat. Keep the great information coming fellas.... I got the plans last Friday and I am in the planning stages as we speak. I love all the pictures you guys have posted. Hopefully I will have some soon too.
Old 03-16-2006, 11:43 AM
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carlbecker
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Default RE: Grumman Wildcat

Currently there are lots of goodies to get for the 1/5 Wildcat. My Classic Glass flys on rails, heavy rails but its great.

A good read about Naval pilots is the First Team by John Lundstrom sp?

Carl
Old 03-16-2006, 01:58 PM
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Bill Lowen
 
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Default RE: Grumman Wildcat

You are right about all the extra goodies... Does anyone know where you can get fixed gear for this bird? The Century Jet retracts are sweet, but at $675, they may be a little out of reach for the time being. This is my first time with a Bates plan. Not only are his plans nice, the interaction with Jerry was awesome. He runs a top notch business. When he gets some time, he is going to design P-3C Orion plans for me. Great guy all around. If you have not done business with him, you should. First class all the way!!!

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