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Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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 Post subject: PV-2 Harpoon
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:34 am 
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Hi all, I have bought PV-2 N7458C , 37234, one of the Hirth Harpoons. I am in the process of dismantling this A/C to move it from it's present location. I would love to hear from all that have experience working on this type A/C. Any advise or tips on airplane is welcome,....already have all the answers on my sanity from wife. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:39 am 
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First off, kudos to you for stepping up and taking responsibility for the plane. Why the small handfull of Harpoons have continued to languish away for as long as they have is still a mystery to me. I always told myself I'd give the guys a pat on the back who stepped up and finally made a move toward preserving them. 8)

Tim Savage (editor of Warbird Digest) probably has the most ambitious Harpoon project in the United States. He'd be the man to talk to for starters IMO. John Lane is heading up the restoration of that plane, so I'm sure John could no doubt also be of immense help. The Wisconsin Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is still working to complete the restoration of their plane, and the American Military Heritage Foundation, New Palestine, Indiana has a flying example. Possibly the Lone Star Flight Museum still has theirs?

You can check out the WIX registry for the type at:

http://www.warbirdregistry.org/pv2harpoonregistry/pv2harpoonregistry.html

That should direct you toward the majority of the surviving airframes around the US. Best of luck and congratulations!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:49 am 
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Rob Mears wrote:
First off, kudos to you for stepping up and taking responsibility for the plane. Why the small handfull of Harpoons have continued to languish away for as long as they have is still a mystery to me. I always told myself I'd give the guys a pat on the back who stepped up and finally made a move toward preserving them. 8)


What he said. :D

Congratulations on your aquisition of the airplane and good luck with it.

Gary


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:39 am 
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good job! keep us informed of the progress.

where are you taking her?

here are some photos of your new acquisition and her sisterships taken last year


Last edited by skippyscage on Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:56 am 
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Those are great pictures! Sad to see the airplanes sitting in that kind of shape though...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:24 am 
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Ambitious project, Gary!

If you're not a drinker now, you WILL be by the time you finish this project! :lol:

Maybe I can help, or at least offer moral support. Oddly enough we just removed the wings from our PV-2 (N7257C - ex Ralph Johnson or RALCO sprayer) here in Arizona last Friday so it can be readied for truck transport. This was the result of many months of on-and-off again work.

There's a lot of work to be done to remove the wings - one has to remove all of the leading edges, wing tips, the flaps, aeilerons, all of the associated cables and wiring from the wing sections to the main electrical box on the engine mount (unless you cut them... but resist the temptation to do so). It's a major effort; the cable runs are in particular difficult to get to. The one has to remove all of the oil and fuel lines between each wing to the center section, and this is a challenge, too, that takes a horrendous amount of time.

Buy yourself several 3/8" and 7/16" wrenches and sockets. You'll loose many of them inside the wings - the 'Poon EATS them but rarely does she poop them out. And Band Aids. You'll need a several for the safety wire and sheet metal cuts and bloodied knuckles from this process.

If your bird was configured for spray systems like ours (she was an ant killer in her most recent roll) then you've gotta get all of that stuff out of the wings, too.

Now that this is addressed, let's get to the meat of the issue - and that's the wing pins. Lockheed used two different type of close-tollerance wing pins on the upper and lower wing section. In all, there are four wing pins that connect the spars between wing section and center section (that and what seems to be a million 5/8" bolts on the upper and lower wing surfaces, along with about 20 "hidden" smaller 7/16" bolts...).

Fortunately these pins are straight and not tapered (like those on the B-17). They must be pulled out of the wings, and for us this was a MAJOR challenge. We had to make some special tooling in order to do the job as there's no easy way to grab the pin shoulders without the possibility of damaging or distoring the pins. When you get to that point I can send you tooling or drawings for the pullers. We made some undersized "safety pins" for the beast, too, once the "mothers" were removed.

We lucked out in that our beast was an Arizona bird for most of its life. I cannot imagine what the pin removal would have been like if this airplane had been around a coastal or wet environment for a number of years.

Lower wing pins came out deceptively easily.... probably because they were well lubed for 60 years with all of the oil and 5606 and fuel that leaks from the systems in this area. Upper ones were the "(insert your own nasty word here)" and took the most time. In the end we used both the special puller on the top pins as well as an undersized drift from the bottom of the wing running all the way to the top to work them out.

According to the manual the outer wing panels weigh 850 pounds each. There's a lifting point in the wing spar roughly just above where the retractable landing light is located. You will need a forklift for this and at least 4 guys to ease the wing off. The balance point may or may not be correct depending on whether or not your outer wing tanks were removed.

Once the wings are removed you'll have to work on the tail plane and take that all apart (we did it the other way first). But that stuff comes apart fairly easily. Ditto prop removal. Now you're at 19' width from e-mount to e-mount and about 12' 6" height. And really, really long. Wide load permit time, but it's better than it was.

The old sprayers down here used to pull the wings and tail and props and drag the plane home with the tailwheel sitting in the back of the pick-up truck bed. If I tried that today no bail bondsman would come to my rescue after ADOT ate me and locked me down in Sheriff Jokes tent city prison.

I guess I need to learn how to post pictures here so ya'll can see what kind of fun we're having down here in PHX on a similar challenge. Our ship was too rough to fly out and this was the only option of airport hopping we had available. All we have to do now is remove that darn "egg" (spray hopper) in the fuselage and she's ready for transport. And oh, yeah, we need to water the money tree, too. Our quote for transport across the Valley here was pushing four grand.... but heck, it's only money.

