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Thread: Spirit of St. Louis

  1. #1
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Spirit of St. Louis

    IMG_20190804_140706728.jpg

    An amazing local craftsman this week finished an EXACT replica of the Sprit. Including a wrench left in the wing. The fabric is not up to Gilbert's standards but, matches the original. The cockpit looks like a dungeon. A friend and local Lopez Island pilot is doing the test flying. A few of us flew down to see it today at Arlington, WA.
    IMG_20190804_140729493.jpg
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    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  2. #2
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spirit of St. Louis

    I would say replicating that requires skill well beyond any I may have. Looking at that instrument panel I have to wonder where he found those instruments if any or did he make them. I am sure replicating the sheet with fuel tanks notes on usage times was a major project by its self. I have been to Silver Hill many times and watched those Smithsonian restoration artists work their magic.

    Anyway cotton and dope is much more difficult than today’s system.
    Last edited by Gilbert Pierce; 08-04-2019 at 08:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spirit of St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert Pierce View Post
    I would say replicating that requires skill well beyond any I may have. Looking at that instrument panel I have to wonder where he found those instruments if any or did he make them. I am sure replicating the sheet with fuel tanks notes on usage times was a major project by its self. I have been to Silver Hill many times and watched those Smithsonian restoration artists work their magic.

    Anyway cotton and dope is much more difficult than today’s system.
    I did ask about the instruments. He was able to find originals, at some cost. The fabric is cotton as you say, except for the replacement fabric after the Parisians tore out big chunks when he landed in Paris. That was was replaced with linen. This replica has the linen replacement as it was done in Paris. Yes Gilbert, John Norman the builder says cotton is a PITA. Linen is no better. What surprised me was how the original builders were not very skilled in fabic work. John says it was originally built by farmers....But, it did make it across the pond.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Spirit of St. Louis

    I did the certification on the Spirit at Old Rhinebeck. The one part that was hardest to find was the Lunkenheimer fuel strainer/valve. They cast and machined a replica on that airplane. There were also some W&B issues, using current day concept for C.G. range just didnít work. On the first couple test flights, it was way to nose heavy. Removed about 100 lbs of ballast from the engine mount and all was good.


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  5. #5
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spirit of St. Louis

    Are real Pioneer Earth Inductor Compass's like the Spirit of had available?
    https://timeandnavigation.si.edu/mul...ductor-compass

  6. #6
    Stephen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spirit of St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert Pierce View Post
    Are real Pioneer Earth Inductor Compass's like the Spirit of had available?
    https://timeandnavigation.si.edu/mul...ductor-compass
    This plane does have an original Earth Inductor Compass. I had no idea what it was until the builder explained. My friend is the test pilot and had no complaints about CG. Although, he only has an hour in the pattern so far. His only issue was controlling the plane on roll out. They couldn't use a tail skid like original since they were on pavement. The plane has no brakes and not much rudder. Once the rudder stops working his only steering control was ailerons.
    "You can only tie the record for flying low."

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Spirit of St. Louis

    The ORA Spirit only flies on grass, so the skid works well. I can see where flying with no brakes on pavement with an airplane with the inertia of the NYP could be a recipe for disaster! I have flown Pietenpol with no brakes on pavement, but that was with a steerable Tailwheels and an airplane with very little mass.


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