Every month we wait with excitement for the XP-82 Newsletter with the latest developments from Tom Reilly’s hangar, the we call down to Douglas to get a voice update. This project is coming along fast.A lot of work was performed to complete the final preliminary rib and stringer set-up of the right-hand wing, and the last of the special milling of the last of the twelve special shaped stringers for the left- and right-hand wings was completed as well. Accordingly to Weezie these special shaped stringers had so many different tapers, joggles, steps and angles in them that they were not available for purchase anywhere. Paul and Randall are tasked to duplicate the same final set-up of the stringers and ribs in the left-hand wing.
Tom tells Warbirds News :”Estimates are that by the end of December/middle of January Paul and Randall will have the left-hand wing set-up completed so we can rotate the two fuselage/center section assembly, with the wings removed, 90 degrees to the right which will allow us the room to start attaching the two aft fuselage extensions and tail control surfaces.”
The team has spent most of the third week of November making up and installing at least 500’ of primary, trim and canopy jettison control cables. “Trim” cables are the 1/16” stainless cables where the pilot can adjust the flying surface trim tabs to take the stick and rudder loads off the pilots controls for level flight. During the fourth week of November, Tom started running the multitude of hydraulic lines in each cockpit that run from the center section to each fuselage.Furthermore the right oil tank stainless dish pan was taken to Titusville to have the resident wizard welder, Rick, complete the final TIG welding on it.
With the fuselage/center section assembly rotated, the team can start the extremely important alignment tasks of attaching the aft fuselage extensions that hold the horizontal and vertical stabilizers along with all of the control surfaces.Tom estimates that this alignment and final riveting will take about two to three months to complete. When the tail section attachment is completed, then the final installation of the radiators, completion of the primary control and trim cables, aft fuselage wiring to the taillights and coolant door motors can be completed.Once the majority of these systems are installed, the long task of completing the hook-ups of all the wiring in each cockpit will begin.The final remaining sheet metal jobs after the two wings are completed are the following: the two small outboard flaps, lower engine cowls, all the rib structure in the right-hand upper engine cowls, gear doors, wing tips and wing and tail fairings.
Stay tuned for the December update.