Update: Mustang P-51 Project & Operation Ark

Update: Mustang P-51 Project & Operation Ark

The Mustang P-51 project is on hold whilst we review the CAD systems we will use for Operation Ark. To date we have utilized both the Autodesk Inventor & the Dassault Solidworks for our projects and research. We have another contender for the project which is Solidedge, until recently this was not a viable option but the latest version ST8 exhibits many of the features we would need.

Operation Ark will be a long term project requiring many man hours of work to research and build literally thousands of models, so it makes no sense to have different CAD products for this project. There is also a cost consideration as the project will rely entirely on goodwill and donations to support our efforts and assist with  CAD software.

Collaboration technologies and access to rendering farms for final processing of the CAD data are also key considerations. We have received offers of support from a few fellow enthusiasts to help with the Cad model developments and rendering; the latter being from Bilby…thank you very much for your support. Some comments from fellow enthusiasts:

From Alan “I love your Operation Ark initiative, and would be more than willing to play a role in any capacity.”

From John; “ARK is an extremely important project and I congratulate you on your vision.”

From Beaufort: “…I am really impressed with what you do and I can see that massive amount of time that you put into it. I also love the design specifics of these aircraft…”

Operation Ark Project Status:


This project is attracting a lot of attention, with many positive responses as noted including suggestions of alternative aircraft for consideration. One of which is the Lockheed Vega , which is a unique aircraft and was; in many respects; ahead of its time.

This is actually a good example for Operation Ark as the only remaining examples are located in the USA with only one flight worthy example, though further research would suggest that number could well be 2. The location alone excludes a large number of enthusiasts from actually ever seeing one either as a static exhibit or in flight!

That is part of what Operation Ark is about, removing geographic constraints and bringing access to everyone; the complete aircraft with everything modeled right down to the nuts and bolts. An exact replica in 3D that can be interrogated online as assembled or as individual components. We are also contemplating extending this to include additive or 3d printing technologies to build a half size replica, making the parts available to interested parties.

WEB11667-2010pBut this is only one of the aircraft being considered and whilst a likely candidate for selection; specifically as we have access to the manufactures drawings; our preference would be for one that does not exist or has only 1 example in existence like the Ta152.

The project though is entirely dependent on the availability of the original manufacturers drawings and specifications, which is our current priority!

Even when we do have access to materials they first have to be evaluated, which incurs a cost for scanning of microfilm archives and then reviewed for completeness. This process is rather costly but ensures that we don’t commit to a particular aircraft that we can only partially build. Usually where we have incomplete datasets we will endeavor to source the missing data elsewhere before we actually exclude the aircraft from selection.

All the research and work published here to date has been done voluntarily in the hope that it will help other enthusiasts. However the Operation Ark is something new that will need your help!

We already have offers of voluntary Cad design work and services for which we are extremely grateful and hopefully others will come on board with their expertise to help us achieve our goals.

However we still have a cost element and your donations are very important to help us to keep this project alive as software and research costs are mounting.

So please help if you can, even small amounts will help.

Thanking you in advance.


About Hugh

BIM & Cad Manager/Strategist, 3D/4D, multi-discipline cad workflows, integration. Interests include photography and historical aviation.
This entry was posted in 3d Cad, Blueprints, Operation Ark and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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