XP-82 Twin Mustang – July, 2015 – Restoration Update

July Update wo

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!

Minor Change of Priorities
Tom Reilly and his team were planning on finishing the cockpit wiring during July. However, after witnessing the rapid progress the wing sheet metal crew had made on both wings, Reilly chose to complete the fuel tank liners and vent tubes instead so as not to hold them up on completing the skinning for the aft bottom of both wings. These lower wing skins had had to be left off to allow access to install the tank liners and vent tubes. With those final parts now in place, the wing crew has now started on the lower skinning and flap bays.

Four large boxes of foam filler panels for our fuel cells. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Four large boxes of foam filler panels for the fuel cells. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Fuel bladder (tanks) close-out panels with the liquidometer (fuel level sender) and fuel neck and cap. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Fuel bladder (tanks) close-out panels with the liquidometer (fuel level sender) and fuel neck and cap. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Wing Trailing Edges

All wing trailing edges and aileron hinge points are now completed and permanently riveted to the structure.

Trailing edge reinforcement. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Trailing edge reinforcement. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Outboard Wing Flaps

The sheet metal crew has now started manufacturing both outboard flaps from scratch. Reilly had both original flaps from the Alaska wreck site, but not one piece on either flap was usable for anything other than a pattern sadly.

Outboard wing flaps under construction from scratch. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Outboard wing flaps under construction using all-new material. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Outboard wing flaps under construction from scratch. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Another view of the outboard wing flaps under construction. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Fuselage Internal Fuel Vent Lines

The bending and installation of the many fuel vent lines in the areas behind the aft cockpit wall and forward of the radiator are now completed for each fuselage. Each of these fuselage fuel vent line assemblies has large vertical and horizontal loops designed into them to prevent accidental discharge (loss) of fuel during inverted flight maneuvers. Fitting and installing these tubes was a difficult and time consuming process, but both fuselages are now fully furnished.

Fuel vent tubes after forming. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Fuel vent tubes after forming. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Installed fuel vent lines. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Installed fuel vent lines. (photo via Tom Reilly)
One left and one right combination generator/spark plug blast (cold air cooling) tubes. (photo via Tom Reilly)
One left and one right combination generator/spark plug blast (cold air cooling) tubes. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Fuel Feed Lines

All of the special mandrel-formed fuel feed lines from the tanks to the center section check valves and continuing forward to the fuel shut-offs are now completed and installed.

Left-hand fuel feed lines and check valve installed. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Left-hand fuel feed lines and check valve installed. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Right-hand fuel feed lines and check valve installed. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Right-hand fuel feed lines and check valve installed. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Wiring

The crew is now finishing the last minute to-do July items and when finished, they will begin completing the final wiring hookups in the firewall/cockpit/instrument shelf areas in both cockpits. This will start sometime in mid-August.

Engine Installations

The special rubber engine Dynafocal mounts that are under manufacture for the project by an outside shop are nearing completion. When these are done, both engines will come out of their sealed cans and go on the airframe. This will happen by late August or September at the earliest.

Radiators

Both radiators are now permanently installed. The final fitting of the four radiator coolant tubes in each side must wait until the final small-to-do tasks in the bays forward of each radiator are completed. If these tubes were installed now, there would be no human access to either bay.

Tom Reilly wotking on the radiator installation. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Tom Reilly wotking on the radiator installation. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Left-hand radiator pictured, righthand radiator in background. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Left-hand radiator pictured in the foreground with the righthand radiator to the rear. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Newly machined tail wheel gear door hinges. (photo via Tom Reilly)
Newly machined tail wheel gear door hinges. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Carburetor mixture linear actuators (fuel mixture on/off)

These were the last two firewall-orward parts needed and were proving extremely difficult to find. Thankfully, Larry Kelley (owner of B-25J Panchito), found two New Old Stock examples and generously contributed them to the XP-82 project.

The linear actuators which Larry Kelley provide to the team. (photo via Tom Reilly)
The linear actuators which Larry Kelley kindly provided to the team. (photo via Tom Reilly)

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 August for the next installation following the XP-82′s road to recovery!

4 Comments

  1. Hello Tom,

    I doubt you remember me but I was the instructor that taught the concealed carry permit class that you and Mary attended in Orlando, a long long time ago.
    The reason I’m writing is sort of off the wall.
    I see that you’re located in Douglas, Georgia and it clicked that I know someone that is or was private pilot, and I can’t imagine that Dennis could be in the same town as you and not come into your shop.
    His name is Dennis Peinsipp, and like I said, I was just wondering if you knew him.
    I hope that you’re doing well and putting more warbirds back in the air!

    Clyde Bower

  2. Good luck with the restoration.Larry Kelley is a great guy,I’ve had the pleasure to speak to him on more than one occasion.I would love to see a twin Mustang fly once agin!!!

    • There are a few ways… the most direct would be going to an aviation trade school to get your training in aircraft maintenance. The required qualifications may vary in name from country-to-country, but are essentially the same. In the USA, you would most likely need an Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) license (for maintenance)… After several years experience as an A&P, you can then go for an IA, or Inspection Authorization, which would allow you to certify major repairs/modifications to an airframe.

      Alternatively, you could volunteer at an aviation museum, where you can slowly build up your experience in working on vintage aircraft. Do not expect to get hands-on experience until you’ve proven yourself to the museum crew though. Understandably, they will be suspect of anyone without formal qualifications, as they should.

      Best of luck!

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