Another good month with the right-hand wing preliminary
set-up and many systems being completed.
Paul and Randall completed the final preliminary rib and stringer set-up of the right-hand wing, and I completed the last of the special milling of the last of the twelve special shaped stringers for the left- and right-hand wings. These special shaped stringers had so many different tapers, joggles, steps and angles in them that they were not available for purchase anywhere. Paul and Randall are now duplicating the same final set-up of the stringers and ribs in the left-hand wing.
Estimates are that by the end of December/middle of January Paul and Randall will have the left-hand wing set-up completed so we can rotate the two fuselage/center section assembly, with the wings removed, 90 degrees to the right which will allow us the room to start attaching the two aft fuselage extensions and tail control surfaces.
Milling the special stepped, joggled and angled wing stringers
Outboard bomb/drop tank support forging
Ayman, Jeremy and Tim have been working on and are completing a massive amount of needed-to-be-done small jobs. It’s good to have Tim, “the new guy,” back after he was injured during his first week here in a head-on collision with another vehicle because the driver was most likely texting.
Weezie’s experience has been priceless knowing where to find each and every assembly drawing to cover all these job descriptions. Some of these jobs are shown below.
Jeremy and Ayman working access door press molds and finished exterior skins
Oxygen filler door
Completed rudder pedal adjuster rods for pilots with different length legs
Left-hand fuselage battery door press fixture mold
Completed installed battery door
Concorde Battery Corp. generously contributed a 24-volt maintenance-free battery to our XP-82 project. Concorde manufactures the best aircraft batteries money can buy. The last Concorde that I had in my B-25 Mitchell lasted only eleven years. Thank you, Concorde.
We have spent most of the third week of November making up and installing at least 500’ of primary, trim and canopy jettison control cables. “Trim” cables are the 1/16” stainless cables where the pilot can adjust the flying surface trim tabs to take the stick and rudder loads off the pilots controls for level flight.
How come the biggest guy in the shop, Jeremy, is always the one
chosen to get inside the tight spaces to install the cables and pulleys?
Parking brake and right-hand master cylinder installed
Rudder pedal / brake bell crank installed
During the fourth week of November, I started running the multitude of hydraulic lines in each cockpit that run from the center section to each fuselage.
Also at the end of November I brought the right oil tank stainless dish pan down to Titusville to have the resident wizard welder, Rick, complete the final TIG welding on it.
Final Airframe Assembly
With the fuselage/center section assembly rotated, we can start the extremely important alignment tasks of attaching the aft fuselage extensions that hold the horizontal and vertical stabilizers along with all of the control surfaces. This alignment and final riveting will take about two to three months to complete. When the tail section attachment is completed, then the final installation of the radiators, completion of the primary control and trim cables, aft fuselage wiring to the taillights and coolant door motors can be completed.
Once the majority of these systems are installed, the long task of completing the hook-ups of all the wiring in each cockpit will begin.
The final remaining sheet metal jobs after the two wings are completed are the following: the two small outboard flaps, lower engine cowls, all the rib structure in the right-hand upper engine cowls, gear doors, wing tips and wing and tail fairings.
Bumps in the Road
None. The light at the other end of the tunnel is getting brighter.
“I know the UPS delivery truck with our treats will be here any moment.”
- Rivet & Allison
the French citizens in Normandy with help from the British
paid tribute to those who gave their lives for Freedom in 1945.
9,000 Fallen Soldiers Etched into the Sand on Normandy Beach
British artists Jamie Wardley and Andy Moss accompanied by numerous volunteers, took to the beaches of Normandy with rakes and stencils in hand to etch 9,000 silhouettes representing fallen people into the sand. Titled The Fallen 9000, the piece is meant as a stark visual reminder of the civilians, Germans and allied forces who died during the D-Day beach landings at Arromanches on June 6, 1944 during WWII. The original team consisted of 60 volunteers, but as word spread nearly 500 additional local residents arrived to help with the temporary installation that lasted only a few hours before being washed away by the tide.