Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 2009

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

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
What a fabulous year it has been for our XP-82 project!  The progress has been outstanding; no one drilled any holes through their fingers--in fact, there were zero injuries for the entire year, almost unheard of considering the sheet metal shop environment we work in. 

Work Progress
Tom and Paul with center section flap
We have just completed both rudders and the majority of the fourth aileron through subassembly.  The center section flap is also almost complete.  The next projects the team will be starting are both engine mounts.   This leaves only the horizontal stabilizer and both aft fuselage extensions to complete prior to our starting the reskinning of all the completed sub-components, i.e., flaps, ailerons, verticals, rudders, both fuselages and the horizontal.  I project that the majority of the skinning will be completed by mid-spring to early summer.  

We have completed the extremely difficult forward induction trunk inlet duct housing.  We were quoted a little over $10K to have a subcontractor build the piece for us.  We completed it in-house for a little less than $2K.   Boy our XP workforce team members are good!

2 Rudders and 1 aileron
On 15 December we received the contract from M.T. Propellor for the manufacture of our two props for the original quoted price of $300K.  I signed the agreement and sent a $100K U.S.D. down payment check to Germany as per the contract.  With this purchase of the M.T. props, I will start advertising the two Hamilton Standard OHC four-bladed hubs we bought from Jay Wistler last year.  Hopefully, they should bring $20-$25K each.  We originally purchased these hubs to give us two options on propellors, the first being the M.T. composites and the second being the reproduction of four LH turning Hamilton Standard blades.  The composites from M.T. are the preferable option.

The big job starting mid-January 2010 is the start of the high-sheer riveting on all of the longerons in both fuselages.   We are still holding an ahead-of-schedule and under-budget time frame.

I have finally finished most of my other hanging projects and have spent the majority of December doing set up work on the XP center section flap.  What a pleasure it has been to work continuously on a “new” project, not a B-25, B-17 or P-40 aircraft.  It is refreshing and rewarding to work on a component that I have never worked on before.  Even though it is a North American manufacture style, it is dramatically different engineering from earlier NAA types, i.e., P-51, B-25 and T-6.  Working on the same type of warbird year after year starts to get old.
Rear bulkhead

Last year, I brought all of my equipment and supplies from Florida to equip our new shop.  These supplies included a substantial amount of aluminum--both sheet and extrusion,--as well as hardware, fittings and rivets.  Being able to draw on my original Florida stock inventory has saved us significantly.  
The other rudder
However, over the past few months, the XP-82 group has had to buy another sander and band saw.  As mentioned last month, I am starting to lean more heavily towards the purchase of our own large Bridgeport mill to do the center section spars ourselves.  It doesn’t look like we will get them out of Lesche (NJ) by this summer, and, if we don’t, that will cause us a substantial holdup.  We sent the spar cap PDF files to Peres (Erie) for him to look at and to give us cost and production time estimates.  The decision will be made shortly.

Bumps in the Road
Again, none!
Shop superintendents
As you can see, both of them have been promoted up the employee ladder and now they are shop superintendents, overlooking the work progress on the shop floor.  The general consensus is that they got promoted faster than anyone else!

Thankx for your confidence in all of us!
Come see your airplane!



No comments:

Post a Comment