Thursday, September 30, 2010

September 2010

“XP-82 Restoration Project”
#44 83887 Twin Mustang Progress Report

The Get Together
What a wonderful time we had on Saturday, 4 September, for our XP-82 party.  We had over 70 guests and twelve of our seventeen investors here.  Everyone was impressed with the progress and quality of the work that the team has accomplished.  Some of our investors came from as far as Oregon, Ohio, North Carolina, South Florida and California--that’s dedication.

Many thanks to all of the girls that worked so hard to prepare for our get together.

Work Progress

Righthand side is now riveted
Top aft fuselage skin
All six forward fuselage skins are now riveted on, and we have started on the three top fuselage skins for the LH fuselage.   Pictures attached.  

We were able to get more plans from Lowell Ford (the plans guru from CA), which included the layout of the center section center forward spar.  On the original “A-H” rolls of film, this particular set of drawings was blank.  On roll “J” they were there, but difficult to read in areas, and on “P” clear enough to read most sections.

I made contact with Pat Harker and made arrangements to go to Blaine, MN, to copy his center section skins.  Being able to copy his skins will save us a tremendous amount of time instead of trying to decipher each hole location from the plans.  Thank you Pat!  You cannot believe the progress and quality of the work being done by Pat Harker and his team on his F- 82.  Looking at the pictures makes one’s stomach tickle as they are so outstanding.  The web page is:  Click on Maxair2air.  Click on “More Essays”.  Then go to P-82.

Top skin righthand side
When these new skins are duplicated at Blaine, MN, I will send them to Erie for a preliminary layout on the new spar caps.  This layout will locate the fuselage attach holes which must be within a bizillionth of an inch, and then we will be able to match the end tapers off the old spar caps from the Colorado parts using the center line of the fuselage holes.
As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, within about a month, we will be at a stopping point on the LH fuselage. The LH fuselage will be completed through the side and top skins and firewall back to the rear fuselage extension production break.  We will move the LH fuselage into the #2 container, wrap it in plastic, and start assembly on the RH fuselage.  The only RH part that we are waiting on is the forward LH lower longeron, which is in progress and will be completed by the time we need it.  With the learning curve from the LH fuselage, the RH will go together more easily.  

Nautilus finally got their new CNC mill up and going, and Ron will have our hinge points for the horizontal, verticals and rudders completed in short order.

Both of our gear castings, landing gear legs and all of our gear components have passed NDI inspections.  

Vic Peres is continuing on our wing attach angles.  Due to the some of the ambiguous descriptions of the alloys, 24 or 75 in the plans, I decided to have each angle analyzed as to exactly which alloy it is.  The analysis is costing us only $46 per angle and is being done in Erie, PA.  We have spent countless hours trying to decipher the alloy from the base drawings-- “make from this extrusion number”, etc., etc., etc.,--which has made us dizzy.  It got to the point where I decided to have each original part for which I could not identify the alloy through the plans sent in for testing just to make sure of its alloy and then duplicate it.

Engine mount - after

The duplication of the LH engine mount is progressing nicely.  Pictures attached.

Engine mount - before
As predicted, Nixon Vintage V-12s was the fastest qualifier at Reno again with one of his super Merlin engines.  The final race on Sunday was canceled due to high winds precluding setting a new record.  For any newcomers, his shop, located in Tehachapi, CA, is rebuilding both of our engines.  The LH turner is complete.  The RH turner is coming along nicely.  We will leave them in the steel shipping containers filled with nitrogen (preservative gas) until we are ready to install them.
Good Deal
We were able to find two new 32 x 8.8 Skyraider wheels for $3000 from Anderson Airmotive that will fit our project.  These wheels are getting really difficult to find, so locating them at this price was a good deal.  
New Hire
One of our new hires, Ayman, is coming up to speed on sheet metal quite quickly.  A licensed airframe and engine mechanic who worked for the military for years, he has become a very good addition to our team.

Hangar Work
As part of my agreement to be in this hangar with Don Brooks, I am committed to occasionally maintain some of his warbirds in-house.  This agreement doesn’t take me away from the 82 project any substantial amount of time as I am here to supervise all of the work.  I have given up boats, race cars, and the majority of the air shows I perform in my B-25 to dedicate most of my waking hours to the XP-82 restoration project.   

"Ben Hur" Rivet
Rivet took a week off and traveled to Hollywood to audition for a part in the new release of Ben Hur II, as one of the slaves pulling a pyramid stone.  

"There's a pea under my bed

Allison says “There’s a pea under my bed.”


Finally, the unbearable heat wave is starting to break.  The temps are now in the comfortable mid 90s.

I would like to again thank everyone for the trust you have given us to take care of your hard-earned investment dollars.  After 26 months, some real progress is starting to show.



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