Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 2009

“XP-82 Restoration Project”
#44 83887 Twin Mustang Progress Report
Outboard aileron

Work Progress
It has been a very productive month on our XP-82 project.  We were successful on saving tons of dollars on the in-house manufacture of our 14 upper and lower longeron sections.  It took Barry and me almost three weeks to make all of the longerons, saving us around $30K net instead of paying Wilson (Atlanta) to do them.  It doesn’t cost--it pays--to have very experienced and higher paid in-house shop personnel working on our project.  

Main gear sub spar mount
Our team started pressing the center section forward and aft spar bulkheads.  Jason and Chuck spent quite a bit of time laying out full size patterns for these parts on Chuck’s sign computer.  As mentioned last month, we saved a great deal of time by having these drawings done in-house.

The elevator is now complete through subassembly.  It took Paul and a helper about two months to complete this complicated task.

We are still waiting for our four horizontal spar caps from Lesche (NJ).  So, I put the team to work on the two gear box structures for the leading edge of he center section.  We were able to make great progress on these two 2’ x 4’ sub components as most of the extruded angles and fittings were salvageable from our Colorado parts find.
Horizontal to verticals attaches

Peres (PA) and Underwood (Atlanta) have been feeding us new machined parts at a constant pace.

Parts Trip
Elevator horn
I drove to Indiana pulling a trailer to attend a North American T-6 company parts auction the middle of October with the intention of buying a 10’ shear and a 10’ brake.  Both of these machines sold for more than list price at the auction, so no luck on buying them.   But all was not lost as I was able to buy a substantial amount of extrusion, a four-foot sheet metal roller, one P-82 tail wheel, some 82 hydraulics, a box of large hydraulic fittings, 50+ stainless cable swedge fittings, new B-4 and B-8 electrical relays, a machine to stamp numbers on electrical wiring, about two sheets of 2024-0 aluminum and misc. other usable parts.    I bought all of these items, with the exception of the roller, at ten cents on the dollar.  It is always heartbreaking to see a good business fail and be liquidated by a bank.
Engine work in Tehachapi, CA

I went to Tehachapi, Callieforniae (as Arnold would say) on the night of October 25th.  I spent all day Monday the 26th driving and looking at the progress on our two Merlin engines.  All of the sub components are complete for the first engine, the LH turner.  The crankshaft is in the crankcase and all of the other components, i.e., heads and banks, valve trains, nose case, lower section, inner cooler, oil pan and valve covers, are all complete.  The final assembly is waiting on the Roush-prepared connecting rods.  
Lefthand Turner Merlin

The sub components of the second engine are coming along as nicely as the first engine.  The workmanship is beyond excellent.  It is comforting to know that Mike Nixon’s Vintage V-12s engines have won Reno the last three years, each year setting a new speed record.  I think we picked the right company to build our engines.  I arrived back in Georgia Tuesday afternoon.  It was a long and tiring trip.

Merlin Gear Box
I came back to find many of the sub components for the two center section leading edge gear box structures duplicated, primed and riveted together.  Good progress!

Bumps in the Road
Minor.  Lesche (NJ) not getting our machine work back to us as fast as we need it, but we have been able to work around not having his parts with no problem.

Come see YOUR XP-82 project!


P.S.  Also, on 21 November 2009 we will be having another fly-in here in Douglas.  This one will be from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and will be lunch instead of our usual pancake breakfast.  Would love to have you all join us for some good eats and fun!

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