Following the momentous news over last weekend concerning the XP-82 Twin Mustang’s first engine runs in Douglas, Georgia, we wanted to know a few more details. A lot of major developments have been occurring with this incredible project in recent weeks, what with the move to a new, much larger hangar, attaching the outer wing panels for the first time, and of course the engine runs. We contacted Tom Reilly to learn more about what his restoration team has been up to, and thought our readers would be as eager as we were to see his responses… so here they are!
WN: When did you move the XP-82 from the project hangar, and did you move the shop as well?
TR: The XP was moved to the other hangar on 12 October. We are now located on the other side of the airport in the most southern hangar. A partial shop was moved, only what we need to compete the restoration.
WN: How did the outer wing panel installation go?
TR: The wing installation went smoothly and only took minutes. They went on with no issues, and are temporarily installed at this time.
WN: Who conducted the engine tests?
TR: The General Manager of Vintage V12s [Ed. Jose’ Flores] was here and did the starts.
WN: How did the engine runs go, and did you test any other systems?
TR: The runs went great on the first starts. Other than temps and pressures, no other systems were brought online.
WN: Was there a reason for conducting the first engine runs inside the hangar?
TR: It was raining. The fire department was onsite.
WN: The video shows just one engine being run, did you test both engines?
WN: What restoration items are still remaining?
TR: Main and tail gear doors, top cowls, coolant door motor wiring and retractions.
WN: Do you have any tentative dates for a first flight, or pilots in mind to conduct it?
TR: No date for the first flight yet. We have talked to warbird test pilots Ray Fowler and Eliot Cross.
WN: How would you sum up the project so far?
TR: … It has been 8 years and one of the most enjoyable restorations that I have worked on ever!
WarbirdsNews wishes to thank Tom Reilly and Louisa Barendse for spending time with us and sharing some of the recent details of the work going on with this exciting project. We hope to provide news of addition progress very soon. To visit the restoration’s blog, please click HERE.