Saturday, September 2, 2017

August XP-82 Twin Mustang Restoration Updat

Fourteen forward firing .050 caliber M3 machine guns
Pictured, our prototype XP-82, with the experimental eight-gun. 050 caliber pod attached to the underside of the center section, test firing along with the six center section .050 calibers. Notice the pile of brass underneath the center section.  (Circa late 1940s)

Fuselage Fairings - Inboards and Outboards
All of the fairings are all now completely finished. The last task on all twelve fairings was polishing out the microscopic English wheel roller marks. They are all now mounting-hole drilled. All of the edges have been trimmed to match and all are now completely fit and installed. 

Above:  Left-hand outboard trailing edge fairing
Below:  Left-hand outboard leading edge fairing

Above:  Left-hand inboard leading edge fairing
Below:  Right-hand inboard leading edge fairing

Above:  Right-hand inboard trailing edge fairing

Above:  Right-hand outboard leading edge fairing

Above:  Right-hand outboard trailing edge fairing

Top Engine Cowls
Both top cowls (right-hand engine, left and right) are completely riveted, spot-welded together and now undergoing final polishing and edge trimming. They have been a chore, but have finished out very well.

Spot Welding
Both right-hand newly manufactured engine top cowlings were brought to Kermit Weeks’ facility in Polk City, FL, for spot welding. Rick Reeves, the man that helped form many of our parts, did the spot welding for us using Kermit’s state-of-the-art spot welding machine.

Every electrical system in our XP-82, with the exception of the landing gear position wires, has been system-power checked out. The massive number of wire harnesses in each cockpit is now being tie-cord wrapped (aviation cord instead of tie wraps).

The Instrument Panel Covers
The aluminum closeout panels over the top of each instrument panel have now been completed.

Hydraulics/Landing Gear
We had some timing issues with both the landing gear and flap actuating valves, but they have been adjusted and hydraulically tested in the test bench where they have checked out perfectly. They will be installed this week in order to start the gear retractions.

Tail Gear Doors
We received the four tail gear door inner pressings from Pat Harker (F-82E, Anoka, MN). He had male and female press dies machined to press his inner tail wheel waffle skins. So, instead of our having to duplicate these dies to press a set ourselves, he offered to do a set for us. Thank you, Pat.

We have just completed fitting all four doors and on my next trip to Florida I will have the outboard skins spot welded to the inboard waffle skins.

Above:  Original tail wheel gear door

Below:  New tail wheel gear door waffle skins awaiting spot welding

Inboard Main Gear Doors
This week we started pressing the interior waffle skins for the inboard main gear doors (36” x 42”) over machined aluminum press dies. These inside skins are 2024 0 temper, .063 thickness, and have a 2" depth on each of the six pressings.These inside skins were formed by “flow forming”, soft hammers and wooden blocks for the close radiuses.

Above:  Original gear door

The two internal gear door skins are now completed awaiting
final fitting, trimming, heat treating, riveting to the internal
framework and spot welding.

The Kat
“Don’t tell Tom that I’m sleeping or he will make me go back to work.”
— Allison

Quote of the Month Regarding North Korea
“You shoot at us and the game is on.”
— Gen. James “Mad Dog” Maddis

Hurricane Harvey
It has been heartbreaking to see what the people of Texas have and still are going through. We want to sincerely thank the military, the utility companies, FEMA, and the many private  companies and individuals, etc., (from Texas and other states as well) that have unselfishly and willingly pitched in to help by trailering their own boats and off-road vehicles to assist in the rescue efforts. It is wonderful to see the military with such a quick response with their troops, helicopters and special logistical vehicles.  A special thank you to all of these heroes and contributors. May God bless you and the people and animals of Texas.


Happy Labor Day.


  1. Tom, Did you guys come through Irma OK? I think most of it was west of you but that is still a lot of rain. She was pretty tame by the time she got to us in SC.

  2. I was wondering the same thing that Gary stated above. Hope all is well and can't wait to come see this beautiful plane.

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  4. Good Day Sir, first I must thank you for bringing this important aircraft back to life, I am so amazed at the quality of work that you have put into the XP-82. It reminds me of the restoration of the Lancaster Bomber, FM 212 in Windsor Ontario that I am also following,