Bent Throttles No. 18

The quarterly Journal of the IPMS/UK Racing & Record Aircraft Special Interest Group (SIG)

By Jim Schubert

Bill Devins, who leads the IPMS/USA Seaplane SIG and publishes their journal, Chine Lines, introduced me to the Racers SIG leader, Anders Bruun, last year in response to a question on the Renault-Caudron C.860 airplane. As a consequence of this contact I joined the Racers SIG and bought all the back copies of their excellent journal, Bent Throttles.

The current issue for the first quarter of 2001 includes, in its 22 pages, articles on:

  • Anson Johnson's #45 Mustang - History, build report and drawings

  • Red Racers in Resin - Noix Models 48th 1929 Italian Schneider Aircraft - Kit reviews

  • The Unlimited Air 72nd "Critical Mass" - Kit review

  • Vintage Models 72nd Supermarine S.4 - Kit review

  • Hasegawa 48th "Miss America" - Kit review

  • Dago Red's Cockpit - Photo documentation

  • L'Age d'Or des Hydravions - Book review

  • Around the Pylons - News and rumours

Bill Ritter's lead article in this issue is about Anson Johnson's Mustang race #45, which he flew in the 1947, '48 and '49 Thompson Trophy races at the National Air Races in Cleveland. This near-stock Mustang pulled out of the '47 race on lap five with engine problems. In '48 the airplane, now with clipped wings and all blue with yellow trim livery and powered by a -225 Merlin, won the Thompson after all of the big guns blew up. For '49 the plane was extensively modified with the belly radiator and chin scoop removed. P-39 radiators and oil cooler were installed in the Mustang's gun bays with leading edge intakes and upper surface outlets. This attractive bright yellow racer with red trim pulled out of the race on lap nine having burnt off its modified exhaust pipes, which filled the cockpit with smoke. Due to Bill Odom's fatal crash in Jackie Cochran's "Bequine" and the onset of the Korean War, 1949 was the last year of the National Air Races in Cleveland.

Johnson repaired #45 for one more attempt at glory - breaking the World Air Speed Record. This stood at 469.22 MPH and was set by Fritz Wendel in 1939 flying the Me.209 V1. At Key Biscayne, Florida, in June of 1952, Johnson Made several attempts but over three days could not get together the successive runs required for an "official" record. His best run was timed at 503 MPH. That was the end of Johnson's efforts with #45. After passing through the hands of several interim owners it resides now in the collection of the New England Air Museum in Connecticut awaiting restoration to its 1949 Thompson Race configuration.

This excellent article includes ideas on modeling #45 in 72nd scale and is illustrated with great five-view drawings by Anders Bruun and Dave Jones of #45 in its 1948 and 1949 configurations, two detail drawings by Brandt Pierce and three recent detail photos of the plane in Connecticut. I'm tempted to build one. This is my kind of airplane!

The Johnson article outlined above is typical of the in-depth racing and record plane coverage provided by Bent Throttles. If you are at all interested in these exciting planes, I encourage you to join the Racers SIG. To join for a year, send 10, or $16, or the equivalent in any convertible hard currency, IN CASH, to: Anders Bruun, Bradstupsvagen 21, SE-129 39 Hagersten, Sweden. Send him an e-mail at: telling him when you've sent the cash and he'll acknowledge receipt of the cash by return e-mail. Cash is simpler for him to handle and he says it's never gone amiss.

As a bonus to members only, Anders is offering a complete set of ALPS printed decals for #45 in either 48th or 72nd scale for $4 cash. He sometimes does this.

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