Another Great Month for Our XP-82Lower Cowlings
Filtered Air Boxes
The filtered air boxes are now also completed and permanently riveted to each forward induction trunk. These filter boxes hold carburetor air inlet filters in event the aircraft is operated off of sandy or unimproved runways. The filtered air position is selectable by either pilot. The chance of this XP-82 ever being operated off one of these strips is probably less than zero, but for authenticity they had to be installed. The camera makes the colors look different.
Both the MN-26C Radio Compass ADF Loop and the AN/ARC-3 Radio Antenna Mast are now installed. Thank you to Larry Kelley and Bill Saunders for the contribution of these rare items.
The four wing tip panels, two top and two bottom, are now finally fit awaiting the welding of the center seams and mounting screw holes and, installation of the tip lights and strobes.
Both the pilot and co-pilot oxygen regulator/blinker panels, along with the gun sight rheostat are also installed. All of the oxygen bottles are now stenciled with the original markings and reinstalled in both fuselages.
(Temporary breaker panel awaiting silk screened panel)
Oxygen bottle stenciling intentionally inverted to match the original installation.
The K14 gun sight and gun strike camera are now permanently installed. The strike camera presented a problem because the 90-degree top periscope interfered with the center armor glass since the glass had more sweep back than the P-51 windscreen. The periscope had to be shortened ¼ of an inch for clearance as the later camera version had.
Gun strike camera
K-14 gun sight
Main Gear Doors
The frameworks for the main inboard gear doors are now being formed to fit the curvature of the press dies for the inboard door panel. These two inboard doors are one of the last two complex hurdles we must complete on our XP-82 restoration project.
The last complex items are the two brake calipers. These two brake calipers are now being machined and are expected to be delivered in about two months.
Walter & Margaret (Peggy) Soplata
With much sadness we must announce the passing of Margaret (Peggy) Soplata. Walter (who passed six years ago) and Margaret Soplata from Newbury, OH, were the husband and wife team along with their five children who saved countless extremely rare warbirds and priceless artifacts from the smelter.
All of the warbird community owe them a debt of gratitude for saving these precious collectables for us and future generations to enjoy. God Speed Walter and Margaret. Now they are together again in heaven.
A small list of some of the aircraft and parts the Soplata Family saved:
• 2 F4U Corsairs, one 4360-powered FG1
• 2 North American B-25s
• 1 B-36 Peacemaker
• C-97 and C-82 Fuselages
• 1 A-26 Invader
• 2 TBM Avengers
• 1 P-63 King Cobra
• 1 AD4 Skyraider Prototype
• 2 F86 Sabres
• 1F7U Cutlass
• 2 T-28s
• 1 Victor Cockpit
• 1 SNJ – 7
• 1 XP-82 Twin Mustang Prototype/1 F-82E Twin Mustang
• 1 BT-13
• A rare snow-ski configured P2V Neptune that is the lone survivor of an epic
Navy expedition to explore Antarctica in the 1950s
• 1 partial F4U fuselage
• T-33 and F100 cockpits
• A number of V12 Merlins, Allisons and radial engines
• Numerous cutaway display engines
• Countless propellers, starters, generators, magnetos, and antique WWII radios
• Countless other aviation-related artifacts
An Oldie but Goody worth repeating.
“Would someone please hand me a pair of Cleco pliers?”