Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September 2008

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

Paul Flora
The XP-82 Rebuild is starting to progress quite well.  We now have five employees with another one coming onboard soon.  I have worked extensively with each one in the past so I knew their good worth ethic. 

John Marshall (Full Time)
Paul Flora, A & P (Full Time)
Chuck Cecile (Full Time)
Jayson Cecile (Full Time)
 Louisa "Weezie" Barendse, Part Time
Robert Still, A & P (Soon)
Jason Cecile

Chuck Cecile
I have also worked out a good subcontract arrangement with my best ex-employee, Rick Reeves, now the lead sheet metal mechanic for Kermit Weeks in Florida.

John Marshall

Work Progress

Most of the aft skins on the Soplata LH fuselage have been removed and duplicated for both fuselages.  Both verticals, ailerons, one rudder and two outboard flaps have been deskinned and we are now in the skin duplication process on all of the above parts.  

The internal structure on all of the above is in remarkably good condition; some damage, but virtually no corrosion.  We are now just starting disassembly of the center section flap, horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

Ailerons from Colorado
Both belly scoops, one doghouse (radiator enclosure), induction trunk and windshields are now completely disassembled, blasted and cleaned awaiting reassembly.  The only bad news is that Dick Odgers, who set us up with the Alaska F-82 recovery died 20 September from a long bout with cancer.  We went up to Alaska just in time.

Center Section Flap
I am starting to receive back some of the first machined parts from Vic Peres and as always, the workmanship is excellent.
Flap from Colorado

We have disassembled both main landing gear that are in great condition with the exception of one small rust pit in one oleo leg.

CAF F-82 News

Vertical from Colorado
As most of you now know from the internet, the CAF was in litigation with the Air Force Museum on the F-82 ownership that they (CAF) have had for years.  The CAF claimed ownership but the Air Force claimed the aircraft was only a loan.  Tom Cruise, actor, stepped up with the dollars to repair the airframe damage and restoration back to flying status.  Now that the Air Force has won the lawsuit, pending an appeal, the CAF’s F-82 will be returned to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, never to fly again.

This outcome actually helps us as now there are only two P/F-82s in civilian hands; Pat Harker’s F-82D and our XP-82; of which only one will ever be available on the warbird market ... ours.  The only drawback is that most likely the CAF’s 82 will go to the Smithsonian for display, which was one of our potential buyers.

Current Major Expenditures

Fuselage longeron attach fittings
I have placed the $12K sheet metal order for most of the skins required for the project; and received delivery last week.  I have also placed the order with Sigma Metals for the four extrusion dies for the center section spar caps.  These will not be cheap -- $2-4K each plus the cost of the spar material -- but it will be better than buying four 5+” square billets 18’ long and milling out the shapes, which would be substantially more expensive.
Horizontal and elevator

By the time you read this, I will be traveling to Pat Harker’s on Monday to select the parts and fixtures that we will need to purchase or rent .  I will then go to Ft. Collins, CO, to purchase Don Wittington’s F-82 scrapped fuselage and new OHC P-82 canopy.  I will be back to Douglas on Wednesday, 1 Oct.



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