This is the place where the majority of the warbird (aircraft that have survived military service) discussions will take place. Specialized forums may be added in the new future
Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:04 pm
The left engine run found two bad plugs that were replaced. A subsequent run showed a perfect mag check and a smooth running engine. That's the good news. The bad news is the left generator decided to take a vacation so more troubleshooting to do. The dynamic avionics duo figured out the problem with the cylinder head temp indication. Over on the T-33 side, it had two successful runs down the runway to prove out the fuel feed system from the tip tanks. We were about ready to fly when the nose strut and right main strut decided they had had enough for one day. Sppppppsh. It was like having a flat tire on your way to a big party. Bummer! But there is always next week to see what else these old airplanes will try next. We almost think they are adversely allergic to sunlight and fight all efforts to get them out of the hangar.
Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:02 pm
I first met "Special K" about 8 years ago, and have been following the progress, and have donated $ and some tooling, supplies , etc. I was given and had a surplus of said items. I am confused about the glitches with the "rebuilt" engines. Is there any warranty for said work done to engines? Spark plugs I understand, a little short lived, but pistons and jugs ? How many hours since "rebuild" on Mona and Lisa? I know there is no comparison but I had a rebuilt engine put in my truck and it came with a 3 year, 75000 mile warranty, still running after 12 years. Plan to visit relatives in Cowtown someday soon and visit "K".
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:16 pm
Well, yes, we have been frustrated by engine problems. The right engine was overhauled and then seized shortly after installation due to a bearing failure in the counterbalance of the supercharger drive. It made metal so the whole engine was torn down again, cleaned and inspected by the overhaul shop that did the original work. It is one of the few shops that offers a warranty, but we still had to pay shipping each way which amounted to over $3500, plus the three months lost. Wish we could get a warranty like your engine, but the best any shop will do is 100 hours. Some of these 2800's make it to 1000 hours before overhaul. At $67,000 for an overhaul, the engine reserve fund needs to be paid at double the rate per hour because it might only get to 500 hours instead of a 1000. So many things can go wrong. Our left engine is midtime, but has needed four cylinder changes due to excessive oil leakage and bad valve guides. We expect to do three or four more in the next year or so. A cylinder assembly with piston has been running about $2200. The left vacuum pump just failed. It was overhauled two years ago and had about five hours on it. A replacement is $800. We operate on donations so we have to fix things as the funds become available. We are all volunteers who work on Kay as part of our small Non Profit. These are the things that determine how fast we can go. They are also what contributes to the fun. Seeing her fly for the first time made it all worthwhile. Come see us when you can!
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:31 pm
I did wonder the same re the engines, surely the vac pump supplier would exchange a new one give it lasted so little time in service, understand the calendar time issue tho, keep plugging away guys, has been a fascinating read, Pete
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:15 pm
Pete, keep in mind we are dealing with a 72 year old airplane. The youngest parts on it were made probably no later than 1960. There is no such thing as a "new" vacuum pump. There are a few old stock that were never installed perhaps. They are hard to find as are parts for overhaul. Old pumps are cannibalized for parts. Sometime they just don't hold up. That was our case. They don't come with any warranty except maybe workmanship. But we got her running today and the generator has been replaced. Will do an engine run tomorrow as well as fly the T-33. Keep fingers crossed.!
Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:58 pm
And thanks for the tooling, die grinders, gloves and that sports drink mix. Need some more of that!
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:32 pm
After the successful replacement of one generator and a vacuum pump, the team will put the cowlings back on and button up the airplane this weekend. Work continues on paint prep. She will be ready to fly again, if needed, to go to a willing paint shop. The T-33 will fly Sun morning if the airplane and weather decide to cooperate at the same time! Stay tuned, we hope to make some airshows in the Fall.
Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:01 pm
A26 Special K wrote:After the successful replacement of one generator and a vacuum pump, the team will put the cowlings back on and button up the airplane this weekend. Work continues on paint prep. She will be ready to fly again, if needed, to go to a willing paint shop. The T-33 will fly Sun morning if the airplane and weather decide to cooperate at the same time! Stay tuned, we hope to make some airshows in the Fall.
Keep up the good work! Would love to See Special K at Wings Over Houston Oct. 21-22. Would look great as part of the Vietnam War segment!
Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:32 pm
That's the weekend of the VFM hangar dance. Kay is going to do some night time engine runs to delight the dancers!
Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:11 am
The next major step we are trying to work out is getting the paint job done. With or without paint, we will do the flyover of the memorial service at the Air Commando Association Reunion at Hurlburt AFB, FL on Oct 15. We feel this is long overdue. The A-26 veterans, many who flew Kay, will be attending and we want to be there for them. This has been a major goal ever since we started the restoration. We understand how much it means to the vets and families. It will be an honor to show the airplane to them and the public at Fort Walton's Destin airport.
Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:37 am
In WW2, Gen Patton's tanks and troops at one point outran their supply line and had to stop the advance into Germany for lack of fuel. Harvey, the storm, not our friend the rabbit, has caused a similar situation here in the northern half of the Republic of Texas. Now we know what it feels like when the supply lines can't deliver. We also see the prices of everything rocketing skyward. Avgas which shouldn't have been impacted by the refinery closures in south Texas rose about forty cents per gallon overnight and continue rising about as fast as the flood waters around Houston. 120 engine oil made in Houston has become scarce. Will this have any effect on upcoming air shows? I would estimate that airshow directors are busy looking at higher fuel prices and shortages to see what these can do to their budgets and hoping this crisis is over before their show dates. Wouldn't it be awful if somebody had an airshow and nobody came because the performers and ticket holders couldn't get there?? Sure shows our vulnerability. We sure are praying that we have the gas to take Kay to the memorial flyover in Florida in mid October.
Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:09 pm
Please stay as far away from Sherwin Williams Aerospace paint as you can. Just sayin'...
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:38 am
I'm here in the Eglin AFB area. Will the flyover be open to the public? How long will y'all be at Destin Airplane patch?
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:02 am
Plans are not quite in concrete yet. The AF may let us land at Hurlburt instead in which case, we won't go to Destin. Will let everybody know how that turns out. We do plan to stop in Crestview for fuel. As far as getting on base without military ID, please check with the Public Affairs Office at the base. Sometimes they will permit admittance to the Memorial Airpark which is not far from the gate. This would be the only place you could go w/o an escort though. Actually, since the run will probably be N-S it can be seen from the highway that goes south of Hurlburt.
Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:03 pm
Everybody is working hard to get Kay ready for the big trip to Fort Walton. We will take the Beech 18 to haul some of our team with stops planned at Alexandria, Kay's old base, Crestview and Destin on Sat 14 Oct. Return will be on Monday via same route. She will be on display at Destin airport on Sat afternoon and after the flyover on Sun at noon. Weather permitting, we will depart early on Mon morning. The countdown is on! Wish us luck!!
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