Author Topic: Martin-Davis MD-171  (Read 5770 times)

Offline Acree

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Martin-Davis MD-171
« on: November 19, 2014, 04:46:38 PM »
**In the summer of 1937 David R. Davis met with Reuben H. Fleet, president of Consolidated Aircraft. Davis was a freelance aeronautical engineer who was trying to find development funds for his wing design, the "Fluid Foil."  Davis had designed the wing "in reverse", starting with a basic low-drag teardrop shape and then modifying it as required to provide lift. In comparison to common designs, Davis's design was relatively "thick", but had a short chord and a high aspect ratio. Davis claimed the new wing would offer much lower drag than designs then in use, and would offer considerable lift even at a small angle of attack. Additionally the thickness of the wing would allow for excellent fuel storage, or even embedded engines (an idea then in vogue).
Davis had approached Consolidated with the aim of getting them to license the Fluid Foil for use on their large flying boat designs. The ability to generate lift at low angles of attack made it particularly interesting for use in flying boats as it would reduce the need to pull up the nose for takeoff and landing, which was often limited in flying boats due to the way they floated on the water.
Fleet was not particularly impressed, an opinion also held by Consolidated's chief engineer, Isaac M. Laddon. Davis failed to convince them to try out his new design.**  A few days later, however, Davis had another meeting, this time with Glenn L. Martin and his chief designer, Peyton Magruder.  Martin was also a major builder of large flying boats and Magruder saw potential in the Fluid Foil that Laddon had missed.  An arrangement was eventually arrived at, and the licensed Davis Wing (as it was renamed) was later seen on Martinís PBM Mariner and P5M Marlin flying boats.  But before either of these flew, the Davis Wing was applied to a special project contracted by the NACAís Langley Research Center for a long-range, high-altitude research aircraft. 
Martin gave Davis full credit for the new research aircraft, designating it the Martin-Davis Model 171.  Using a modified fuselage remaining from the Model 166 production line, the new research plane had a new crew pressurized crew compartment for the crew of four (pilot, copilot, and two test engineers.  The most striking feature was the huge Davis wing, which mounted four turbocharged Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engines, provided 1200 horsepower each. 

The first MD-171 first flew in December, 1939, and by mid-1940 was reaching altitudes above 48,000 feet. One other example of the MD-171 was delivered to Langley in May, 1940.  Research and test flying continued until the MD-171s was finally retired in 1944, having made vital contributions to development of the B-29, B-32, and other high altitude aircraft. 

More photos will follow after I return from my mini-vacation (Saturday or Sunday). 

**the material between the **s was copied from Wikipedia (so it is real world "true" presumably)

Chuck

« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 04:49:06 PM by Acree »

Offline FAAMAN

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 04:51:08 PM »
Wow!
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Offline finsrin

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 04:55:49 PM »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 05:49:21 PM »
I can think of at least one person who will get very excited by this one...
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 05:57:36 PM »
Woh, has that thing got wings! :o


Where is Kit, anyway? ???


I'd have expected this much wing to draw him in like a magnet. ;)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 09:48:34 PM »
What a killer concept!

Brian da Basher

Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 07:01:04 PM »
Hehehe, looks like a Wellesley on steroids! Love it.  ;D
Regards
Kit

--------------------------
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

Offline Acree

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2014, 11:24:28 AM »
Back  from vaca and enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday.  Finished the MD-171 today.  Photos below. 

The MD-171 was contracted by NACA, but procured through Army channels, thus carried standard Army markings.  However, it never carried it's Army serial number, but flew throughout its career carrying only its NACA number, 188.  Known unofficially as the Stratosphere Laboratory, the MD-171 was extremely well-known in the popular aviation press, carrying on the legacy of Wiley Post's Winnie Mae in the hearts of young aviation buffs. 

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2014, 11:36:10 AM »
Cr-ray-zee, baby! 8)

Awesome job! :D

Nose is a bit short for my tastes but, other than that, fantastic! :) :)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline FAAMAN

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2014, 08:33:31 PM »
Wot Wombat said ......... 8)
"Resistance is useless, prepare to be assembled!"

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2014, 11:10:19 PM »
First class WHIF.

Excellent use of B-24 wings.
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

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Offline Acree

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2014, 12:18:22 AM »
Thanks, guys.

 I used a Williams Bros B-10 kit.  My original plan was to make an updated B-10, circa 1944. I got the B-24 kit (actually PB4Y-1) specifically for the Erco nose turret and some other baubles I planned to use, but the B-10 fuselage was so narrow I would have to widen it to use the Erco turret. As I contemplated this, I noticed that the PB4Y wing roots were almost a perfect match for the B-10s and a new WHIF plan was born. Just goes to show the value of actually picking up the pieces and playing with them and imagination!

Chuck

Offline Tophe

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2014, 12:51:01 AM »
Great addition to the Wikipedia source! Even better than the Wikipedia source! :-*

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2014, 04:20:23 AM »
Thanks, guys.

 I used a Williams Bros B-10 kit.  My original plan was to make an updated B-10, circa 1944. I got the B-24 kit (actually PB4Y-1) specifically for the Erco nose turret and some other baubles I planned to use, but the B-10 fuselage was so narrow I would have to widen it to use the Erco turret. As I contemplated this, I noticed that the PB4Y wing roots were almost a perfect match for the B-10s and a new WHIF plan was born. Just goes to show the value of actually picking up the pieces and playing with them and imagination!

Chuck

Your comment: Just goes to show the value of actually picking up the pieces and playing with them and imagination! is very valid.

I like to visualize it like this: You are sitting in your man cave with all your donor kits laid out in a big circle around you with your base or starter kit(s) in the middle. You can reach out and try this wing or that fuselage until you get the combination that fits your idea.

Candles and incense are optional. Beer is not.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 07:39:52 AM by The Big Gimper »
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline finsrin

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2014, 07:17:41 AM »
Love this configuration :-*      way this came together is tops.
Bout time B-10 was used in a kit bash :)

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Martin-Davis MD-171
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2014, 04:07:54 AM »
Love this configuration :-*      way this came together is tops.
Bout time B-10 was used in a kit bash :)

I couldn't put it better, Fins!

What an eye-popping, jaw-dropping model! Totally hits that U.S. inter-war sweet spot!

Well done, Chuck!

Brian da Basher