Thursday, December 1, 2016

November XP-82 Twin Mustang Restoration Update

 Happy Thanksgiving to All.

We are all moved in to our new hangar.

Firewall Forwards
The last left-hand engine upper, lower and side cowling items have been completed. The final installation of the left-hand propeller has been completed with the exception of the spinner. We will leave the spinner off during the test runs to check for leaks.

The final mounting of the right-hand propeller should be completed by the time you are reading this newsletter.

The induction-trunk lower intakes for the right-hand and left-hand engines have now been completed and are being final fit awaiting final sanding and polishing.  These were very difficult forming tasks. The rotating carb air temperature barrel mechanisms and mounting structure are now also fit, but removed for final painting.

The mounting installation of both heat exchangers (oil/inter coolers) is now complete. They both presented a problem as they interfered with the upper cowling arch framework. We had the original exchanger mounting straps attached to the dishpans, but we did not have the original rings that mounted the exchangers to the straps. When we machined the rings as per the XP plans, the exchangers would mount about an inch higher and not nestle into the two factory-formed notches in the oil tanks. After redesigning and machining the four new mounting rings, the interference problem was solved. 

The test running of both engines, and all of the associated systems, will start in December. 

Outboard Wings
The English wheel forming of the two wing tips is progressing rapidly. Both wing tip upper panels are now completed and the two lowers are in production to be completed sometime in mid December. 

Landing Gear/Doors
The subcontract machine work for the press dies for the inboard gear doors is progressing nicely. The outboard door skins have been completed for some time now awaiting the completion of both interior frameworks. 

Tail Wheel Steering
Both tail wheel steering mechanisms are now final installed less tensioning. A number of moving parts required to move two tail wheels left and right.

The machine shop is currently 3-D computerizing both brake calipers. These brake assemblies fit only the XP-82 and following production models. They are an unique anti-skid design and, through reports from pilots, worked extremely well.

Authentic Interior Cockpit Furnishings
We are heavy into completing the internal parts in each cockpit, i.e., gun site, gun camera, oxygen regulators, gauges and blinkers, original radio heads, heater and defrost controls, exterior ADF ring antennae, etc., etc.

VIP Visitor
We had the honor of a visit from Col. Robert Thacker, 98 years young. He was the pilot flying P-82 B “Betty Jo” on the 1947 14.5 hour non-stop flight from Hawaii to LaGuardia airport in New York. One cannot believe how sharp and alert he is at the age of 98. He still knows every detail that went into the preparation, the test flights, the additional fuel tanks installed inside the fuselages and the exterior drop tanks and why three of the four drop tanks could not be jettisoned. (The sway braces were wrenched down too tight by a ground crewman not allowing the release hooks to drop the tanks.) One of the tanks did drop leaving the other three under the wings creating a dramatic yaw condition requiring a substantial amount of rudder trim drag.

He described in detail the additional 150-gallon fuel tanks installed behind each pilot seat and the 60-gallon tank installed in the gun bay. He even distinctly remembered a plug being inadvertently left in the gun bay tank vent line during one of the test flights, resulting in the tank collapsing and a replacement having to be manufactured.   

The P-82 had a total of 1,860 gallons of fuel at lift off, including the 600 gallons of production center section and wing tanks, two 300 gallon and two 150 gallon wing drop tanks, and the 360 gallons of additional internal tanks added for the long flight. 

Total distance Hawaii to New York - 4,899 statute miles. 14.5 hours total flight time. Average cruise speed - 338 miles per hour. Taking tail winds into consideration, that’s 300+ mph cruise.

I hope my memory of the details he told me during his visit three weeks ago is as good as his memory at 98 years young. 

Concorde Battery
A special thanks to Mr. Don Grunke of Concorde Battery Corporation. Concorde contributed a brand new battery for our XP-82 project. 

The quality of their batteries is outstanding. As I have mentioned in the past, one of his Concorde’s lasted nine years in my B-25 Mitchell. 

Thank you Mr. Grunke and Concorde.

The Kat
With who just got elected, you are not going to be able to sleep on the job anymore.

Being Thanksgiving, it is time to thank all of the people and companies that made this project a success.  Thank you all.

