Almost the same description as last month...with lots more parts getting completed.
Just about everything is complete on the drill-up and fitting of all components between the aft spar, center and forward spars with the exception of four "waffle" skins. Bryan, Randall and Jeremy are now into the leading edge ribs that form the curvature of the leading edge between the two fuselages. All of the leading edge ribs have been completed for some time. So now the men are into fitting all of them into the forward spar, stringers, gun bays, bulkheads, etc.
|Leading edge ribs being attached to the front spar.|
The four remaining waffle skins, very complicated parts, are riveted to the underside of the top skins in the top of the two gear wells. 2' x 3' skins reinforce the two wheel well areas where there are no substantial ribs or bulkheads where the tires and wheels retract into the wells. We were able to form the two aft ones on the sheet metal break using a solid 3/4” pipe to get the desired radii. The two forward skins, mirror images, are another story. We were able to recover some sample cross-sections from one side of the Colorado parts and a portion of a totally mangled and burnt part from the Alaska wreck.
|LH non-airworthy mold made from original part(s)|
|Our first pressed part prior to final forming|
Paul and Ayman have been busy finishing the last scoop. One more skin to go and the two access doors! They both thought these two scoops wouldn't ever get done.
Three of our investors, one all the way from South Africa, came up last weekend and helped. We also have a new volunteer--a young aerospace engineering student--who wants to learn warbird restoration between semesters. Thank you, all!
Our two pilot and co-pilot switch panels are now almost complete, just waiting for the last few switches. Chuck Cecile, Advance Sign Graphics, High Springs, NC, and Ken Friend, model builder extraordinaire, completed all of the silk-screen printing and, Weezie installed all of the new switches and lights. A wonderful job!
I am heavy into gathering together all of the remaining placards that need screen printing and, Weezie is pulling up all of the plans for the copy to send to Ken and Chuck. Almost all of the original placards are unreadable due to years in the weather.
|New silk-screened panels with new lights, knobs and switches|
Tubing Glycol (coolant), Fuel and Oil
As mentioned last month, I went to Anoka (Blaine), MN, to form our tubes on Pat Harker's mandrel bender. Within three days, I had all of them duplicated times two (two fuselages), except for two matching Glycol tubes which I currently do not have a pattern for. When the tubing is permanently installed, the final one missing pattern will be easy to diagram to complete the two missing parts. Thank you, Pat, for the use of your machine.
|New tubes -- three days of work|
I have also been busy working on small jobs, i.e., canopy cranks, flap handles, hydraulic and fuel components, armament parts, fuselage heater controls and ducting, instrument panel mounts, canopy cable control and jettison systems, etc., etc.
Bumps in the Road