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A26 progrress

972 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  DZAUTO
The past few weeks we've finally got enough finished up to make it worth while to post some pictures. Also, last week we got some good news about our wheels and tires---------------sorta. The place that has our main wheels (third place we've sent them to) has finally reported back to us that all 4 halves of the two main wheels have passed inspection and should be shipped back to us within the next 2-3wks. This is good because it will allow us to get the plane off of the jacks and mobile on its own wheels so that we can move it around as necessary! Up until now, it's been stuck in the middle of the hanger floor and we would like to re-position it in the hanger to permit us to better use the hanger floor space.
A few weeks ago we discovered that what was expected to be a minor structural repair in the nose wheel well turned out to require considerably more work than expected (so what's new!!!!). As a result, we had to completely remove the nose gear and remove the entire right panel inside the nose wheel well. While we were fitting the right nose wheel door to it's 3 hinges, the rear hinge wouldn't line up to permit inserting the hinge pin because the structure was bent up worse than we realized.
Now we'll have to start all over again to re-install the nose gear assembly.

This is the area where we removed the panel and discovered some damaged structure and a rib that was badly bent/damaged (the damaged rib is removed in this picture, it goes where the rear hinge is).

Here's the damaged/bent up rib.

Here's the removed panel on the workbench after it was removed. In order to get out the damaged section of the panel and damaged rib, the panel had to be cut at one end which would require making a splice upon reinstallation.

Here's the panel and the rib after straightening them and fabricating what's called a doubler for each side of the rib (the damaged rib was sandwiched between two pieces of new fabricated metal).

This is the rear hinge with the pin inserted after finally getting the structure straightened out. This is also where the damaged rib was.
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This is the repaired rib being reinstalled.

This is the lower end of the repaired rib where the rear hinge goes for the right side nose gear door.

Once the rib was repaired and installed, the lower, rear corner of the skin had to be repaired and a patch fabricated.
The smaller boomarang looking piece is the patch I fabricated for the outside of the skin and the larger piece is is the structure that goes inside the door opening.

This is the inside part.

And this is the patch installed on the outside of the skin.

This is the panel being installed inside the wheel well.

This is were the rear end of the panel was cut and the splice that we fabricated to go over the cut.

And the panel about 98% finished installed as of about 7pm last night.

This repair itself was not extremely difficult, but it was VERY, VERY time consuming. Probalby about 300+ rivets had to be drilled out and then they all had to be shot back in. We don't have the luxury of the assembly line equipment that was used when these planes were built new. It takes two people working in harmony drilling, shooting and bucking rivets. Once a panel like this is installed, MANY of the rivets are very difficult to access on the back side of the rivets so that they can be bucked.
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While we were working on the repair to the nose gear area, a couple of the other guys have been steadily progressing on the right wing getting the oil cooler area ready to reinstall the oil cooler as well as rigging control cables and hydralulc and fuel lines.

This is the oil cooler area on the LEFT wing, before any work has been done.

This is the oil cooler area on the right wing. It's almost ready for the oil cooler to be installed.

This is the door at the rear of the oil cooler duct which opens/closes to regulate the flow of air through the oil cooler.

This is looking down through an opening on top of the wing. The shaft is where the motor is installed that opens/closed the oil cooler door.

That rectangular seal is where outside air is directed into the top of the carburetor, virtually identical to the rubber seal around the top of an air cleaner to a Cowl Induction hood. Amazing how some things are so similar!

And this is the duct that directs air into the carb intake. It even has a flapper door similar to the flapper door on a CI hood.

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This is some of the cable rigging and plumbing that runs through the leading edge of the wing between the fuselage and the engine, as well as outboard of the engine.

This is the upper half of the leading edge of the wing now installed. The leading edge of the wings on these planes is VERY thick and heavy to withstand battle damage that might be caused by bullets, flack, shrapnel, etc.
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pretty cool, always enjoy updated photos-do you have a comp. date your shooting for, first flight
About 2yrs ago, we thought we were looking at about 2 more years. Well, with the bad crash of the economy, and other problems that just continually seem to occur (repair to the nose wheel area above is a perfect example), that 2yrs has obviously come and gone. But now, we really think we're about 2yrs away from our first test flight. Our fingers are crossed and we just keep busting our butts. :thumbsup:
Yes on the heat and oil coolers and the the carb. The carb settings were ONLY manual.
I'm not aware of any wing leading edge deicing system. Only prop blades got that.
Some A26s were later modified, for both military and executive use. Some of those MAY have received wing deicing mods. Ours never had any deicing systems.
When ours returned from Nam, and was sold by the AF as surplus, it was converted to an executive interior, ALLLLLLLLLLLLL military armament had been removed and the bomb doors were permanently closed and sealed. The hinges for the bomb doors were left in place, soooooooooooo, yes, they COULD be unsealed and opened, BUT all the brackets, actuators, hydraulics and electrics have been removed and are long gone. And before you ask (because you ask those kinds of questions), NO, there are not any junk A26s available to salvage those parts from to be installed on ours. Also, if we could locate some gun turrets, YES, we would have already tried to buy them. We have one dummy turret for the top which we may install. We do have a 5 gun nose that we traded our nose that came with the plane. But there were NO gun/ammo parts that came with the nose. The gun ports have been closed with patches which we have already removed and plan to locate some dummy gun barrels to install in those ports. YES, we know that replica .050 machine guns are available. And NO (because you ask those kinds of questions), we can't afford to buy 5 replica .50cal machine guns. They are expensive!!!!
At this time, we have one PRIMARY goal. And that is to get the plane painted in WWII colors and get it air worthy so that we can make some air shows in 2-3yrs. Anything beyond that will be 100% dependant on funds. At todays avgas prices, just to fill up all 4 tanks will cost about $4000. And then there are 2 30gal oil tanks to fill, and nitrogen to air up the tires, and on, and on, and on, and on. So think about the questions you ask first.
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