Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Super Solution, features and details

The original Super Solution was built by 15 men in about 45 days, and was completed in August 1931.
They slept in bunks at the factory, and did not take too many coffee breaks.
(It took me longer to build just the lower wing rib jigs, so it does not look like I will match their building results)
The aircraft had a steel tube and aluminum fuselage, welded steel gear legs, welded steel tail surfaces, and wooden wings The wings, tail and rear fuselage were fabric covered, and sheeted in aluminum from the seat forward. The engine was a very early direct drive Pratt and Whitney R985 "Yellow Jacket" wasp JR radial engine.

The propeller was a Hamilton Standard ground adjustable 9 foot unit.
The engine produced around 450 HP but they turned them high enough to get upwards of 510 Hp from the engine.
(Not a good idea these days)
The reason for the mixed fuselage construction was initially thought to be weight, but the real reason was almost certainly the lack of suitable thin wall welding expertise in the day.
Overall the aircraft was quite simply built, with small overall dimensions.
The wingspan was 21' feet, it was 17.9" long, and it had an all up weight of 2675 pounds.
The original had a tailskid, and marginal brakes, which were acceptable for the airfields of the day, but would no longer be suitable.
The aircraft was fit with basic instruments, no radios, and minimal navigation equipment, (a compass) yet Jimmy Doolittle was able to navigate the aircraft in record times across the United States, up to Canada, and down to Mexico, an incredible acheivement.

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