Thursday, January 1, 2015

December XP-82 Twin Mustang Restoration Update

 What a year 2014 has been for progress 
that the XP Team has made on the 
XP-82 Twin Mustang Project.

Just looking back to last 
December’s photos really shows 
what has been accomplished this year.

Center Section
All the gear door castings and link rods are now installed with the exception of the two aft door hooks and hook mounts that we should have any day now.  Gear door up-lock casting mounts, hooks, bell cranks and push rods are pictured in numerical order starting on front spar.

Left-hand wheel well, forward gear door up-lock hook mounted on forward spar

Left-hand 90 degree door up-lock bell crank mounted on forward spar

Center gear door up-lock mount with one push rod coming from 
forward spar and one push rod going to the middle spar

Aft gear door up-lock mount with push rod coming from center gear door mount

Both emergency gear up-lock release mechanisms are now installed and cables run.  These up-lock releases can be operated independently by either pilot through a common cable to release the gear doors and up-locked landing gear by a pull handle mounted under each instrument panel. Both gear will then gravity fall to down-lock position.

All of the 3/32 stainless steel cables that run through the center section from each throttle quadrant are now installed and rigged. These sixteen cables, eight running from each side, synchronize the throttle and prop control levers mounted in each cockpit. 

Also, the six one-inch diameter five foot long control rods that transfer and synchronize the elevator and aileron movements between both pilots are now installed pictured below the cables.

And at last, the two remaining (out of 20) fuselage-to-center-section attach fittings are now permanently installed. Each fuselage is attached to the center section with ten huge NASA bolts bolted down through and into barrel nuts mounted in fittings attached to the forward, middle and aft center section spars.

The final installation and rigging of the opening and closing crank and cable mechanisms for each canopy are now completed.  (Two of the very few parts in the 82 that are the same as a P-51.)  Both under-canopy aft closeout skin panels and phenolic rub strips are now completed and installed.

Aft Fuselages
All of the rudder, elevator and balance trim cables are now run through numerous pulley banks, installed and up to tension. As you can see, not that easy to get to.

Both rudder lower side skins (four) and tail light receptacles are now completed.  Both lower rudder boots that were mashed beyond recognition are now back to final shape and fit, awaiting special English wheel rollers to roll out the final small dents.

Dorsal Fins
Both dorsal fins are well on their way to completion.  All of the parts are remade and fit, awaiting final riveting.

Fuel check valves, before and after. New nipple fittings are on order

Wings / Flaps / Ailerons
The remaining flap hinges, mounts, bell cranks and arms have now been completed and painted, awaiting installation. 

The aileron combination sector/arm/hinge mounts (25 in all)(23 pictured) have all been delivered to us from two of our sub-contract machine shops and are being fit.

Tail Wheel Retract/Extension Mechanisms

We have just started to get full time into sorting out what we still need in the tail wheel assemblies. The majority of the steering parts that were originally magnesium didn’t survive the sixty years of element exposure very well. We have two machine shops just starting the duplication process of all the parts that are still required.

The Katz
Tom explaining to Rivet how the rudder adjustment rails are assembled.

Saying of the Month
'When flying try to stay in the middle of the air. 
Do not go near the edges of it. 
The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of
 ground, buildings, sea, and trees. 
It is much more difficult to fly there."

- W.W.II Undergraduate Pilot Training Sign

The entire XP-82 team would like to wish everyone
 a very Merry Christmas and a 
Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year.


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