TYPE: Tandem-seat sportplane kitbuilt.
PROGRAMME: Design, by Dan Denney, started 1993; first flight of prototype (N151TM) 16 November 1996; prototype destroyed in crash 30 May 1998. First customer aircraft (N7TR) owned by Tommy Rose of Hickory, Mississippi, first flown from Nampa factory, where assembly took place, 11 January 1999. In September 1999 this aircraft qualified in the Sport Class of the US National Championship Air Races at Reno, Nevada, ata speed of 268 kt (499 km/h; 310 mph). Programme sustained by Thunder Builder Group after closure of original kit manufacturer, resulting in three new aircraft flying during August 2001; production of kits in abeyance pending sale of assets but existing aircraft and projects continue to be supported.
CUSTOMERS: Total of 30 aircraft under construction by May 1999, including at least two in South Africa. Kit production was due to resume in 2002, but this did not pappen. Total 13 registered in USA by October 2003.
COSTS: Complete kit, including engine, but not including instruments, avionics, upholstery or paint, US$285,000 (2000).
DESIGN FEATURES: Scale replica of Second World War North American P-51D Mustang fighter; faithful to the original in outline although fuselage is 62 per cent and wing 75 per cent. Low-wing, mid-tailplane configuration with sweptback fin and fillet, plus prominent belly air intake for radiator. Baseline kit quoted build time is 5,000 hours. Three fast-build options (4,000, 2,000 and 1,500 hours) planned.
Wing section NACA 65-series laminar flow with thickness/chord ratio 15 per cent at root, 12 per cent at tip, 1 per cent camber and 1.25 per cent leading-edge droop.
FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Electrically actuated plain flaps; trim tab in rudder and on starboard aileron.
STRUCTURE: Primary structure of carbon/graphite composites, supplied in kit of over 200 ready-formed components; assembled with two-part epoxy adhesive; quoted build time approximately 1,000 hours.
LANDING GEAR: Tailwheel type; main units retract inwards into wings, tailwheel rearwards. Mainwheel tyre size 6.50-8; tailwheel tyre size 4.10-4. Hydraulic brakes.
POWER PLANT: One 477 kW (640 hp) Ryan Falconer V-12 with 2.8:1 reduction gearbox, driving a four-blade constant-speed wood/composites MT propeller. Supercharged 895 kW (1,200 hp) version of Falconer engine under development during 1999 for planned attempts on several class world records. Fuel contained in integral wing tanks, combined capacity 386 litres (102 US gallons; 84.9 Imp gallons). External wing tanks, each of 114 litres (30.0 US gallons; 25.0 Imp gallons) capacity, optional.
ACCOMMODATION: Two in tandem under rearward-sliding bubble canopy with fixed three-piece windscreen. Baggage compartment at rear of cockpit. Custom upholstery optional.
SYSTEMS: 60A alternator and regulator. Optional oxygen system.
AVIONICS: Instrument and avionics packages and autopilot optional.
EQUIPMENT: Optional gas-operated dummy cannon.