Derelict Stearman at RFV Rendcomb?

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I found these photographs on another forum. It would appear to be a Stearman (?) from the Utterly Butterly wing-walking team. Any idea how this aircraft got into such a bad state? https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5582/15115619702_f4b501e69d_b.jpg https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3885/14921698479_57181ab8b0_b.jpg https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5583/15085406536_ba80e60c17_b.jpg
Original post
Profile picture for user stuart gowans

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I was going to say perhaps the buy one get one free promo has ended....but was this ever a flier, as the stearman engine isn't cowled is it?

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Possibly a static mock up for promotional purposes at air shows?
Profile picture for user Meddle

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I was going to say perhaps the buy one get one free promo has ended....but was this ever a flier, as the stearman engine isn't cowled is it?
It looks like a wooden panel back there. Maybe it was a static model, as you suggest, MerlinXXII.
Profile picture for user Lazy8

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Promotional purposes at supermarkets, perhaps more like it! Can't say I remember seeing it, mind you... One might imagine a flyable aircraft wouldn't need it's own, custom built, trailer (there are a couple of pics of it before the weeds grew at the bottom of this page http://ianskyphotosite.blogspot.co.uk/2011_03_01_archive.html). Looks like this uses some Stearman parts (maybe) but if you look closely at photos of the team aircraft there are some differences. The spinner is smaller, for instance - and it's bolted on to a circle of plywood where the engine should be. I think the team aircraft still exist, as it says on this page: http://www.simplyplanes.co.uk/aerosuperbatics_ltd_breitling_wingwalkers_team_guinot_display_team.shtml

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Its a real Stearman .From memory its a former Mexican machine that was imported as a project but never restored to fly and passed through a few hands before becoming the travelling exhibit- recall seeing it at Eastbourne many years ago.
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Looking at the link above, there appear to be both cowled and uncowled versions; you live and learn!

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450HP P&W engines were bolted on for crop dusting. The cowlings were added in various forms by people who wished to improve the looks somewhat and maybe gain a few knots!
Profile picture for user J Boyle

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450HP P&W engines were bolted on for crop dusting. The cowlings were added in various forms by people who wished to improve the looks somewhat and maybe gain a few knots!
Cowls (and props) often came off Beech 18s which were being withdrawn from service about the time Stearman restorations for sport became popular (late 60-70s). Typically, AG Stearmans went cowl-less (where engine access was more important than speed), while sport aircraft had them. I'd say the plane is half real...the prop looks odd, a good 450 prop is worth a good deal of money...a friend just paid $12,000 for one for his new 450 project. (I'll write up something for FP when its done..as it will feature some very nice custom touches). I don't see ailerons on the wings...and I do know some of the Utterly Butterly 450 Stearmans had a 4-aileron modification (stock Stearmans just had control surfaces on the bottom wings). Just looking at the wings should tell you whether they're "real" or just display pieces.. The plywood panel where the engine should be and the piece in the front cockpit clearly mark this as a display aircraft, not a flier. Still, it would be nice to see it re-assembled, but given its construction and wood wings, it wouldn't last long outdoors in the UK....or anywhere else. The tube airframe looks real, but that's a fairly easy (and relatively cheap) part to find.
Profile picture for user slicer

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This appeared one day some years ago parked in the driveway of my parent's next door neighbour (who works at Rendcombe)...it was a display airframe. Don't know about the underlying provenance of it, though.

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I've seen it Duxford as part of the Utterly Butterly stand. My young lad was very interested in it.
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My young lad was very interested in it.
Not the skin-tight, leather-suited wing walkers? I think you are bringing him up really well :) Moggy

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This was based on XB-RIY although how much of that machines remains. Must be taken by somebody with contacts as I thought Rencombe was very much out of bounds to mere mortals.

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14 years 8 months

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Thanks Moggy, I'll have ask him if he remembers more about it as my attention might have been distracted.

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This none flyer was exhibited at Elvington many years ago at one of the shows when the wing walkers were appearing, i have a picture somewhere it certainly looked a lot better than it does now BRIAN C D Wakefield
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Is it for sale, or is it just stored, does anyone know? Anon.

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19 years 10 months

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Vic Norman is the person to speak to ! I am not sure he will be wild about pictures of the Stearman being on the internet as Rendcombe is quite private. I shouldn't imagine even in this condition it would be particularily cheap.
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Be interested to know how these pictures were taken, as will Mr Norman because where this is parked is private property and if no permission was gained someone will be very displeased !!
Profile picture for user Meddle

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Be interested to know how these pictures were taken, as will Mr Norman because where this is parked is private property and if no permission was gained someone will be very displeased !!
I extracted the photographs from the 28 Days Later urban exploration forums. Apparently it was a controlled visit to the airfield and all above board.
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Interesting instrumen fit for a Stearman, cf. the manifold pressure gauge and the airspeed indicator going up to 300 kts/mph :)

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28 Days Later urban exploration forum doing controlled visits !!! Are they going soft ??? They will be buying tourist maps next and strolling round Trafalgar Square!