“XP-82 Restoration Project”
#44 83887 Twin Mustang Progress Report
Happy New Year!
|LH fuselage - forward view|
The lefthand fuselage disassembly has now been completed for the rib and longeron duplication measurements. Our man from Pratt and Whitney is a wizard on making the new sheet metal compound parts. Everyone else is making great progress. All of the fuselage wood form blocks have been completed and the 50 ton press table has been modified to press all of the rib sections we need for the fuselage and horizontal stabilizers, about 150 individual parts. When the press function is completed on all of the 2024-0 temper parts, all will go to Orlando for heat treatment up to 2024 T-3 temper.
|Dimple air table|
The paint booth that I brought from Kissimmee has now been wired for the exhaust fan and lighting as well as the #1 container which now also has lighting and air outlets. A large box of parts for duplication has been sent to Peter Lesche in NJ for preliminary data input into the computer mill so that when he receives the 4´´x 6´´ billets, he will be ready to start immediately.
I just got back from Calleefornia (as Arnold says) to look at our two Merlin engines. To my surprise, the lefthand core motor turned out to be brand 1944 new. It still needed to be completely disassembled for inspection and overhaul. I was very impressed with Nixon’s facility. Very large, very clean and organized. I left with a very high degree of comfort on the quality of overhauls we will receive from Nixon.
I also borrowed from a large warbird collector in San Martin, CA, a pair of non-airworthy P-51D wings to make a fixture from and to have a blueprint on how all of the little pieces go together. None of this P-51 work is at all connected financially with our XP-82 work, although the XP-82 will benefit when my P-51 wings are done as the wing fixture will be modified to fit the XP-82 wings, saving us quite a bit of materials and labor.
|Lefthand fuselage - aft view|
The fuselage fixture has now been sandblasted and painted and it looks great with all of our lefthand fuselage parts being reassembled on it.
We are gaining on our work schedule ... meaning we are about one month to six weeks ahead as of right now.
|50 ton part press|
We are borrowing from Pat Harker, F-82 project in Anoka, MN, the old top and bottom skins and spar webs from his center section to use as patterns. We are giving him our old H model boosted control actuators as our XP does not have boosted surfaces. The loan of the old skin patterns will help us out tremendously with set up and layout on our center section.
Bumps in the Road
|Kleko - employee of the month|
None this past month except that Kleko, the cat, wants a raise or some of this bailout money.
One item that could have been an expensive bump was the alloy of the wing attach angles -- 24ST (2024 T 3511) or 75ST (7075 T6). The plans that we have show only a black stripe over the material required. Microfiche clearly shows 24ST which is the same alloy as all of our left over billets that we are getting. If it had turned out to be 75ST, we would have been looking at another $25K for just the material.
All investors are encouraged to come at anytime to look and/or work on the XP project (bring your work clothes). It is fun! And very rewarding to be involved hands on with such a unique restoration.
Thank you for trusting all of us in these difficult financial times with your hard earned dollars.