Friday, October 31, 2008

October 2008

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

What a month it has been!  The Colorado parts arrived at the beginning of October.  What a gold mine of parts we have found.

What we received was three partial center sections and one semi-complete left-hand fuselage from the pilot’s seat forward.  We have had four employees disassembling all of the useable parts out of the center sections and fuselage.  The major parts we have recovered in useable and/or repairable condition are as follows:

-   Two gear castings (one with minor repairable damage)
-   Two main gear retract assemblies, arms and linkage
-   Two lower longerons (left and right, right-hand fuselage)
-   1 1/2 wing attach angles out of eight.  The bottom center section wing attach angles are two      segments.  The remaining 6 1/2 are useable as patterns.
-   Ten vertical cockpit ribs
-   Six forward to aft fuselage attach forgings
-   Two leading edge fuselage to wing formers
-   Two rudder bell cranks
-   Damaged horizontal, elevator and a number of verticals and rudders
-   Four damaged ailerons and flaps
-   One aileron T-casting
Horizontal spar webs
-   One full set of vertical fuselage to center section attach forgings
Glass beaded parts
-   Four lower longeron to engine mount forgings
-   A right hand cockpit stick including mounts
-   A right hand glare shield
-   Two flap hydraulic cylinders and mounts
-   One main gear retract hydraulic cylinder
-   Two canopy rails and castings
-   Firewall armor plate
-   Firewall flanges
-   Instrument panel shelf
-   One overhauled condition canopy and frame.
-   Hundreds of other miscellaneous parts 
-   Pictures of the above are attached.

More Parts
Finding these parts has saved us approaching $100,000 in machine work that now doesn’t have to be done.     WOW!

The three center section pieces that we have received give us a good blueprint of how the center section was assembled.  It is a whole bunch easier to copy something than to build it from scratch from plans.

By the time you read this, we will have placed another order with Sigma Metals for all of the center section, horizontal stabilizer, elevator, and flap extrusions.

We have also been busy duplicating flap, horizontal stabilizer, elevator, vertical stabilizer, rudder and fuselage skins.  About 20 4’ x 12’ sheets of aluminum used so far.

Ricky Reeves, subcontract labor from Kissimmee, has started rebuild on the two outboard flaps.  Vic Peres, Erie, PA, machine shop, has about twenty parts that he is working on for us.

More glass beaded parts
I made another trip to Anoka, MN, and studied Pat Harker’s center section going together and picked out a number of parts to purchase from him.  His F-82 rebuild is magnificent.

The three center section spar caps are in production through Sigma Metals.  Running into problems with the manufacture of the fourth spar cap due to its size.  I received a quote requiring us to purchase a minimum order of 1400 lbs. of extrusion at the unGodly price of $18,000.  We are investigating other avenues. 

Our new quality control chief, Kleko
Our six employees are working out extremely well.  Robert Still from North Carolina hasn’t decided as of yet to come down.  

So far there have been no serious bumps in the road, but be prepared because surely some will come.

Thankx ... and Happy Thanksgiving!


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