Just thought I'd start blogging this build because it's happening now even though the Bearcat is still #1 in production. I sent the engines I designed in 3D to Shapeways today and figured that's the beginning kick off moment of commitment. For those of you that know what the XP-50 was when you read the title, way to go, because I did not until a few weeks ago when I stumbled on it reading about Bob Hall, the Grumman designer and test pilot who almost died in it. I was intrigued. It's clearly the development of the somewhat better known XF5F Skyrocket that the Navy rejected but with a new contract to build a better fighter prototype for the Army Air Corps, Grumman took their lost baby to a new party. Unfortunately, as a prototype it always played second string to the XP-49, a better-engined P-38 more or less that was charming the Army until well it wasn't. Grumman was told to keep developing the Skyrocket because it had lots of promise, too. But while most testing went well, there was one day that did not go so well and that was the day a turbosupercharger detonated and wrecked the hydraulics. Unable to effectively land without hydraulics, Bob Hall bailed and the Skyrocket crashed into a bay on Long Island. That was the end of that.
Grumman's Tigercat came along a few years later and actually learned many lessons from this plane, but it was another plane all together really. I felt really sorry for the little thing, something they estimated could go 427mph.
Here's the work on the engines I sent to print today. I'm experimenting with Black Acrylic as a material as I'm really pushing the detail here quite a bit and they say this is the ultimate for detail. Unlike the Bearcat's engine which has many cooling fins detailing the cylinders, this one has them all! I've learned lots of tricks in the year of 3D modelling now and can produce this in a few hours (instead of weeks). For the record it's a Wright R-1820 Cyclone. It's what powered the B-17 , the Dauntless, the DC-3, the Buffalo and the Duck (and others if you want to wikipedia it). Print cost is $23 each. I think it's just going to look boss with two radials ; something I just felt I had to do once I realized what 3D printing can do.
Welp, that's it. Stay tuned!
Edited by Jim Barry, 08 May 2018 - 12:55 AM.