We have periodically presented reports by Chuck Cravens detailing the restoration on an ultra-rare Beechcraft AT-10 Wichita WWII advanced, multi-engine trainer, but it has been more than a year since our last update. 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….
It has been quite a while since we’ve updated the AT-10 restoration. Past updates have emphasized the historical aspects of the AT-10, so it is a pleasure to highlight progress on the main wooden fuselage this time.
Restoration on a rare airplane like the AT-10 involves a great deal of parts fabrication, which has been ongoing, and parts-making doesn’t always make for interesting photos. But recently, some visually significant progress has taken place, so it’s a good time to produce an update on the restoration.
Most of what the AirCorps Aviation team has done until now involved the restoration of the metal-framed cockpit area along with the aforementioned parts accumulation and fabrication. Now, for the first time, we can show some new progress on the primary wooden airframe.
The first step in building a straight airframe is creating a fixture to hold components in alignment as work progresses.
The Ubiquitous Scarf Joint
Many components on an airplane like the AT-10 were longer or wider than available wood material. In those cases, tapered joints called scarf joints were used to increase the gluing area of the joint and create a nearly seamless appearing joint that had far more strength than a simple butt joint would have had.
Fuselage Frame Structure
With a solid, straight fixture, and the parts fabricated to build an AT-10 fuselage, assembly of the structural frame has begun.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Todd Graves, email@example.com. Contributions are tax deductible.