Thank you for your kind words and support.
The project display has served to cover the WW-II theme of the current museum floor well. The tail section had quite of a life story from the crash to when the project was reset. I did not believe we could have rebuilt the waist gun area and forward without completely removing the upper PB4Y-2 Longeron on each side, since the fire warped the sections out of fuselage contour line. The fire and salvage operation damaged the formers around the teardrop turrets and in front. Everything above the main lower Longeron sections and in front of Station 7.3 was unusable for the first project team. Stringers of the fuselage bottom near Station 6.2 were crushed a foot in from the salvaged end of the tail fuselage. We could have rebuilt the roofline and waist gun areas, but it was agreed to join the sections was the best option to save either from the obvious.
The team is currently only able to work one day per week, but we are very excited to work when we can. Just last week, the crews have completed the vertical stringer splices for the bomb bay side panels. Before we can skin the sides, we must complete the installation of the track sections on the Station 6.0 bulkhead. After the track is positioned, the web reinforcements can then be cut and installed.
Moving forward, the bomb bay skinning could start before the end of the year. At the Longeron area, the bay doors close flush with a set of fairings mounted to the Longeron’s on each side. The fairings terminate the lower structure of the side panels, and were completed in November. I would like to try and investigate the microfilm drawings for the attaching brackets with the Inventor CAD model in progress. Once the fairings are installed, the project will have finished the currently planned major structural repair work.
The next update will cover design and fabrication of B-24 specific metal items. I wanted to share lessons learned and thoughts of aircraft stampings, as I had very little working knowledge to start.