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ScaleBirds, Home of the 63% Scale Hellcat replica kitplane project.

Sun N Fun 2019

Hi friends. ScaleBirds attended the 2019 Sun N Fun airshow and had a great week. We had booth N68, right next to Viking aircraft engines. Our team pulled a lot of late nights and then all nighters to get the P-36 up on gear and to the show. We did it with no time to spare. We missed the setup day on Monday and arrived at 4:30am with the show starting at 9:00 am. Then, they wouldn’t let us in to set up till 8:00 am. Wasn’t expecting that, so we managed to have a minimal setup on Tuesday and then did the full setup after hours. Steve Wolf arrived Wednesday morning with SAMSONmite and we parked her up front and center. Our P-36 stood nearby and we had the red tent again thanks to Frank Johnson.

Our project was very well received. We are so stoked! Many commented how the lines looked right and that this was just the kind of next project they are interested in. We had the skins on the Port side of the wing center section and the exposed wing structure on the Starboard side. A lot of people liked that and made comments as to the construction method we are doing. Super positive responses from the engineers, DAR inspectors and experienced builders that stopped by. As well as the other airframe makers and engine builders too. That was a real boost to our engineers and to the build team. We are building it well and designing it right. It validated the decisions that were made two and three years ago.

We had so many people interested in the P-36 and P-40 variants. I think 50/50. The cool factor of the radial is a big seller. I would say we have a dozen very solid leads for a kit as soon as it is available. For other models, the crowd favorites at SNF are FW-190 and P-47. A Spitfire is in the running too. One lady was very interested in doing the Rufe after we have a Zero developed. She had a water rating and would love the Zero. A Rufe has never been replicated before as far as I know and I might just do it for that reason alone. But it would be really cool! Just think, we could have some fun and terrorize the seaplane base!

The Verner Motor engines are selling well and it’s starting to take on a business life of its own. WW1 replica builders and other antique aircraft builders/restorers are finally starting to pull the trigger after waiting for a couple years to see how these engines go. That is really great news as it helps us fund the project and gets some really cool airplanes into the air. We have a welder now and can make exhaust and mounting rings for the various engines. We had a couple engine mounts and various parts on display for people to pickup and check-out. I gave two forums at the education center building on the internal parts and main systems of a Verner engine. Very well received. Scott had to buy a laptop pc for the slide show to run on and then when we got there - didn’t work - wrong cable port. It turned out to be an IT project to find a student laptop that had the connection - and then to get the file downloaded with the content blocked by the school. Crazy stuff happens at SNF! Insert other choice words at your leisure. WE did have a good forum each time.

I will try to make a habbit of writing more blogs. I know many of you guys are interested. Will add pics over the next night or two. Tailwinds! - but not on take-off/landing.

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