The Commemorative Air Force’s Rocky Mountain Wing has good news to report regarding their TBM-3E Avenger (Bu.53503) which has just regained her fully-rebuilt R-2600 engine. A year ago, the aircraft’s maintenance crew discovered that the engine was ‘making metal’, with an internal bearing starting to fail, necessitating an expensive engine overhaul to remedy the problem. But after some significant fundraising, more of which is still needed, the Rocky Mountain Wing was able to have the engine repairs completed, as described by the CAF unit’s leader, Fred Suevel, in a recent e-mail with your editor…
“The engine was returned from Anderson Aeromotive in Idaho in the first week of Jan. 2021. We unloaded it from their shipping cradle and moved it onto our stand. The stand uses the same mounting ring as found on the plane. Once on the stand, we started putting on a few of the accessories which mount on the back end of the engine, ie. the generator, the oil pump, the tachometer, the hydraulic pump and the vacuum pump. It was much easier to do this on the ground than hanging over the side of the plane from a stand. On Saturday, Feb. 13, using a travel lift donated by Weststar (local FBO), we unmounted the engine from our ground stand and lifted it to the plane where it was remounted onto the engine mounting ring. This took about an hour.
Our propellor left this morning for Colorado Springs where Westpac will open it up and inspect it. There is a 60 month AD on all these big propellers and ours is due in March. When it comes back we’ll reinstall it and finally get a chance to fire up the ‘new’ engine.”
Many thanks to Fred Suevel and Kevin McNulty at the CAF Rocky Mountain Wing for providing the details for this article. For anyone wishing to help contribute to the upkeep of their magnificent TBM, please do click HERE.