Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October XP-82 Twin Mustang Restoration Update

Hello Everyone.

What a month October has been. 

The entire crew worked an incredible number of hours to get our XP-82 moved into its temporary new home. 

The first thing we did when it arrived in the large hangar, was to install both propellers and then complete the last few items required for the initial engine starts. I chose to have Jose Flores, the manager and now new owner of Vintage V12s, to come and start (his) engines for the first time. Vintage V12s now does 80% of all the Merlin engine overhauls done worldwide. His customers’ Reno race engines have won the Reno Air Races nine years in a row. That’s like winning the Indianapolis or Daytona 500 nine years in a row.  Beyond impossible. When I ordered our engines, his record was at five years in a row. This is why I chose Vintage V12s to do our engines.

The next thing we did was to partially fill both inboard fuel tanks and put Glycol in the coolant system for each engine to check for leaks. The fuel cells were perfect, but we had a few minor weeps in the coolant line attachments, which have now been corrected. 

The third item was to temporarily attach the outboard wings. We still have to complete the aileron trim and the fuel feed hoses.

Prior to starting the engines, we purged the fuel and oil systems, pre-oiled and then test started both engines on the afternoon of 14 October and idled them at 500 rpm for a short amount of time. We discovered a problem with the propeller governors, thus we could not get the propellers out of feather position (cage) to apply any type of power or rpm to either engine. The only systems we had online for the first engine starts were oil and fuel pressures, Gycol temps and tachs.

Fitting one of two air induction system
 leading edge cowlings

We will be test running the engines on a regular basis, proving more and more systems during each run.

The final items that need to be done prior to the first flight will be to complete the hydraulic system, brakes, gear doors, retractions, top cowls, wing tips, fairings, and wiring for the all the Cannon plugs in the original WWII radio package in each fuselage for authenticity and wiring the hidden Garmin package for reality.

The Kat
Allison is going through withdrawal realizing that we are not in our original hangar anymore.

We have had many people contribute parts to our XP-82 restoration, but the two people who have supported us from the beginning with a massive amount of contributed parts are Larry Kelley, B-25 Panchito, and Michael Ryan, Aircraft Stock. Both have contributed literally tens of thousands of dollars of new old stock surplus parts; i.e., liquidometers, relays, special instruments, authentic cockpit parts, mixture motors, fittings, switches, pumps, etc., etc. Thank you, Larry and Michael. Without your help, it would have taken many years longer to find all of these parts.  Thank you, all!

Finally and most importantly, to our invaluable volunteers and team members -- Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our XP-82. Whatever the task, you always found a way to get it done. Thank you for all your extra effort ... our XP-82 Twin Mustang wouldn’t be where it is today without you.

Thank you all for being such an important part of this restoration. We could not have done it without all of your support. 

Tom and the XP-82 Team

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