Monday, March 31, 2014

March Twin Mustang Restoration Update

Another month has come and gone.  March was no exception.   
A lot of progress was made on our XP-82!

The leading edge skin riveting on the right-hand wing is now completed and all of the internal close-out doubler plates in the left- and right-wing front spars are also finished.   The two aileron sector support boxes have been completed as well by one of our machine shops and fit into the leading edge spars at the root end. All the flat skins for the right-hand wing are now being drilled and dimpled awaiting the installation of the wing in the wing fixture for final riveting.

Aileron sector support boxes

Riveting the leading edge skins on the right-hand wing

One structural access panel installation on the top inboard leading edge of each wing had us scratching our heads for a while.  The factory drawings showed these access panels (XP all the way through the G models) right above the sector support boxes so one could gain access to the sector for adjustment.  Without these access panels installed, one would have to remove the wing for final interior cable adjustments. The problem was that we have countless pictures of other F-82s without the access panels installed.  But looking at the original top skins of our XP wings showed the panel installation, we made the decision to install them to maintain the originality of our XP.

The sub-assembly work on the left-hand wing structure has now caught up with the right-hand wing, and the team has started preliminary leading edge and surface skin drilling with the reduced size drill bits. 

Left-hand wing skins being fit

With the canopy jettison systems complete, we have now finished the sheet metal panels that cover the outside of the canopy rails.  They all had special stepped joggles rolled into them to accept the lower edges of the canopy frames.  We were able to make special shaped beading rollers to press in these joggles.  

The team has completed the glass installation in one of the two canopy frames. The second canopy frame needs a little more internal skin structure completion and the new canopy bow fit before the glass is installed. Both windshield frames and new bows are in the process of being assembled.

The final assembly and installation of the left-hand pair of rudder pedals has now been completed along with installing and connecting the balance cables.

We have also started hooking up the throttle and prop quadrant cables that synchronize the left and right quadrants together. 

Center Section
The newly completed control rods (welded and painted) that operate the forward spar uplock hook for the forward edge of the main landing gear door have been installed. 

One of our men completed the aileron trim gear box mounted on the left aft spar--a very complex little structure with all kinds of bends and angles designed in it.  A very good job.  Thank you.

The Katz
We have been trying to teach Allison how to read a tape measure.  She just about has it figured out.

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