“XP-82 Restoration Project”
#44 83887 Twin Mustang Progress Report
|Paul working on aileron|
I just got back from my Florida heat treat trip with all of the belly scoop and doghouse ribs. Along with those ribs were numerous aileron parts.
|Aileron gap seals, 2 CS end bulkheads|
Paul has been busy assembling the two outboard ailerons -- a difficult setup job (the XP-82 has four ailerons, two outboards linked to the two inboards due to wing flex on high G maneuvers). A lot of time has been spent on the aileron gap seals. They control the airflow over and under the ailerons on high speed aircraft. The gap seals also hold the lead counterweights.
The multitude of new and processed parts in boxes in container #1 are starting to be emptied as hundreds of ribs, spars and small parts are going into these subassemblies.
Chuck, Jason and Randall have been working the belly and doghouse rib structure.
|Flap arm machine work|
The four aft longerons being done by Wilson (Atlanta) are complete and as usual a superb job. He is just starting on the forward fuselage longerons. These ten parts will be pricey, but well less than milling them out of billets as previously planned.
Underwood Mold has completed and delivered a number of machined parts and as with Wilson, superb!
Peter Lesche (N.J.) has promised delivery of the horizontal spar caps by the second week of September. So, when we get those, we will fall right into assembling the horizontal.
We have started using an additional machine shop out of Ohio -- Nautilus. He is machining all of the rudder and aileron hinge points along with trim tab mounts.
The troops also have the majority of the center section flap clipped together with all of the new ribs and spar.
|Center section flap|
We have been using Horton Iron Works, Eatonton, GA, to press bend the over 8’ angles that are required throughout the flap and horizontal structures.
As of right now, we have completed all of the parts for both forward fuselages (less longerons), both verticals, both rudders, two ailerons and the center section flap. All of these are ready for skinning. I have decided on a change of direction for the reskinning: first complete the assembly of all of the sub component frameworks, i.e., left fuselage, flaps, ailerons, elevator, rudders, and verticals and start skinning within a month or two. Great progress for 14 months of labor.
I talked to Nixon at Vintage V12s Engines in California and they report good progress. I will go out to CA this November to inspect how much has been accomplished prior to any further payments.
|Kat body piercing|
The older kitten, Allison, has just had a kittyrectomy. And, as the picture of Rivet shows, we have branched out and are now doing body piercing on cats. Kinda hard to get them to stay still.
Bumps in the Road
Lastly, we still have one investor that has not seen his aircraft. We know who you are. Next month we are going to print your picture and have a bounty on you till you come on down to look at your investment! Just kidding.
We are still holding to our two-month-ahead-of-production schedule, along with being well under projected budget for this date.
P.S. One final note -- a very big one. Don’s P-40 flew for the first time on 25 August 2009 -- first flight since December 1942! It was a big day for everyone that was involved in making this flight a reality.