Aeroshell – Oil
Aerosource – Fuel pumps
Aerotape - Tapes
Aero Trader – Induction trunks
Aircraft Plastics - Windshields
Aircraft Spruce – Parts
Al Kimball – FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative
Avico – Parts
B & B Aircraft – Parts
Barbara Parisi - Sigma Aerospace – Aluminum
Barry Hutton – Special forming
Bill Parks - Propellers
Bill Saunders – Ring antennae
BMG Parts – .50 Gun parts
Brad Hayes –Inert .50 Gun barrels
Braddock – Heat treating
Brent VanDervort – Fat Man Fabrications – Original XP cable fasteners
Buck Ober - Volunteer
Carlin Thomas – Bulldog Steel – Fixture steel
Casey Hill – Special forming
Chuck Cecile – Advanced Sign Graphics – Screen printing
Chris Reilly – Sanford Aircraft – Avionics
Chuck Gilbert - Volunteer
City of Douglas, GA
Cullen Underwood – Underwood Mold – Special machine work
David Stinebaugh - Volunteer
Desser Tire – Tires, tubes
Dick Odgers – Alaska parts
Brooks Auto Parts - Supplies
Don Grunke – Concorde Battery 
Don Pataky - Floorboards
Don Whittington – Colorado F-82 parts
Donna Lanier – Payroll
Doug Huculak – Volunteer
Douglas National Bank
Dupont  - Finishes
Dwight Jones – AK recovery
Eagle River Fuel Cells - Six fuel tanks
Electro Chromium Company – Chrome plating
Eric Brouwer (Holland) – Plane Owner – PR
ET Supply – Original WWII parts
FAA Atlanta
Florida Wire & Rigging – Stainless cable swedging
Ford Bieser – Original WWII radios
Frontier Aviation- Tach cables, carb bellows
Gerald Durbin, CDR – PhD Engineering volunteer
Gerd Muehlbauer – MT Propeller – Propellers
Glenn Norris - AK Recovery
Goof Bakker (Holland) - PR
Greg Morehead – Warbird Digest - PR
Harland Avezzie – Parts
Instrument Pro – Instrument (OHC)
JT Evans – Brake discs
Jack Hooker – Seat belt harnesses
James Mackey – Original XP-82 Pilot Manual
Jay Wisler – Warbird Parts
Jesco Inc. – Carb air control motors (OHC)
John Eiler – Special machine work
John Morgan – Second fuselage section with dual controls
Jody Routh – Aero Accessories – Generators and vacuum pumps (OHC)
Jose Flores – Vintage V12s – Merlin Engines (OHC)
Joseph Welch – Aerocoatings – Chrome plating
Josh Manzer – Canopy
Keith Baker - Volunteer
Ken Friend – Screen printing/special parts
Kevin Harlinski - Volunteer
Ladd Gardner Insurance – Insurance
Lance Aircraft – Parts
Larry Cantley - Volunteer
Larry Kelley – Special parts (tons), ring antennae
Leo Duby – .50 Guns Machinest
Levi Colagross – Volunteer
Louise Kleba - Volunteer
Lowell Ford – NAA Plans
Margaret & Walter Soplata – XP-82 Project
Matt Jolley – Warbird Radio - PR
Max Hodges – Volunteer
McMaster Carr - Supplies
Michael O’Leary – Challenge Publications - PR
Mid Florida Propeller – Cad plating
Mike Hawkins - Volunteer
Mike Ryan – Aircraftstock - Parts
Martin Aircraft Supply – Radiators and heat exchangers
Marty King – Vintage Carburetors – Carburetors (OHC)
Mobile ElectronicsCannon plugs
Moreno Aguiari – Warbirdsnews – PR
Muriel Vanscoy – Soplata Volunteer
Nancy Barendse, PhD - Newsletter editor
Neal Melton – NOS Wheels
Nicholas Phillips – Attorney 
Pat & Jim Harker – Special XP-82 Parts, special tooling
Peninsular Metals – Anodizing 
Peter Lesche – Special machine work
Phil Godlewski – CPA accountant
QC Labs – NDI
Quicksilver Air Inc. – AK helicopter lift services
Rad Abernathy - .50 inert ammo
Rick Kyle - Blue Point Fabrication – TIG welding
Ricky Reeves – Special forming
Ron Farleman – Special machine work
S & T Aircraft Accessories – Fuel pumps (OHC)
Sherry Jewell – Trucking
Skycraft - Parts
Sonny Lyon – Hangar for final assembly
Spencer Martin – XP-82 ID model
State of Alaska
Sterling Paints – Primers
Steve Couches – P51H FWF information
Steve Hovenden – AK recovery
Suzzie Reilly – Accounting, payroll, IRS, insurance, etc.
Theresa Besseldorf – Canopy
3M Products
Thrush Aircraft – Special tooling
Tom Glass – Volunteer
Tom Goodman - Future Metals – Aluminum
Tom Rasch – AK/Soplata Recoveries
Tom Wilson - Special forming parts
US Air Force Museum - P-82B information
Valiant Air Command – Parts, volunteers
Vic Peres - Peres Pattern – Special machine work
Wayne Starling - Volunteer
Wire Masters – Wire

I know I have forgotten someone. My apologies.


Tom Reilly
Paul Flora
Randall Lanier
Weezie Barendse
Paiden Lanier
Ayman Tarawneh
Tim Givens
Josh Ford

Thankx to everyone.  Without all of you we could not have done it.


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Tom Reilly & the XP-82 Crew

No comments:

Post a Comment