IMG_0863 leading edge crop

The leading edge skins on the outboard starboard wing are now in place. (photo via Tom Reilly)

WarbirdsNews has received the latest update from Tom Reilly on the XP-82 Twin Mustang under restoration in his workshop in Douglas, Georgia. We thought you’d like to see what they’ve been up to! Click the jump to find out more…

Wings

The right-hand wing leading edge skin is now completely riveted in place as are all of the internal close-out doubler plates in the left and right-hand wing forward spars. One of the team’s machine shops has completed the two aileron sector support boxes, and they are now fitted into the leading edge spars at the root end. The flat skins for the right-hand wing are part way through the drilling and dimpling process. Final riveting for the skins will take place once the wing is installed in its jig.

Riveting the right-hand wing leading edge skins. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Riveting the right-hand wing leading edge skins. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Riveting the right-hand wing leading edge skins. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Riveting the right-hand wing leading edge skins. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Aileron sector support boxes machined by one of the teams specialized shops. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Aileron sector support boxes machined by one of the teams specialized shops. (photo via Tom Reilly)

One structural access panel installation on the top inboard leading edge of each wing had the team scratching their heads for a while. The factory drawings showed these access panels (XP all the way through the G models) right above the sector support boxes so one could gain access to the sector for adjustment. Without these access panels installed, one would have to remove the wing for final interior cable adjustments. However, countless pictures of other F-82s show no evidence of having the access panels installed. But the original XP-82 top wing skins showed clear evidence of the panel installation, so Tom made the decision to install them to preserve the airframe’s authenticity.

Note the position for the access panel in the wing leading edge. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Note the position for the access panel in the wing leading edge (just to right of blue tape). (photo via Tom Reilly)

Another machine shop is hard at work manufacturing the aileron hinge points and non-boosted actuators. The sub-assembly work on the left-hand wing structure has now caught up with the right-hand wing, and the team has started preliminary leading edge and surface skin drilling with  reduced-size drill bits.

Left-hand wing skins during pre-drilling and dimpling phase. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Left-hand wing skins during pre-drilling and dimpling phase. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Fuselages

With the canopy jettison systems complete, the team has now finished the sheet metal panels that cover the outside of the canopy rails. They all had  stepped joggles rolled into them to accept the lower edges of the canopy frames. The restoration crew needed specially shaped beading rollers to press in these joggles.

One of the canopies during the assembly phase. Note the complex joggle in the skins to make allowance for the plexiglass. (photo via Tom Reilly)

One of the canopies during the assembly phase. Note the complex joggle in the skins to make allowance for the plexiglass. (photo via Tom Reilly)

One of the canopies under assembly. (photo via Tom Reilly)

One of the canopies under assembly. (photo via Tom Reilly)

The team is currently assembling both windshield frames and their new bows. The have already finished installing the glass into one of the two canopy frames. The second canopy frame requires the installation of a little more internal skin structure and the new canopy bow before it can receive its glass.

One of the new canopy bows under assembly. (photo via Tom Reilly)

One of the new canopy bows under assembly. (photo via Tom Reilly)

The left-hand set of rudder pedals installed, and with cables attached. (photo via Tom Reilly)

The left-hand set of rudder pedals installed, and with cables attached. (photo via Tom Reilly)

The left-hand pair of rudder pedals are fully assembled and installed, along with their balance cables.
The throttle and prop quadrant cables that synchronize the left and right quadrants together are beginning to take shape as well.

Center Section

The newly completed control rods (welded and painted) that operate the forward spar uplock hook for the forward edge of the main landing gear door are installed.

The gear door control rods are now in their proper place. (photo via Tom Reilly)

The gear door control rods are now in their proper place. (photo via Tom Reilly)

One of Tom’s men completed the aileron trim gear box mounted on the left aft spar. It’s a very complex little structure with all kinds of bends and angles designed in it.

Gerald completed this deceptively complex piece of manufacturing for the aileron-trim gear box housing. (photo via Tom Reilly)

Gerald completed this deceptively complex piece of manufacturing for the aileron-trim gear box housing. (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 May for the next installation following the XP-82′s road to recovery!

Please click HERE for some of our previous updates.

9 Comments

  1. Miracle workers! Can’t wait to see it done! Wish I had the training to do this kind of work.

  2. Shafford Henderson says:

    Nice, very nice.

  3. Ramon Hidalgo-Acosta says:

    I can’t wait to see the end result of your efforts to bringing this aircraft back to life. I am sure that all aviation fans of the P-51 Mustang are proud of the work that you are doing. Keep up the good work folks!

  4. Dan Frank says:

    very cool to see this plane coming along so far.

  5. Charles S. Sylvia says:

    What a great project! It will be just wonderful to hear those twin Merlins singing and to see that unmistakable profile in the sky again.

  6. Melvin Hoskins says:

    It would be nice if the restoration deviates from the authentic by installing Merlin engines, rather than the original Allisons.

  7. Mike Fuller says:

    Saaaaweet!

  8. Michael Blackwell says:

    Beautiful! I’m quite envious. I enjoyed every moment helping to restore & maintain Warbirds:
    FG-1D “VF17 #17″
    FG-1D “VF17 #29″
    P-51D “Shangri-la”
    P-51D “Hurry Home Honey”
    Hope y’all get maximum satisfaction. Keep yer sanity. You are truly craftsmen.

  9. juan manuel mascarello says:

    Awesome job, congratulations

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