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Old 01-18-2019, 08:58 PM   #1
Tinker
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Default 1935 Ford 15-P

Saw this on another forum. Thought it was interesting.


Know nothing about it, nor was any supplied. Know there are some plane buffs here. Very nice craftsmanship.



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File Type: jpg plane2.jpg (52.1 KB, 374 views)
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

I like it a lot. cool as anything.

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Old 01-19-2019, 05:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

Very cool.
It would need one of Skip's coils before I'd go up in it.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

I wonder why the heads were put on the other way?
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

It,looks like,that they used some of the car gauges on the instrument panel.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

Here's more info. https://oldmachinepress.com/2016/04/...onal-aircraft/


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Old 01-19-2019, 12:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

If you look at the fan belt it appears to still be running front block mounted water pumps. The early head appears to have a custom hose fitting to fit in the place of the head mounted pumps.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

Very futuristic for the times, very nice looking. To bad it didn't suvive.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

I doubt very much that the 221 ci engine could produce any wgere near 120 HP as the 239 only produces 80 hp. I think the plane could be a nice one with the right amt of power, but not that easy to fly. I never had a pilot license, but learned to fly a Cessna 182 that belonged to a friend of mine. We built a runway alongside my shop and flew all over the place for years. The first plane he had was a 47 commonwealth with 85 hP and was very under powered. Nearly lost it flying out of the white field at Hershey. Over weight on a hot day. Learned allot obout DA that day.
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

I don't see how they ever got the Center of Gravity (CG) anywhere near correct with the heavy engine behind what looks to be the wing spar position. I'll bet it was a doozy to fly if it did ever fly at all.
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

Yeah, along with those humongous landing gear struts. A bit of drag there.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

The landing gear and pilot's weight likely put the CG where it was supposed to be. The drag flaps used instead of a rudder would have made low speed handling very tricky if not impossible. I'm sure Jack Northrop looked the design over along with the German and Russian designs before he started tinkering with the idea a few years after. His N-1M was a flyable design but it has pusher props that can be manipulated for some directional control as well. Ford experimented with aluminum flathead engines several times but they didn't make very many of them. They would have been a lot better off with a conventional design. The problem was that they were looking for a design that would be simple enough that they could produce it for little more cost than a model B car but it was a bit too minimal to be a safe design to fly. The crash in the initial testing pretty well tells the story. I'd love to have the engine though.

Pietenpol proved that even a model T engine would power an aircraft at 20 HP but I think I'd prefer a Model B engine myself.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 01-19-2019 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:08 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

The other photos in the link show it to be a flying wing design. The engine isn't really behind the wing as much as you might presume by just looking at that one pic.

From all accounts, it didn't fly very well.



I'm no aero engineer, so don't treat my comment as gospel.

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Old 01-20-2019, 09:04 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

“ Learned allot obout DA that day.“ What’s “DA”?.....Mark
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

PA maybe since it was at Hershey.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:28 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

Density Altitude https://www.aopa.org/training-and-sa...nsity-altitude
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:39 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob C View Post
Yep
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:23 PM   #18
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Thanks!!....Iíve flown in a plane a number of times and Iíve never heard that term.....but then again, they never let me drive!!!......Mark
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:12 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

Density altitude make sense. It must have been hot and humid that day. It's always that way down here so a person can't forget about it. In airplanes you need a longer runway. In helicopters you have to get moving into the wind and avoid downwind slow flying or hovering. Sometimes a pilot has to drag the skids for a while to get it up depending on how much power is available and how much lift the rotor can generate. The old Bell 47G with the early Franklin engine was that way.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:51 PM   #20
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The guys that run Flatheads at Bonneville have a major power loss here. The las time I was at Bville the DA was almost 6,000 ft or a 20% loss of power. I'm supprised they go as fas as they do. Superchargers cure this problem tho.

I ment to say 8,000 ft. My fingers don't know their numbers yet!

Last edited by Ol' Ron; 01-22-2019 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:02 PM   #21
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

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Originally Posted by 48-710 View Post
I wonder why the heads were put on the other way?

A older roundy-roundy guy I knew told me once, that he used a 37 block with pumps up front and then early heads on backwards to get the water to flow out the back of the block. Making the rear of the engine cooler. (a real dead spot for flow).


Now I didn't buy it completely but I did go home and flipped the heads on a 33 motor I had sitting in the garage and the heads will bolt up flipped. No Idea if the compression chambers would/will match up. I guess you can flip the head gaskets also with the small hole up front or back.... so


But its a neat story anyway!

Last edited by Tinker; 01-21-2019 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:09 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
Density altitude make sense. It must have been hot and humid that day. It's always that way down here so a person can't forget about it. In airplanes you need a longer runway. In helicopters you have to get moving into the wind and avoid downwind slow flying or hovering. Sometimes a pilot has to drag the skids for a while to get it up depending on how much power is available and how much lift the rotor can generate. The old Bell 47G with the early Franklin engine was that way.
If I knew how to drag my skids "to get it up" I would sure do so!
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:13 PM   #23
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

Was thinking about the 15-P and Henry Ford's ambition to put folks into cheap, easy-to-fly airplanes like he did with cheap automobiles.

In 1935 everyone owning an airplane was a common fantasy. But, unlike driving a car, flying was a little more complicated even back then. Not sure what the total thinking was with the 15-P ... probably involved reducing the skill level required to fly an airplane. Make it hard to stall (aerodynamic), make it spin-proof, make it require less coordination of controls ... stick and rudder stuff.

The automobile type steering wheels in the cockpit suggested it could be "driven" like a car.

Whatever they were thinking with the tailless, flying wing type design, they lacked the materials and technology to make it a flying success.

Today, we have advanced composites, refined engines and computers that make drones, driverless cars, and passenger aircraft with auto-land systems.

... we also have iPhones, iPads ... iWatches.

How about Apple iPlanes? Get your 7 year old grandson to program your next vacation and strap in.

Driverless Uber service could become Uber Airlines with custom pilot-less routes to places like Hahira, Georgia.

(Henry would be proud of this kind of thinking.)
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:29 PM   #24
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

The Ercoupe made its first flight in 1937 and it was about the only airplane that was designed to be steered like a car. The damn things are almost impossible to land in any cross wind whatsoever. Most were converted for rudder pedals so folks could fly them easier. So much for that idea.

Fred Weick of the NACA, had the same idea as Henry Ford & designed his first W1 after the Stout Skycar that preceded the 15P. He later joined ERCO and designed the 310 Ercoupe. These were supposed to be inexpensive aircraft that everyone could learn to fly. They were hoping to make automobiles obsolete but that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:25 PM   #25
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Default Re: 1935 Ford 15-P

Occasionally have lunch at the Quality Inn (295/Commonwealth) in Jacksonville. An Ercoupe has been hanging from the ceiling for years.

ercoupe quality inn.jpg
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:24 PM   #26
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Earned my aviation merit badge in Boy Scouts in an Ercoupe, still had the single wheel flying. It was fun flying!!!! Good to hear from you Coop!!!
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:48 PM   #27
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Rock, just before he died, Bob Hawkins hauled two Ercoupes home. Only guy in town with more stuff than your dad.

(Bob was 93 ... Army Air Corps, Piedmont, National, Pan Am, MARC, AACA, CCCA, etc.)

(Wide final turn in his pickup truck coming home from breakfast.)
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