The 1% P-77A Mighty Mouse is ready to fly
BELL P-77A Mighty Mouse
This aircraft is another in our “what if” series and was built by Gregory SARGE Pierson using version 2.80.55 of the 714’s Assembly Line and is based on the outstanding visual created by Gary Wilson. The skin is enhanced with a 1943 paint scheme by GRAMPS. The special engine damage effects are by SARGE.
The USAAF was particularly interested in exploring the possibility of using non-strategic materials such as wood, fearing that a shortage of aluminum might materialize.
Two XP-77s were delivered in the spring of 1944. Serial numbers were 43-34915 and 43-34916. The low-mounted cantilever wing had a single-spar structure with stressed skin. The wing and the fuselage were largely constructed of resin-bonded laminated wood. The tricycle landing gear was electrically-operated. The nosewheel retracted rearwards into the fuselage, and the main landing gear retracted inwards into wheel wells in the wing. The flaps were manually controlled.
Test pilot Jack Woolams took the first XP-77 on its maiden flight on April 1, 1944 (April Fool’s Day, no doubt a portent of things to come). Test flights showed that the performance was disappointing, a speed of only 330 mph at 4000 feet being attained. The takeoff run was excessively long, and test pilots complained that there were some unfavorable vibrations at certain engine rpm because of the total lack of engine support vibration-damping mounts.
The second XP-77 went to Elgin Field for fuel consumption and operational suitability trials. On October 2, 1944, this aircraft crashed after getting into an inverted spin as the result of a botched Immelmann maneuver. The pilot was forced to parachute to safety, and the aircraft was destroyed.
In addition, by that time in the war, any danger of an aluminum shortage had passed. Consequently, the ultralight fighter project was officially abandoned on December 2, 1944 baugher
You can fly the Mighty Mouse with a download from the 1% site AvHistory.
BEAR 1% Team