Posted: 11/16/2009 13:26:55
This story was making the email rounds today. Here's the text that accompanied the pics:
Jim O'Hara is a member of EAA chapter 493 in San Angelo .. He is a retired college professor (I believe in Aeronautical Engineering) who learned to fly when he was about 60 years old. He's now 81 years old. 15 years ago, he began construction of a 2/3 scale P-38. Using information he obtained from various sources about the P-38, he drew up a set of plans using a computer aided design program. Jim and his wife Mitzi built the entire aircraft by themselves. He first flew his plane in July of last year, and has just completed flying off the time (I believe it was 50 hours). He designed the plane to have a small jump seat behind the pilot for his wife. She's tiny, and it's a good thing; the jump seat doesn't have much room. He made his first cross-country with Mitzi from San Angelo to Fredericksburg Saturday, accompanied by many of his friends from Chapter 493.
Online Community Manager - EAA
Posted: 11/16/2009 13:30:26
Posted: 11/16/2009 13:33:50
Kudos x 1,000,000!
Any more details, what engines & props he's using, performance specs etc?
Posted: 11/16/2009 14:28:28
The ingenuity of EAA members never ceases to amaze me.
In the 1970s, Louis Langhurst built a 7/10 scale JU87-B2 Stuka from scratch. Here is the article if anyone is interested.
Built Sonex, Own J-3 Cub
Posted: 11/16/2009 15:50:54
Thanks Hal for bring this in.
I brings tears to look at this work of love and talent.
Lets hope he can enjoy many years of his hard work.
Posted: 11/16/2009 16:02:04
Interestingly the chapter website does not have this project listed - I would think it would be a showcase item for the chapter.
Posted: 11/16/2009 17:42:36
Absolutely beutiful !!! What a project !
Posted: 11/16/2009 18:53:23
Words almost fail me. What an achievement. There's the old adage "If it looks right..." - - this just looks right.
Our editor Mary Jones is chasing this up for what I'm sure will be a magnificent story Sport Aviation magazine story. I asked Mary to pass a message to the builder, enquiring which limb I need to sever in order to persuade him to bring it to Oshkosh!
Posted: 11/16/2009 19:23:55
Posted: 11/16/2009 20:03:40
Can't wait to see the air-to-air photo shoot with the scale P-38 and scale B-17 flying together.
It's enough to tempt one to begin studying airframe design...
Posted: 11/17/2009 08:34:22
Outstanding work, professor.
Posted: 11/18/2009 21:38:17
This machine is one I dreamed of when I was younger and had a little more free cash. Not being endowed with engineering skills and having read that scale factors precluded the building of a small replica P-38 that would much resemble the original, I never tried to follow up on the dream. Congratulations on a beautiful machine. We all should be encouraged and, at the same time, humbled by your accomplishment. Awesome!!!
Posted: 11/19/2009 16:48:53
Beautifully done. There was real passion in a project like that!
Posted: 11/19/2009 17:42:55
Oh man, that's nice. Any chance of posting some shots of the construction, for us sheet metal guys?
Posted: 11/19/2009 17:54:57
Really great news! What a thrill it must have been after 15 years of building, and what a lucky guy he is to have a Wife who's willing to wedge herself in the back!
I'll look forward to the article with all the details!!
Posted: 11/19/2009 18:26:02
Way to go Jim and Mitzy, I graduated from Central HS and my brother works ( engineer ) at the Goodyear Prooving Ground and pops is retired AF Major and still there, he's alright , just mean'ner than snot ! ...la comida esta muy calliente y la cerveza esta muy frio...mucho gusto Concho 38 !!!! You just have ta live in the manner you wanna be accustomed too, EH ????
I will see that mi hermano brings you a free DVD over so don't sic the dogs on him....I will try and get to one of your chapter meetings next time I get down there and maybe you'll let me take a peek... I'l have Lefty And Poncho on the radio ...thinkin of Lefty Gardner...stay bien....
Tooky or Pierre
Posted: 11/19/2009 18:27:51
I love it!!! What a beauty she is.....and what a testament to the vision and skill of her designer and builder.
Imagine a squadron of them in the air--what a sight that would be!!! The day is approaching....a P-38 in every garage!
Posted: 11/19/2009 18:30:22
What a Dream Machine!
Please excuse me, I just drooled on my keyboard.
Posted: 11/19/2009 19:02:53
I'm in the same EAA chapter as Jim, and saw his plane up close at a recent fly-in. I've never seen so many rivets. And they're real rivets, not pop-rivets. Here's a picture of Mitzi in the jump seat.
Posted: 11/19/2009 20:46:22
Here is an article that mentions engines: http://airwolf.lmtonline.com/news/archive/030806/pagea3.pdf, but it is old enough that it's possible that changes were made. Further, it doesn't list engine model number, but says "220 hp Continentals". The coincidence of numbers makes me wonder if they were, say, O-220's, and the reporter misunderstood - but it's big enough that 220 hp each would make more sense (5000 pounds, 58-foot wingspan).