P-51 Pedal Plane

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Project by Scooter McClain posted 02-20-2013 09:04 AM 8993 views 26 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the first woodworking project that I built in 2009, which I’m hoping fits into this website correctly, as this is also my first project post. I found out that year that I was becoming a father, and I had seen these in model airplane magazines growing up, and decided that when I had kids that I would build them one. It’s based off plans from Aviation Products, Inc, which for the most part I followed to the “T”. The fuselage, wings, and tail surfaces are all 3/4” plywood, which took about two sheets of plywood if my memory serves me right. There is also some 3/4” pine braces and cross braces installed as well. If I ever did it again, I’d make it out of 3/4” Birch ply. I cheated and bought a 1/4 scale P-51D Spinner instead of turning one out on a drill press. The rest of the metal work was from a prefab kit direct from Aviation Products, Inc which include the axle, wheels, and the steering mechanisms. The finish was based off Double Trouble Two, and some of the detail was even hand painted.
I built this in 23 days start to finish with plenty of 18 hour work days. I had only basic power and hand tools at my disposal. I made a blog following the build here, which includes a bunch more pictures:

It cost between $400-$800 depending on if you account for the purchase on the tools since I had none at the beginning of this build. The scheme is based off a P-51 that was based locally both when I was a kid (up until age 10 in NH) and coincidentally again in 2003 when I was stationed in Norfolk, VA.

The first picture was taken before the kids were born. The plane has survived many moves during Navy flight training, and is showing some signs of wear and tear from the moves and the kids using it. Overall, though, it still looks pretty darn good and has held up very well!

-- I make sawdust. I think thats a fair assessment of my finished products!

25 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3449 days

#1 posted 02-20-2013 09:41 AM

What kid wouldn’t want one of these? Excellent work Scott, it looks so authentic. Welcome to LJ.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Scooter McClain's profile

Scooter McClain

174 posts in 2036 days

#2 posted 02-20-2013 10:08 AM

Thanks Mike! I am really proud of the way it came out. I wish my kid used it as much as I want to use it! I have another child now, maybe he will use it more!

-- I make sawdust. I think thats a fair assessment of my finished products!

View hunter71's profile


3236 posts in 3301 days

#3 posted 02-20-2013 11:50 AM

Sweet, A dream come true for a lucky boy or girl.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6129 posts in 3467 days

#4 posted 02-20-2013 01:34 PM

Wow! What a fantastic looking model of a P-51. Just looking at your beautiful work is a joy! Luck kids!

Your P-51 reminds me of the Steven Spielberg’s movie Empire of The Sun when a very young Christian Bail overcome with emotion screams the words P-51 as the camp comes under attack by the Mustang’s.

Thank you for sharing!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View JSB's profile


737 posts in 2193 days

#5 posted 02-20-2013 02:46 PM

That is awesome. Good job! Welcome to LumberJocks :)

-- Jay -

View handmade24's profile


44 posts in 2331 days

#6 posted 02-20-2013 03:53 PM

i am still working on mine—-sooooo much to do and no time to do it

-- The price of the project can be found in the smiles of those who receive it. Some things are priceless.

View Scooter McClain's profile

Scooter McClain

174 posts in 2036 days

#7 posted 02-20-2013 03:59 PM

Thank you for all of the comments. I only posted that one picture, but not to solicit blog hits, but rather because I have limited access to my Blogger website from overseas. I’m deployed right now.

Handmade, stick with it! I hit many road blocks, but it was totally worth my daughter’s smile when she first sat in it! I spent an enormous amount of time in 18 days on it, and if I ever built another one, it would probably be spread out over 3-6 months. I would also likely do all the fabricating next time. I have actually designed one based off of the airplane I flew in primary flight training (a T-34C, but it could easily be made into a T-6B). Good luck and keep pressing on it!

-- I make sawdust. I think thats a fair assessment of my finished products!

View luv2learn's profile


2830 posts in 2417 days

#8 posted 02-20-2013 04:20 PM

This is a beautiful build Scott. In this day of electronic games for kids it is a pleasure to see you as a dad build something this unique that will entertain your kids and get them outside to play.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View sbuckle's profile


69 posts in 2153 days

#9 posted 02-20-2013 04:44 PM

I would love to build one of these for my granddaughter but they will have to buy a bigger house!! Absolutely beautiful!!!!!

-- Thanks for looking! Steve B.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29784 posts in 2453 days

#10 posted 02-20-2013 08:33 PM

This would thrill a lot of kids. Very cool.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2305 days

#11 posted 02-20-2013 10:17 PM


-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Jim55's profile


170 posts in 2181 days

#12 posted 02-20-2013 11:51 PM

Wowwww! That is a beautifu rendition of a marvelous airplane!

View Steve2MB's profile


4 posts in 3268 days

#13 posted 02-21-2013 12:22 AM

Nice to see our Aviation history embodied in form your daughter and her friends will enjoy. Scott, thanks for sharing.

View tbandikoot's profile


17 posts in 2567 days

#14 posted 02-21-2013 12:40 AM

Fantastic Scott! My favorite plane on top of that…

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4239 days

#15 posted 02-21-2013 12:48 AM

Very cool! I may have a nephew who needs one of these…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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