A26 Progress - Chevelle Tech
Bench Racing Stories, cruising and more.

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 19, 9:49 PM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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A26 Progress

This morning I finished installing the seat track rails. Now that they are permanently bolted to the floor, the 5 remaining seats can be installed. I installed the side-by-side rear seats several months ago. We finally got the additional parts needed to install the 5 single seats. The bottom of the seat legs have lugs that fit into the track rails and once they are positioned as desired, they are locked in place. They can be moved into any position desired which makes it nice. All that is left to do is adjust the lugs to the desired position, install the seat bottoms and arm rests and we will have seating for 7 in the rear that used to be the bombay.
Of the 7 seats, 3 will face forward and 4 will face the rear. Only two seats will not have a window vies---------------those will be the cheap seats.



We are still doing some tweaking and fine tuning on things. This afternoon, we took the plane outside again and started the engines. We've finally narrowed down the cause of the right engine not coming up to power like the left engine. We determined the propeller pitch adjustment need a little more tweaking. After running up the engines to power, then shutting them down. we made a quick to the right pitch adjustment, fired up the engines again and now both right and left rpm and manifold pressures are the same. SOOOOOOOOOOO, we think the engines are good to go.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 19, 1:01 AM
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Re: A26 Progress

Oh so close! When is projected wheels up date?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 19, 6:49 AM
Boldly procrastrinating
Tom Terrific II
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Thinking about driving to OK.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 19, 3:42 PM
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Re: A26 Progress

Great work Tom, but don't show your seating arrangement to anyone in the airlines. Terry
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 19, 6:01 PM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnugene View Post
Oh so close! When is projected wheels up date?

2yrs ago!!!!
EVERY time we work on the plane---------------WITHOUT EXCEPTION---------------it's always 2 steps forward, one step back!
It's been 30yrs since this plane has flown. When the previous group had it, it was discovered to have a broken (BROKEN, not cracked) wing spar. The previous group had no way to repair or replace the spar, so they basically abandoned it on a field in Ark. When we disassembled it and brought it to Okla City, we determined it could be fixed. So the plan was to fix the broken wing and go fly. WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just as things go with a Chevelle, one thing led to another and it developed into a TOTAL (air)frame off restoration.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE THE THINGS WE HAVE DISCOVERED AND HAD TO FIX, before we were able to fix what we originally were going to fix to begin with!!!!!!!!!!!
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Last edited by DZAUTO; Dec 8th, 19 at 6:21 PM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 19, 6:22 PM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mobley View Post
Thinking about driving to OK.

I'll leave the light on for you, and we have a spare bedroom if you want to spend the night.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 19, 6:29 PM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68-13427 View Post
Great work Tom, but don't show your seating arrangement to anyone in the airlines. Terry

The seat track rails and seats are from commercial planes, so we should be good to go. I've bolted them to the floor structure just as the would have been in commercial planes, PLUS, when our A26 was converted to an executive interior, it used the same system of seat installation. Thus, we do have an STC for the seating. That's our story-------------------and we're sticking to it.

Tom Parsons
TC# 474
#3 FOREVER!!!!!
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear to be bright until you hear them speak. (unknown)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 19, 6:44 PM
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Ron
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Wow! What luxury! Same space and seating arrangement as Delta! /s
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 19, 8:09 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZAUTO View Post
2yrs ago!!!!
EVERY time we work on the plane---------------WITHOUT EXCEPTION---------------it's always 2 steps forward, one step back!
It's been 30yrs since this plane has flown. When the previous group had it, it was discovered to have a broken (BROKEN, not cracked) wing spar. The previous group had no way to repair or replace the spar, so they basically abandoned it on a field in Ark. When we disassembled it and brought it to Okla City, we determined it could be fixed. So the plan was to fix the broken wing and go fly. WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just as things go with a Chevelle, one thing led to another and it developed into a TOTAL (air)frame off restoration.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE THE THINGS WE HAVE DISCOVERED AND HAD TO FIX, before we were able to fix what we originally were going to fix to begin with!!!!!!!!!!!
Wing spar; that's got to be a real challenge. Repaired or replaced? How you got the FAA to buy off would be a very interesting story by itself, that I'd be interested in hearing.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 19, 11:06 PM
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Re: A26 Progress

They had one made, I'll give Tom the floor and he can explain about the FAA!

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 19, 2:56 AM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ'65 View Post
Wing spar; that's got to be a real challenge. Repaired or replaced? How you got the FAA to buy off would be a very interesting story by itself, that I'd be interested in hearing.

For an aircraft mechanic or technician to have his/her work approved, they have to have an A and P certificate (air frame and power plant). This is obtained by schooling and testing.
Once the work is accomplished, it has to be approved by the FAA. Approval is done by an IA (inspection authority) person. A person who is an IA is a legal extension of the FAA. When an IA signs off on a repair, modification or replacement, then his butt is on the line for the approval. Several members of our group have an A&P certification, and our main pilot is an IA. So, we're covered for all of the work we do on the plane. Sometimes our IA person takes a close look at what we do and says OK, sometimes he makes suggestions as to what may be a better way to accomplish something.

