NAA P-51D Mustang: Canopy
With the return to the P-51D project, I have been working on developing the fuselage and the canopy ordinates specific to the P-51D. Supporting information in this regard is hard to come by and we don’t have the luxury of tabulated ordinate values and fully detailed mold lines as we had with the P-51 B/C.
What we do have though is critical dimensions scattered amongst the 100s of drawings and documents that collectively help establish key datum points which in conjunction with conic geometric development appear to make this aspiration a feasible prospect. To give you some idea of progress this is a front view of the preliminary P-51D canopy model.
I still have the windshield model to develop in order to finalise the canopy design but I am pleased with achieving this amount of progress derived from many hours of research and some straightforward geometric developments. Notice in particular the accurate tangency alignment with the known frame mold lines, it is perfectly aligned. I appreciate that there are a few variations on the profile of the canopies that were made for the P-51; some more bulbous than others, but we first need to establish a baseline which is what we will have.
As a consequence of this activity, I have also managed to develop the rear fuselage profile ordinates for the P-51D. I am rather excited by this new development in conjunction with the completed wing ordinates and the more recent vertical stabiliser it may actually be possible to have a full ordinate set uniquely for the P-51D.
Update: Below is the finished baseline canopy model profile.
…and this is what it looks like to develop the canopy and windshield with limited known data…
Update: August 2018 “P-51D Bubble Canopy”
The real thing…this is a model derived from a ridiculously accurate laser scan point cloud of a P-51D Bubble Canopy.