Danny Mortensen raced at Reno for 14 years and held several world speed records in the AMSOIL Rutan Racer, a composite aircraft which now hangs on display in the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, WI. Danny won the Gold in Reno in 1990 and one of his aircraft, a Mong, won the following year after his retirement from flying the pylons. In 1999, two of his former aircraft, both Mongs, won 1st and 2nd place. Mongs built by Danny have won 1st place seven times since 1990.
Recent air racing involvement includes the development of the first brand new, full-scale P-51 in some 75 years. The goal? Construction using composite materials that are stronger than aluminum and steel but much lighter.
This new generation P-51 is an exceptional aircraft, even without its heritage. The prototype ‘51 has flown and accrued over 80 hours in test flight. The prototype aircraft was manufactured at a facility built at the Coeur 'd Alene Airport (Idaho).
The all-composite, two place P-51 weighs in at 4000 pounds empty. The original production 51-D weighed about 9000 pounds with no external load. Gross weight of this new P-51 is 8000 pounds giving it transcontinental capability. The construction process gives the aircraft a plus and minus 8 G envelope.
85% of the composite parts are cured by autoclave. All parts are initially laid up in graphite and steel tooling. The fuselage and wings are both built in two parts and mated together. We're talking big tooling jigs.
To date, five Allison V12 1710 engines have been procured. Why an Allison and not a Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12? The Allison is less costly. Besides that important fact, it would be a real kick to go to the Natl. Championship Air Races in Reno, NV and beat all the Rolls-Royce equipped Mustangs who think the Rolls is a superior engine! If a customer wants a Rolls, however, one can be provided.
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