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Derelict Stearman at RFV Rendcomb?

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  • Meddle
    Rank Bajin.
    • Sep 2014
    • 1628

    Derelict Stearman at RFV Rendcomb?

    I found these photographs on another forum. It would appear to be a Stearman (?) from the Utterly Butterly wing-walking team. Any idea how this aircraft got into such a bad state?






  • stuart gowans
    Not a real Spitfire
    • Dec 2005
    • 2005

    #2
    I was going to say perhaps the buy one get one free promo has ended....but was this ever a flier, as the stearman engine isn't cowled is it?
    Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

    Comment

    • MerlinXXII
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jun 2010
      • 57

      #3
      Possibly a static mock up for promotional purposes at air shows?

      Comment

      • Meddle
        Rank Bajin.
        • Sep 2014
        • 1628

        #4
        Originally posted by stuart gowans View Post
        I was going to say perhaps the buy one get one free promo has ended....but was this ever a flier, as the stearman engine isn't cowled is it?
        It looks like a wooden panel back there. Maybe it was a static model, as you suggest, MerlinXXII.

        Comment

        • Lazy8
          Adrian Constable
          • Apr 2012
          • 563

          #5
          Promotional purposes at supermarkets, perhaps more like it! Can't say I remember seeing it, mind you...

          One might imagine a flyable aircraft wouldn't need it's own, custom built, trailer (there are a couple of pics of it before the weeds grew at the bottom of this page http://ianskyphotosite.blogspot.co.u...1_archive.html). Looks like this uses some Stearman parts (maybe) but if you look closely at photos of the team aircraft there are some differences. The spinner is smaller, for instance - and it's bolted on to a circle of plywood where the engine should be.

          I think the team aircraft still exist, as it says on this page:
          http://www.simplyplanes.co.uk/aerosu...lay_team.shtml

          Comment

          • David Burke
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jan 2000
            • 10032

            #6
            Its a real Stearman .From memory its a former Mexican machine that was imported as a project but never restored to fly and passed through a few hands before becoming the travelling exhibit- recall seeing it at Eastbourne many years ago.

            Comment

            • stuart gowans
              Not a real Spitfire
              • Dec 2005
              • 2005

              #7
              Looking at the link above, there appear to be both cowled and uncowled versions; you live and learn!
              Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

              Comment

              • David Burke
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jan 2000
                • 10032

                #8
                450HP P&W engines were bolted on for crop dusting. The cowlings were added in various forms by people who wished to improve the looks somewhat and maybe gain a few knots!

                Comment

                • J Boyle
                  With malice towards none
                  • Oct 2004
                  • 9812

                  #9
                  Originally posted by David Burke View Post
                  450HP P&W engines were bolted on for crop dusting. The cowlings were added in various forms by people who wished to improve the looks somewhat and maybe gain a few knots!
                  Cowls (and props) often came off Beech 18s which were being withdrawn from service about the time Stearman restorations for sport became popular (late 60-70s).
                  Typically, AG Stearmans went cowl-less (where engine access was more important than speed), while sport aircraft had them.

                  I'd say the plane is half real...the prop looks odd, a good 450 prop is worth a good deal of money...a friend just paid $12,000 for one for his new 450 project.
                  (I'll write up something for FP when its done..as it will feature some very nice custom touches).

                  I don't see ailerons on the wings...and I do know some of the Utterly Butterly 450 Stearmans had a 4-aileron modification (stock Stearmans just had control surfaces on the bottom wings). Just looking at the wings should tell you whether they're "real" or just display pieces..

                  The plywood panel where the engine should be and the piece in the front cockpit clearly mark this as a display aircraft, not a flier.
                  Still, it would be nice to see it re-assembled, but given its construction and wood wings, it wouldn't last long outdoors in the UK....or anywhere else.
                  The tube airframe looks real, but that's a fairly easy (and relatively cheap) part to find.
                  There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                  Comment

                  • slicer
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jul 2003
                    • 664

                    #10
                    This appeared one day some years ago parked in the driveway of my parent's next door neighbour (who works at Rendcombe)...it was a display airframe. Don't know about the underlying provenance of it, though.

                    Comment

                    • Collis
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Mar 2005
                      • 190

                      #11
                      I've seen it Duxford as part of the Utterly Butterly stand. My young lad was very interested in it.

                      Comment

                      • Moggy C
                        Moderator
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 20534

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Collis View Post
                        My young lad was very interested in it.
                        Not the skin-tight, leather-suited wing walkers? I think you are bringing him up really well

                        Moggy
                        Last edited by Moggy C; 22nd September 2014, 16:46.
                        "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

                        Comment

                        • farnboroughrob
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Dec 2008
                          • 619

                          #13
                          This was based on XB-RIY although how much of that machines remains. Must be taken by somebody with contacts as I thought Rencombe was very much out of bounds to mere mortals.

                          Comment

                          • Collis
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Mar 2005
                            • 190

                            #14
                            Thanks Moggy, I'll have ask him if he remembers more about it as my attention might have been distracted.

                            Comment

                            • BRIAN C D
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Apr 2009
                              • 36

                              #15
                              This none flyer was exhibited at Elvington many years ago at one of the shows when the wing walkers were appearing, i have a picture somewhere it certainly looked a lot better than it does now
                              BRIAN C D Wakefield

                              Comment

                              • Anon
                                Mike Davey
                                • Jan 2008
                                • 2871

                                #16
                                Is it for sale, or is it just stored, does anyone know?

                                Anon.

                                Comment

                                • David Burke
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jan 2000
                                  • 10032

                                  #17
                                  Vic Norman is the person to speak to ! I am not sure he will be wild about pictures of the Stearman being on the internet as Rendcombe is quite private.
                                  I shouldn't imagine even in this condition it would be particularily cheap.

                                  Comment

                                  • The Blue Max
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Mar 2005
                                    • 2127

                                    #18
                                    Be interested to know how these pictures were taken, as will Mr Norman because where this is parked is private property and if no permission was gained someone will be very displeased !!
                                    "I see something of the cobra in you Stachel!"

                                    Sywell Airshow 17th August 2014

                                    www.sywellairshow.co.uk

                                    www.Biggles-Biplane.com

                                    Comment

                                    • Meddle
                                      Rank Bajin.
                                      • Sep 2014
                                      • 1628

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by The Blue Max View Post
                                      Be interested to know how these pictures were taken, as will Mr Norman because where this is parked is private property and if no permission was gained someone will be very displeased !!
                                      I extracted the photographs from the 28 Days Later urban exploration forums. Apparently it was a controlled visit to the airfield and all above board.

                                      Comment

                                      • Kenneth
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Jan 2000
                                        • 970

                                        #20
                                        Interesting instrumen fit for a Stearman, cf. the manifold pressure gauge and the airspeed indicator going up to 300 kts/mph
                                        The Largest German-Language Aviation Forum on the Internet

                                        Comment

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