Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Newsletter

Another month slips away.  
It's sorta like a roll of paper towels. 
The old one gets the faster the roll 
and days of the month go by.

LH center section gear well with waffle skins installed
Top view of center section with waffle skins installed

Final trimming of the waffle skins
Center Section
Randall, Bryan and Jeremy have made amazing progress on the center section.  Everything is now drilled up, with the exception of the center section leading edge skin and wing attach angles, through the leading edge spar.  All of the leading edge ribs have now been fitted with the exception of one structural ninety degree bow, which attaches the leading edge to the inboard side of each fuselage.  We were able to get one of these complicated pieces from the Colorado parts, but the scrapper’s torch had cut the opposite one.

Weezie went to Thrush Aircraft in Albany and got our four waffle skins heat treated and brought them back in dry ice.  The dry ice keeps them cold to well below freezing not allowing them to warp.  Immediately upon arrival, Bryan and Randall worked the four pieces until they came up to room temperature and started the 72-hour re-hardening process.
When parts are brought from the annealed or zero hardness condition up to T-3 or T-4 hardness, they tend to warp due to the temperatures they were subjected to during the hardening process. Keeping the parts in dry ice stops the hardening until they reach room temperature and, then within 72 hours, they are up to the desired hardness.  The attached picture show these four waffle skins installed and drilled up in our center section.  

I estimate that all of the drilling will be done in the center section by 31 July, and it will come out of the fixture for the remaining counter sinking, de-burring, and epoxy priming.   So, by mid August, the final riveting of the center section will commence.  Good progress!

               Last month it was Paul, this month it's Ayman laying down on the job in the belly scoop
Scoops/Coolant Exit Door Structure 
Paul and Ayman have completed the internal English-wheeled skins on the middle segment of the belly scoop, and will have this scoop completed, along with the left-hand scoop, by the time you read this news release.

Around the first of July, they will invert the left-hand fuselage, which is on the rotisserie, and complete the first the two exit door areas aft of the radiator.  

               Completed right-hand scoop assembly
Weezie and I have completed the wiring on the back of the back of the pilot's and co-pilot's switch panels, and at the majority of at the relay shelves just forward of the instrument panels.  One cannot imagine how much wiring this aircraft has being a very electric airplane due to the full dual control and control switching capabilities to and from the right-hand fuselage co-pilot  I contributed out of my Kissimmee stock all of the terminals and a large number of the new switches required.  The tie wraps in the picture are temporary and will be replaced with original WWII-style tie cord.

The screen printing of the two switch panels was completed by Chuck Cecil, Advance Sign Graphics, and he is now in the process of completing the screen printing of the fuel control panel.  This fuel control panel has indicator lights which show the position of the fuel shut offs, cross feeds, pumps, fuel gauges, etc., etc.  

                                                      Pilot and co-pilot switch panels

                                                                    Co-pilot relay shelf

 We have also soldered up all of the new “Cannon” plugs for all of the instruments, fuel shut offs, fuel level and pumps, oil, coolant, outside air, and carburetor air temperatures, tachometer, remote compass, etc., etc.  Cannon was the main manufacturer of these screw-on electrical pin connectors during WWII.   So, all of the connectors now days are referred to as Cannon plugs.  Sorta like all tapes today are referred to as Scotch tape. Michael, my son, contributed two engine starting ignition buzzers.


Ken Friend, our volunteer from Statesboro, has been completing our cockpit placards for both fuselages.  Ken is also completing the molding for our canopy crank handles.  I made the housing and Vic (Erie) is manufacturing the axles for the right-hand cockpit canopy hand crank opening and closing mechanism.  Many thanks to Thrush, Chuck, Ken, Vic and Michael.

                                                                         Canopy crank mold   

                                                        Canopy crank handle housing

Volunteer Workers
We have had two volunteers on property for the past month. Both are wanting to learn the nuts and bolts of the warbird restoration business.  Most schools that students go to today to obtain their Airframe & Powerplant license (A&P), no longer teach the ‘down in the trenches’ basics of restorations.  The schools are very good and very expensive, but they specialize primarily in airline maintenance knowledge.
Bumps in the Road
None.  Nada.  Zero. Zip. Zilch.  Except that it’s getting hot.  Come see your airplane before it melts during this coming July and August.


                                       "Hand me a pair of Cleco pliers, please!"                         Allison



1 comment:

  1. Hi Tom,

    my name is Antonio Pauciulo and I live in Berlin.
    I'm following the progress of your XP-82 project with a lot of interest.
    In the case that 3D drawings are useful for your project, I would be glad to collaborate as volunteer.
    Actually I'm working on a P-51H CAD project.
    For more details, please, contact me.
    My mail address is:
    antonio (at) pauciulo (dot) eu