In our group, we have aircraft electricians, hydraulic guys, airframe guys (me for one, I used to do airframe, sheetmetal, structural repairs on B52s at Tinker AFB, plus, I was the 747 airframe technician for 12yrs on the E4B). EVERYONE in the group has some kind of former (and some still working for the USAF) military aircraft background.



Now, for the broken wing spar.
A wing spar is the major structural member in the wing, like the back bone.
The wings of an A26 have a forward and rear spar with 4 BIG lugs where the wings plug into the fuselage. At sometime when the former group in Ark had the plane they managed to BREAK, NOT crack, but BREAK the rear, lower spar on the right wing. The plane was permanently grounded because they had no way to repair or replace the spar----------------and FAA WOULD NOT grand a Ferry Flight permit to fly it to a repair facility (assessed as unsafe to fly again).
So, it sat for 7yrs. Our group went over to Ark, disassembled it and trucked it to Okla City for repair-----------------and a TOTAL (air)frame off restoration has resulted.


This has already been to long, so, I'll try to make the rest short.
Several years ago, Douglass (they made the A26) and Boeing merged into the Boeing Airplane Co. As luck would have it, some Boeing engineers learned about our broken spar. LITERALLY, several months later, a 30ft long wooden crate arrived at the hanger (from Boeing) with FOUR, that's correct, FOUR wing spar caps inside the crate--------------DONATED-----including shippiing-----------by Boeing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The right wing was virtually disassembled (thousands of rivets and nuts and bolts) and the broken spar removed. Holes in the new spar had to be ABSOLUTELY, PERFECTLY, 100% matched to the holes in the old spar-------------IT WAS ULTRA TIME CONSUMING for a group of guys that had never undertaken that kind of task!!!! But we got it done!


Below are pictures of the lug that was broken off of the spar cap. This is the part (4 per wing) that plugs each wing into the side of the fuselage. Once the wing is installed into the structure of the fuselage, big pins are inserted through holes in the structure and the holes in the lugs, then bolted in place.
The next picture shows the new spar cap installed in the right wing with the broken lug below it. Each spar cap is about 30ft long. The 4 spar caps that Boeing made and donated to us were machined from ONE, repeat, ONE solid alum billet! Think about that, one solid chunk of solid alum about 3ft x 3ft x 30-35ft long!
The next picture is right after we installed the wings.
The videos are installing the right wing into the fuselage-------------EXTREMELY tedious task! But as can be seen today, we got it done.

This is what I do, all day long, EVERY Saturday. In 1yr, I MAY miss 4 Saturdays. So far this year, I have missed 3 Saturdays. I usually open the hanger 6:30-7:00, turn on the lights, get fans going in the summer, make coffee, and work on the plane until 5-7pm, shut down the hanger and go home and crash. For this 76yr old man (for 4 more days) that's a hard days work------------and by the end of the day it only seems like 10min. Beats bustin' knuckles on a Chevelle!






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Tom Parsons
TC# 474
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Last edited by DZAUTO; Dec 9th, 19 at 3:18 AM.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 19, 5:27 AM
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Brian
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Looks really nice, Tom! Much more comfortable than OEM seats I'm sure.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 19, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Here are 4 right side views for comparison:
In Ark over 30yrs ago when it was still flying (before the broken wing spar)


About 15-16yrs ago in Okla City after complete disassembly


Today, almost, but not quite ready to fly again


Our final painted version (photoshopped), ready for air shows.
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Tom Parsons
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 19, 10:30 PM
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Terry
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZAUTO View Post
The seat track rails and seats are from commercial planes, so we should be good to go. I've bolted them to the floor structure just as the would have been in commercial planes, PLUS, when our A26 was converted to an executive interior, it used the same system of seat installation. Thus, we do have an STC for the seating. That's our story-------------------and we're sticking to it.
I meant, don't give the airlines any ideas on how to shrink seat area. Looks great Tom. Terry
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 19, 1:03 PM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Re: A26 Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68-13427 View Post
I meant, don't give the airlines any ideas on how to shrink seat area. Looks great Tom. Terry

Right, I understood your message. We were VERY FORTUNATE to have these seats and seat track rails donated. The good part is that they are actually from a commercial plane that has sometime in the passed been blessed by the FAA. Also, those 4 rows of bolt holes were already in our A26 when it was previously modified from a military interior to an FAA approved executive interior. We literally just got lucky on acquiring the seats---------------AND WE DID NOT EVEN HAVE TO PAY FOR SHIPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Here is what the floor looked like before I drilled and countersunk the holes in the rails and installed them. Perfect fit!
And the double seat that I installed in the very back several months ago. It was also donated by the same source.
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Tom Parsons
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#3 FOREVER!!!!!
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear to be bright until you hear them speak. (unknown)
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