XP-82 Twin Mustang – December, 2014 – Restoration Update

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As usual, WarbirdsNews has received the latest XP-82 Twin Mustang restoration update from Tom Reilly at his workshop in Douglas, Georgia. Here’s what they’ve been up to this month!

Center Section

All the gear door castings and link rods are now installed with the exception of the two aft door hooks and hook mounts that Reilly expects to receive any day now. Gear door up-lock casting mounts, hooks, bell cranks and push rods are pictured in numerical order starting on the front spar.

Left-hand wheel well, forward gear door up-lock hook mounted on forward spar. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Left-hand wheel well, forward gear door up-lock hook mounted on forward spar. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Left-hand 90 degree door uplock bell crank mounted on forward spar. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Left-hand 90 degree door uplock bell crank mounted on forward spar. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Center gear door up-lock mount with one push rod coming from forward spar and one push rod going to the middle spar. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Center gear door up-lock mount with one push rod coming from forward spar and one push rod going to the middle spar. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Aft gear door up-lock mount with push rod coming from center gear door mount. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Aft gear door up-lock mount with push rod coming from center gear door mount. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Both emergency gear up-lock release mechanisms are now installed with their associated cable runs. These uplock releases can be operated independently by either pilot through a common cable to release the gear doors and up-locked landing gear by a pull handle mounted under each instrument panel. The main undercarriage will then gravity-fall to down-lock position.

The emergency gear up-lock release mechanisms are now installed and cables run. (photo via Tom Reilly)
The emergency gear up-lock release mechanisms are now installed and cables run. (photo via Tom Reilly)

All of the 3/32 stainless steel cables that run through the center section from each throttle quadrant are now installed and rigged. These sixteen cables, eight running from each side, synchronize the throttle and prop control levers mounted in each cockpit. Also, the six one-inch diameter five foot long control rods that transfer and synchronize the elevator and aileron movements between both pilots are now installed (pictured below the cables).

Control Rods and 3-32 Cables. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Control Rods and 3-32 Cables. (photo via Tom Reilly)

And at last, the two remaining (out of 20) fuselage-to-center-section attach fittings are now permanently installed. Each fuselage is attached to the center section with ten huge NASA bolts fastened down through and into barrel nuts mounted in fittings attached to the forward, middle and aft center section spars.

One of the twenty fuselage-to-center section attach fittings. Note the large NASA bolt in the center. (photo via Tom Reilly)
One of the twenty fuselage-to-center section
attach fittings. Note the large NASA bolt in the center. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Canopies

The final installation and rigging of the opening and closing crank and cable mechanisms for each canopy are now completed. (Two of the very few parts in the -82 that are the same as a P-51.) Both under-canopy aft closeout skin panels and phenolic rub strips are now completed and installed.

The canopy hand crank inside one of the cockpits. Both of these are now installed, along with the associated cabling. (photo via Tom Reilly)
The canopy hand crank inside one of the cockpits. Both of these are now installed, along with the associated cabling. (photo via Tom Reilly)
The canopy closeout phenolic is now in place on each canopy rail. (photo via Tom Reilly)
The canopy closeout phenolic rub strips are now in place on each canopy rail. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Aft Fuselages

All of the rudder, elevator and balance trim cables are now run through numerous pulley banks, installed and up to tension. As you can see, they aren’t that easy to get to!

The myriad control cables for the rudder, elevator and trim along with their installation hardware and pulleys are now fitted. (photo via Tom Reilly)
The myriad control cables for the rudder, elevator and trim along with their installation hardware and pulleys are now fitted. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Tom Reilly's hands adjusting the tension on one of the many rudder/elevator/trim control cables a rear fuselage. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Tom Reilly’s hands adjusting the tension on one of the many rudder/elevator/trim control cables a rear fuselage. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Tom Reilly buried chest deep in one of the aft fuselages adjusting control cabling. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Tom Reilly buried chest deep in one of the aft fuselages adjusting control cabling. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Both rudder lower side skins (four) and tail light receptacles are now completed. Both lower rudder boots that were mashed beyond recognition are now back to final shape and fit, awaiting special English wheel rollers to roll out the final small dents.

Restored rudder lower fin and light receptacle. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Restored rudder lower fin and light receptacle. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Dorsal Fins

Both dorsal fins are well on their way to completion. All of the parts are remade and fitted, and just awaiting final riveting.

Running one of the dorsal fin skins through the English wheel to shape it for use. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Running one of the dorsal fin skins through the English wheel to shape it for use. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Clecoing in one of the dorsal fins in place following manufacture. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Clecoing in one of the dorsal fins in place following manufacture. (photo via Tom Reilly)
One of the dorsal fins clecoed in place. (photo via Tom Reilly)
One of the dorsal fins clecoed in place. (photo via Tom Reilly)

The team has restored the fuel check valves as well.

Fuel check valves, before restoration. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Fuel check valves, before restoration. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Fuel check valves after restoration. New nipple fittings are on order. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Fuel check valves after restoration. New nipple fittings are on order. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Wings – Flaps – Ailerons

The remaining flap hinges, mounts, bell cranks and arms have now been machined, painted and await installation.

Various restored/remanufactured flap hinges, bell cranks and arms awaiting deliver. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Various restored/remanufactured flap hinges, bell cranks and arms awaiting deliver. (photo via Tom Reilly)

The aileron combination sector/arm/hinge mounts (25 in all, with 23 pictured below) have all been delivered to Reilly’s team from two of their subcontract machine shops. Reilly’s team are currently fitting them.

Aileron pieces fresh from the manufacturer. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Aileron pieces fresh from the manufacturer. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Tail Wheel Retract/Extension Mechanisms

The restoration team has just started to get into full swing sorting out what is still required for the tail wheel assemblies. The majority of the steering parts that were originally magnesium didn’t survive the sixty years outdoors very well. Therefore Tom Reilly has contracted two machine shops to start the duplication process for all of the parts still required.

A tail wheel retraction/extension system assembly drawing for the XP-82. (photo via Tom Reilly)

 

And that’s all for this month. Many thanks again to Tom Reilly for the update! You can learn more about the project on their blog HERE. Please be sure to check back with WarbirdsNews in early February for the next installation following the XP-82′s road to recovery!

Please click HERE for some of our previous updates.

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