TBM Avenger Repairs – CAF Update

Repairs to the left wing tip are continuing, following the rebuild of damaged internal components. (photo by Jay Anderson)

 

Repairs to the left wing tip are continuing, following the rebuild of damaged internal components. (photo by Jay Anderson)
Repairs to the left wing tip are continuing, following the rebuild of damaged internal components. (photo by Jay Anderson)

Last May, WarbirdsNews reported that the TBM-3E Avenger operated by the Commemorative Air Force’s Rocky Mountain Wing had suffered damage while taxiing at Glendale Municipal Airport near Phoenix, Arizona (Click HERE to see our report). The Avenger’s left main landing gear collapsed and the aircraft sank down onto its port wing, with the propeller striking the tarmac and stopping the engine abruptly. The propeller was badly damaged and the engine suffered shock loading. The left outer wing panel also suffered some damage, as well as the lower nose cowling, fuselage and bomb bay doors. The CAF moved the aircraft by road to Airbase Arizona in Mesa, and this is where the repairs have been taking place. We thought our readers would like to know how the ‘turkey’ is progressing on her journey back to flight…

The outer wing panel's internal structure exposed for repairs. Note the underwing support pillar. (Tom Howe photo)
The outer wing panel’s internal structure exposed for repairs. Note the underwing support pillar. (Tom Howe photo)
Working on the outer wing panel. (photo by Tom Howe)
Working on the outer wing panel. (photo by Tom Howe)

The Rocky Mountain Wing’s Maintenance Officer reports the following… “Paying for full time effort has achieved the desired effect, giving the TBM repair project a real boost in progress. The year began with the wing supported by scaffolding as the skins were removed for internal repairs. These internal repairs are now completed by Grant and Kevin. Enough of the upper and lower skins have been replaced to provide the structural integrity that the scaffolds have been removed. The leading edge requires special tooling which will be done by a local company which has donated other similar efforts. The front cowlings and accessory deck are the next to be completed before the overhauled engine and new propeller can be mounted. We will take this opportunity to install new hoses and wiring harnesses for the engine compartment. Lower fuselage and bomb bay doors also require some sheet metal work. A call will be made for RMW volunteers to help out when it can be done – perhaps within a month. Things are looking more hopeful for the 2015 airshow season.”

The new skins installed on the outer wing panel, returning its structural rigidity and allowing for the removal of the underwing supports. (photo by Jay Anderson)
The new skins going in on the outer wing panel, returning its structural rigidity and allowing for the removal of the underwing supports. (photo by Jay Anderson)
New skins going on the left outer wing panel following internal wing repairs. Note the CAF's B-17G "Sentimental Journey" in the back ground. (photo by Jay Anderson)
New skins going on the left outer wing panel following internal wing repairs. Note the CAF’s B-17G “Sentimental Journey” in the back ground. (photo by Jay Anderson)
New skins going on the left outer wing panel following internal wing repairs. Note the CAF's B-17G "Sentimental Journey" in the back ground. (photo by Jay Anderson)
New skins going on the left outer wing panel following internal wing repairs. Note the CAF’s B-17G “Sentimental Journey” in the back ground. (photo by Jay Anderson)
The forward fuselage and engine bay also required a lot of work, which is ongoing. Here you can see the repairs to the lower forward fuselage and firewall. (photo via CAF)
The forward fuselage and engine bay also required a lot of work, which is ongoing. Here you can see the repairs to the lower forward fuselage and firewall. (photo via CAF)
Another view of the repairs to the lower forward fuselage and firewall. (photo via CAF)
Another view of the repairs to the lower forward fuselage and firewall. (photo via CAF)
Jay Anderson is fabricating, drilling, bending, drilling, buffing, drilling, etc. to build new components for the Bomb Bay. This piece had 107 holes and wasn’t done...yet! (photo by Tom Howe)
Jay Anderson is fabricating, drilling, bending, drilling, buffing, drilling, etc. to build new components for the bomb bay. This piece had 107 holes and wasn’t done…yet! (photo by Tom Howe)
One of the big reasons for doing it all.... the veterans. Forrest A. Rodgers was stationed at Barbers Point, Hawaii during WWII. His job was to warm-up TBM's for the pilots. He will be 89 in April. (Photo by Jay Anderson)
One of the big reasons for doing it all…. the veterans. Forrest A. Rodgers was stationed at Barbers Point, Hawaii during WWII. His job was to warm-up TBM’s for the pilots. He will be 89 in April. (Photo by Jay Anderson)

You can contribute to the Avenger’s restoration by visiting the Rocky Mountain Wing’s site HERE, or the Fundraiser Campaign HERE which also has additional photos of the restoration.

2 Comments

  1. I love the reports you guys post to your site! Just a thought, maybe in the future change your photo captions to a darker print so they can be read easier. They are very light and sometimes hard to read.

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