Cadet Air Corps Museum AT-10 Restoration – Summer 2018

A Beechcraft AT-10 Wichita circa 1942. AirCorps Aviation is presently restoring one of these ultra-rare aircraft for the Cadet Air Corps Museum. Here is the latest progress report from Chuck Cravens! (photo via Wikipedia)

Over the past year, we have periodically presented reports by Chuck Cravens detailing the restoration on an ultra-rare Beechcraft AT-10 Wichita WWII advanced, multi-engine trainer. As mentioned in the previous articles, the project belongs to the Cadet Air Corps Museum and comprises the remains of several airframes, but will be based upon Wichita 41-27322. The restoration is taking place at the world-renowned AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji, Minnesota, and we now have another update on the progress as it stands so far….


The cockpit section looks good with the windshield frame attached to check the fit. (photo via AirCorps Aviation)

The AT-10 at AirCorps Aviation – Summer 2018 Report

by Chuck Cravens

The cockpit section of the AT-10 continues to be the focus of restoration efforts. The frame members have been assembled and some side skin sections cut, fitted, and riveted on permanently. Meanwhile, work progresses on parts and some of the smaller assemblies. 

Parts

As the cockpit area is assembled, more and more parts are needed. Each part is restored or fabricated as the need arises, so that the restoration can proceed without delay. 

Forming blocks are shown here. On the leftmost block is an unformed part blank, and to the right of that is one that has been hand formed over its block with a hammer. (photo via AirCorps Aviation)
Hand hammered fuselage parts. In the center is the instrument panel frame, to the sides are lower formers for the fuselage. (photo via AirCorps Aviation)
Rudder pedal arms and parts that make up the linkage have been bead blasted and prepared for painting. (photo via AirCorps Aviation)
Alodined parts hanging to dry. (photo via AirCorps Aviation)
Guy is removing the rudder trim control handle. (photo by John LaTourelle)
Here, a tighter shot shows him driving out the pin that holds the handle in place. (photo by John LaTourelle)
Guy has completed the pilot pedestal structure. To each side are electrical subpanels that will eventually have subassemblies like fuse boxes installed. (photo via AirCorps Aviation)

Cockpit Section Assembly

Frames, skins, and brackets have been going together to shape the cockpit section of the Wichita’s fuselage. 

In this view from underneath the cockpit area, the box with the slanted side is where the voltage regulator will eventually reside. (photo by John LaTourelle)
The bracket in the center right of this image is the landing gear motor support bracket. (photo by John LaTourelle)
This is a view of the nose framework from the pilot’s vantage point. (photo by John LaTourelle)
A side view as the windshield frame is mounted for test fitting. (photo via AirCorps Aviation)
Here, the skin for the glare shield is being fitted to the frame and instrument panel. The line marked in black shows where the edge of the windshield frame will be located. (photo via AirCorps Aviation)
The right side skin is now permanently riveted. (photo by John LaTourelle)
In this view from above of the same area, the instrument panel is clearly visible. (photo via AirCorps Aviation)
The left side is also riveted. (photo by John LaTourelle)
The forward most skin section of the glare shields also shows the lines marking the future location of the windshield frame edges. (photo by John LaTourelle)
The bracket visible here is where the fuel selector will be mounted. (photo by John LaTourelle)
Our final photo for this update shows the hinges for the nose cone (or as Beech refers to it, the demountable forward fuselage). (photo by John LaTourelle)

And that’s all for this edition of the AT-10 Restoration Report. Many thanks to Chuck Cravens and AirCorps Aviation for this article. Should anyone wish to contribute to the Cadet Air Corps Museum’s efforts, please contact board members Brooks Hurst at 816 244 6927, email at wingnutsflyingcircus@yahoo.com or  Todd Graves, todd.graves@pobox.com. Contributions are tax deductible.

WD NEW_AFF

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