Tony Livaudais – US Hellcat build



Tony Livaudais’ “Housden Hellcat” Build – June-July 2013

Tony emailed me about the original Hellcat plan available in our free plans store. That was back in June;  he was very interested in building it but (quite rightly!) asked if there was a better version of the plan. The one on the website had been scanned and resized by persons unknown, and on looking closely it WAS a mess. It was also suffering a little from being a give-away printed on four sides of A3 paper, leaving the builder with some serious copy, cut and paste to do.
I sent Tony the best original scan I could, direct from the sheets enclosed with Andy Housden’s excellent “Introduction to Carrier Deck” book. A few days later, Tony emailed me back with a super CAD drawing conversion of the wing of the aircraft, which he’d assembled from the elements shown on the original scan.
This was later followed by the fuselage as well, so we now have the complete model on a sheet – many thanks for that, Tony.

We then talked engines – he went for the classic OS FP40, to which I’d just converted my Wildcat after falling out of love with its MVVS 40 and its dreaded Perry carb. Tony was also keen to use a classic-style finish, with silk or nylon. I assured him that the Hellcat would stand up to anything a pilot could give it if he made it that way (and he now certainly agrees with me!) A little later I received the first picture of the build – it looked a real treat, and the workshop made me feel rather jealous – why can’t mine look as tidy as Tony’s?!

Mid-July came, and Tony mailed me some pix of the finished plane – really nicely done, and a credit to his skills as a builder. I sent a couple to its designer, who was pleased to see that his creation was still loved and wanted!  
After a break in comms due to problems with my home land-line, I heard again from Tony late in September. In his own words:


“Mike – Good to hear from you. Tell Andy the build on the Hellcat totally survived a full-tilt auger in, completely destroying the engine. Awesome. Tony”


Nuff said! Good luck with the repair. and we hope to see some action pix later in the year. Meantime, here’s a shot of the real thing, also from Tony…