Glad we've found a kindred soul. Rock on, brother - you can do it. There's success in numbers, right? Long live the ugly 'Poons..... darn awkward looking on the ground but quite striking in the air. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:38 am 
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here are some of your bird that I took in Feb this year (4th slideshow)

http://www.skippyscage.com/aviation/az/chandler0702/index.php

I like like these overlooked aircraft too! Long live the Poons!


Last edited by skippyscage on Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:12 pm 
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Rob Mears wrote:
The Wisconsin Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is still working to complete the restoration of their plane,


I'm not sure I'm ready to condone or condemn your decision to purchase a PV-2, but I hail your enthusiasm to expend blood, sweat, tears, and cash in the name of historic aviation.

Rob's statement concerning the CAF-Wisconsin Wing is no longer accurate. The wing is no longer actively working to complete the restoration.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:36 pm 
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Dan K wrote:
Rob's statement concerning the CAF-Wisconsin Wing is no longer accurate. The wing is no longer actively working to complete the restoration.


That airplane has been sold.

Gary


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:05 pm 
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Hi, thanks for the encouragment, It's needed! Moving a/c to Lone Jack, Mo. Pooner , thanks for heads-up..will be picking you brain in future!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:20 pm 
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I drive truck for a living, and need to get new lap-top, so, will a little time between my responses. You can call my cell 816-565-0575. My bird is in the worst shape of the 4 at Buffalo. No engines, cowls, rudders, bomb-bay doors, turret (wish) and other small parts. One of the Harpoons are to be flown out sometime this spring, (from what I've heard) Other two are owned by someone in Louisianna. Bought mine from J.W. Duff, of Denver....He made me do it....was going to sell 58C to some guy in Calif...Dude was going to cut wings off and turn her into a hot dog stand, or just scrap her out. Anyway, I figure I will do my part for "Homeland Security" and have a personal back-yard bomber.....And as for my neighbor here at Harpoon Acres????? Wait till I find me a surplus missle launcher! That'll fix 'em! Thanks all!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:59 pm 
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You've got a good ship there, Gary. I was all through her back during the auction some 20 months ago and was amazed at how intact she is. Connie (Hirth) had told me she was a very complete airplane at one time but they'd pulled the engines and other pieces off of her for the restoration of the 'Poon they were doing for the Navy several years back.

I may have bought some of the cowlings and sheet metal off of your bird that ended up in the auction piles. I can help you out with these items when you need them down the road, I would imagine. I looked with great envy at the chromate green painted plywood backing sheets behind the pilot and co-pilot seats. I'm probably the only guy in the world who gets turned on for original armor plate being put back into warbirds (yeah, we've got a set), and your ship still retains those middle layer plywood panels that acted as a vibration dampener between the armor slabs and the seats.

I wondered what became of this one. I bid against Duff for this airplane (he was bidding it up on the telephone) until Carl Scholl knocked some sense in to me and reminded me I had my hands full with this airplane in PHX - let alone one 2,000 miles away that the airport authority wanted removed in 30 days (like this had ever stopped me before?!).

I'd heard rumors that Duff had sold it to a local guy there in Buffalo who planned to drag it down the road to his property. You're a little closer to her than I am, but you've still got a few miles to get her from "A" to "B." So much for the rumors. Glad you saved her from a fate worse than death - the hot dog cart from heck. Ours was destined for the scrap pile after the engines were salvaged, but we were able to strike a deal with the more than patient and understanding owner. Our well-worn joke around here is "We bought two R-2800-31s, and they threw in a bomber airplane to move them around on for free!"

By the time the Hirths ended up with these tankers (most of them ex-RALCO) all of the mil stuff like the turrets and internal goodies had been removed. A few of them still retained the bomb doors, but several had these large "flying boat" type hulls fitted to them for spray work. All of the neat old mil stuff had been removed back in the late 1950s and early '60s as they were configured to "working girls." Lots of that stuff ended up in trash piles around Litchfield Park, Phoenix Sky Harbor airport and down in Douglas, Arizona.

Hate to say it, but the old Martin top turrets are far more plentiful than the bomb doors. But like any restoration, sometimes chasing the stuff down is half of the fun. And like Gary Austin will tell you, "if you can't find it, make it." (Isn't that part of your mantra, Gary?)

I'll be in touch and will be happy to help you through any rough spots. I'm far from "expert" on the 'Poon, but by sheer default I'm probably the most "current old fool" in the country when it comes to removing wings! The bruises and cuts from a week ago are just about healed...:lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:36 pm 
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Hate to say it, but the old Martin top turrets are far more plentiful than the bomb doors


Yeah, tell me about it. Someone tried to steal ours. The dragged them out to the edge of our property near the road, probably to try and come by with something bigger to take them home with later but they never came back. We thought they were gone until one day we were driving around the perimeter of the property and saw them laying in the weeds.

Ryan


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 Post subject: WI harpoon sold?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:43 pm 
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So the WI wing sold their project? Wow... I had heard that it may
be going but had not heard the sale.

Any idea on who bought it and where it may go? Back to another
CAF base? Is the wing disbanding?

I fly out of the hangar next door to them and have been in there
many a time and helped sponsor her. Sorry to see her go.

If anyone has the real story I'd really like to understand. Even if
its P.M. vs. out here on the open. I'm not mad nor bitter, just would
like to know whats going on.

thanks,

henning

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:58 pm 
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Pooner wrote:
And like Gary Austin will tell you, "if you can't find it, make it." (Isn't that part of your mantra, Gary?)


Well, that's sort of what I often say. :P It's more like, "If it's not original, trick people into thinking it is." And I got that from a very wise man I used to work for once upon a time. :wink:

henning...Regarding the sale of the CAF Harpoon, I don't know the exact details, but I know there are folks here on WIX that do. I'll leave it up to them if they'd like to expand on the current status of it.

Gary


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