Friday, May 31, 2013

May Newsletter and Photography

Another Great Month!  Another Good Progress Report.

Outboard Wings
Paul, Randall, Ayman, Jeremy and Weezie have been making tremendous progress on both outboard wings.  All six spars are now completed with the exception of the priming and the final riveting of the two aft spars. The spars for each wing have been installed on a temporary fixture for final length fitting of all of the ribs in between the forward, middle and aft spars.  

This coming week Weezie will be carrying all of the zero temper spar caps and ribs (a big pile of them) over to Thrush in Albany for final heat-treating up to T4 condition.  Thank you, Thrush Aircraft. 

After heat-treating, the team will add the lightening holes, drill, primer paint and fit them into the steel fixture for final assembly.  The fitting of the second set of wing ribs is now complete.

Also while on this fixture, each set of wing ribs were final joggled for the multitude of stringers running from the wing attach angles to the wing tips. (A joggle is an FAA sheet metal term for when a flat edge of a rib is pressed down towards the center of the rib to allow a stringer to pass over each edge without creating a lump in the skin.) 

Center Section
Weezie and I have completed all of the soldering of the hundreds of wires into the twelve Cannon plugs mounted in both the pilot and the co-pilot floor rails. These wires transfer from the pilot’s side to the co-pilot’s side all of the electrical controls; i.e., starters, primers, generators, instrument data, lighting, gear position, fuel pumps, shut-offs, superchargers, magnetos,  gauges, inverters (24 volt dc to  110 volt 400 cycle ac), etc., etc.

Co-Pilot Cannon Plugs



We found a hydraulic dump valve for our XP (description in last month’s newsletter) at ET Supply in California.  (The same Emile of ET Supply who in 1946 threw Howard Hughes out of the building because he kept pulling hundreds of parts off of the shelves and not replacing them. Oops.)  We had to over pay for it because it was a brand new N.O.S. unit.

An astronomical price of $4.50 cents.  Thank you, Emile.

Hydraulic Dump Valve

We also spent a day cutting and drilling all of the permanent phenolic hydraulic anti-vibration tubing blocks to replace the temporary Adel clamps where applicable.

We installed the two N.O.S. (new old stock) C-4 fuel strainers that were contributed by Larry Kelley (B-25 “Panchito”).  Thank you, Larry.

Center Section Change of Plans
After evaluating the engineering of building outboard wing attach angle fixtures to match the center section attach angles, Paul and I have decided to use the completed center section itself as the fixture for the attach angle fitting. The engineering to build a temporary angle fixture would have been a nightmare and possibly not be exactly accurate to calculate dihedral, sweep and washout.  (Dihedral is the upsweep of each wing.  Sweep is the back sweep of the wing. And, washout is the leading edge of each wing at the wing tip twisted down approximately one degree to make the stall of the wing less reactive.)

We can assure absolute accuracy by using the center section to locate the outboard wing attach angles, and undersize drill and ream all the high shear and rivet holes to exact size. Once these holes are accurately located, then we will build a dual wing steel fixture off our center section fixture for the final assembly of both of the outboard wings.

So, this has pushed back the mounting of the fuselages on the center section for at least another two months.  But we have lots of other things to do, so we are not losing any time efficiency, as the remainder of the team is working on the outboard wings. 

While the team is working on the wings, I will be completing all of the hydraulic retractions and proving all of the remaining systems mounted in the center section by the end of this June. 

Four of our subcontract machine shops are currently working on the bomb and rocket rack fittings, drop tank attach points, and remaining flap and aileron hinge points.  Thank you Vic, John, Cullen and Ron.

Discovering our two original crushed XP-82 wings (modified P-51H wings) buried under tons of other parts on the Soplata property was an excellent find.  In 1950, the USAF and NACA tested these wings to destruction.  All of the subsequent F-82 E, F and G models went to Korea as frontline fighters where they did very well in combat through 1953.

XP-82 Model
Ken Friend, one of our volunteers and model builder extraordinaire, has built a second XP-82 for one of our investors who lives in South Africa. He was in the States to pick it up last week. The quality of the model is extraordinary.

Also, one of our other investors found an old Japanese-made 1/75 scale, not the standard American 1/72 scale, model kit in its original box of our XP-82 including the serial number of our aircraft (#44-83887) on its tail.  What a find!!!

Bumps in the Road

Getting Married News
“Deeds”, one of our female investors and an electrical planner at one of the hydro electric dams on the Columbia River in Oregon, is getting married this September.  Congratulations, Deeds and Josh.

One of our original investors had a bad fall in her home this past month and severely broke her wrist and hand requiring all kinds of pins and other hardware. We wish her a speedy recovery.

The Katz

"How come this railing is getting narrower the older I get?? It's making my butt look fat."


P.S. It is!  You need to go on a diet.




  1. When did you find the two crushed wings? Recently or was it when you picked the plane up? Can't wait to see it fly!

    1. The wings were found on our third or fourth trip up there picking up all of the parts.

      We also found a complete B-17 top turret which we bought. Everything was under a large makeshift shed along with two PBY waist blister side turrets and some unidentifiable large wings acting as a partial roof. There was so much junk and other debris piled up that all of these parts were unintentionally hidden. A real good treasure find.

      Thankx for your interest in our aircraft.
      Tom Reilly

  2. These hydraulic pumps have basically pistons attached to a plate. When there is a need for flow, the plate shifts increasing the stroke of the pistons and therefore it outputs more flow. When there is no oil flow there is no load because the plate with the pistons is vertical and there is no load.

    Hydraulic Installation Kits

    Bruce Hammerson