Friday, December 31, 2010

December 2010

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

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, Everyone!

Center section flap with stainless steel rub strip
Work Progress
It’s hard to believe another year has gone by so quickly.  

Center section flap
Paul, Randall and Ayman have completed the center section flap.  We had a little problem keeping the trailing edge completely straight, but with a little reworking of the aft ribs, it came out nicely.  (Picture attached)  The stainless leading edge (rub strip) was also difficult, but it also finished out very well.  (Picture attached)  The landing gear leg at the chrome replating company is also finishing up this week and will be ready to pick up right after the first.  I have ordered the steel for the center section fixture.  Randall and Jeremy will start the manufacture of it in about a month.

Dog house
Lefthand dog house trunk
We have disassembled the two inboard gear doors from Alaska.  Due to the impact, there is not a part that is usable, but they give us a good blue print of how they were  assembled.  This month, I will send the four door skins, inboard and outboard, down to Braddock Heat Treating to get annealed (softened), so that I can work them back into shape to be copied.

Righthand dog house trunk
The whole crew is now concentrating on the RH fuselage.  I have been fitting the ribs and bulkheads into the four doghouse sections, exchanging one new rib at a time  for an old and transfer drilling some tack rivet holes. (Pictures attached)  

All of the fuselage ribs have been fitted into the longerons, and, starting from the tail forward, we will begin skinning the first week of January ‘11.  

Jeremy Scott will take my truck and trailer to Erie, PA, and then on to Lewisburg, WV, to pick up the repaired gear casting, the four center section spar caps and the two upper RH engine cowlings.   We made boxes to transport all of the parts in, and, by sending my truck and trailer on this trip, we will save approximately $3K in shipping costs.  

On the 10th of January, I should be going to Tehachapi, CA, to look at the RH turner engine and pay the next-to-last draw on the rebuilds.  Barry (ATL) is making good progress on the two engine mounts.

The next machine shop challenge for Vic Peres (Erie) will be the remaining wing attach angles.  I will need to have all of the center section angles done first so that we can complete the fixture.  The outboard wing attach angles, the ones attached to the wings, will be the second batch he will complete.

Public Relations
Michael O’Leary, editor of Air Classics and Warbirds International, is writing a story on our XP project.  A small introduction was published this month in Air Classics with the article scheduled for the next Warbirds International issue.  He will be sending us a box of magazines, and I will forward one to each of you.

Alton Marsh, an editor at AOPA Pilot, has also written a small article on our XP-82 project.  To see it, follow this link: rare_twin_mustangs.html?WT.adv=adv1.  Some of his facts are not quite accurate.

Our Christmas present to all of you investors didn’t get finished in time for you to receive them prior to Christmas.  No excuse.  I waited too long to place the order, but they have been delivered--so look for something in the mail.

Web Site
We have had so many requests for information from a web site that we have started to design one.  We have to open one as there is so much confusion among Minnesota, Walter Soplata and us as to who owns what and which airplane is where.  Michael O’Leary tells us that the number of calls and e-mails he receives wanting information on the two 82 projects is huge.  We should have it done by 1 February.  We will let all of you know when it is up and running.

Comfort Level
Everyone knows that I owned a top fuel race car, which I had chosen not to drive since the XP project started.  No more worries as I sold it.  It sure was an “E” ticket ride that I will always remember. Also, my  B-25 flying has been substantially cut back, although there is almost no exposure flying the 25.

Paul, my shop lead, and Randall, my son, are now both completely up to date on every aspect through completion on the rebuild of our 82 project.
Rivet Inspector - Allison


Christmas Katz
Both Allison and Rivet won’t leave me alone, wanting their Christmas presents before Santa gets here.  And Allison is doing the final rivet inspection on the flap.



No comments:

Post a Comment