“XP-82 Restoration Project”
#44 83887 Twin Mustang Progress Report
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I cannot believe another month has gone by so quickly.
Weezie spent a couple of days emptying every box of glass beaded parts (bunches), laying all of them out on the hangar floor, photo documenting all and reboxing all in like kind boxes, i.e., gear, flap, ailerons, forgings, etc. The girls also put up shelving in the container so everything is now easily accessible.
|Lefthand fuselage coming apart for duplication|
Most of the Colorado parts have now been glass beaded, inventoried and put away in boxes in the #1 container.
The fuselage fixture is now complete with asymmetrical lower longeron attach points for LH and RH fuselages. We had to wait until we obtained the two RH lower longeron channels out of the Colorado parts (what a find) to complete this fixture.
|Colorado Vertical Stabilizers|
Work has progressed very rapidly on the two vertical stabs and horizontal. The verticals had minor damage, now all repaired. The horizontal, other than fittings, was only good for patterns. All of the wood forming blocks for the leading, trailing edges and between spar bulkheads are now made awaiting a rubber press table to stamp them out. 60+ new parts for the tail section are required to be made. The horizontal to vertical attach fittings are now in manufacture, soon to be done. We are in the process of ordering the “T” and 90 degree angle aluminum stringers for the horizontal. All 14’ lengths... they are so hard to find.
Three of the four spar caps are now in production at about $8K a piece. Still getting quotes on the fourth much larger spar cap. It looks like all of the quotes are coming in at around $18K for it. So, we probably will have to bite the bullet and go that route. A large aviation machine shop in China has been somewhat suggested but with all the crap “junk” coming out of China lately I just don’t want to try to explain “trying to save money” to a multimillion dollar prospective buyer because we went the China route. Every last nut, bolt, piece of aluminum, forgings, castings and extrusions, etc., etc., that will go into this restoration must have traceability and certification papers . Even though China could probably supply these papers, their part(s) still would be of suspect quality.
|Glass beaded parts|
Most every casting and forging that has come out of the Alaska, Colorado and original XP fuselage will go this December to QC Laboratories, a non-destructive inspection (N.D.I.) testing lab in Orlando for N.D.I. so our reassembly of structures can start with known quality parts. Any rejected parts will be offered to the investors as souvenirs or sold on E-Bay to raise funding for the project.
We have a steel company water-jetting a new firewall for us for free. I gave him a ride in the B-25.
|Stick Towers & glass beaded parts|
We found a very large supply of new surplus 442 flat head WWII style rivets through a rivet supplier in Miami. This style head is a must for authenticity in our restoration. A little expensive, but not that bad.
Don Wittington, Colorado parts, decided on $5K for the canopy; a $3K discount. A good deal for us.
Work Schedule (Proposed)
By 31 December 2009 we are shooting to have the following completed:
1. LH fuselage sheet metal completed and reassembled.
2. RH fuselage kit ready for assembly made up by copying all of the LH fuselage
parts when disassembled. The LH and RH fuselages are essentially
identical, with the exception of the lower longerons.
3. Horizontal and verticals completed.
4. Outboard and center flaps completed.
5. Many of the center section spars, bulkheads and wing attach angles
completed and ready for assembly.
6. The LH turning engine (RH position) rebuild completed and delivered to
Georgia and safely stored. I am going to California this December or
January to check on the progress and if OK, I will give them another $80K
draw on the $401K contract for both engines.
Bumps in the Road
None so far!
2009 should be a very exciting year!