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


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:52 pm 
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hey everone,

thought I would stop by and give an update of whats been going on the past few weeks.

Due to the cold the work has slowed but most definitely NOT stopped (below zero in an unheated barn is no fun) and even yesterday it was below freezing but us hardy folk continue on. Chris and Mike have been riveting like crazy and we're riveted up solid pretty much from bulkhead 1 all the way back to bulkhead 8. Though with each different repair sometimes the riventing is done twice if we have to remove somethign to fix behind it. The Turtledeck is fully riveted up and from 8-11 riveting continues with the hundreds of little tabs and assemblies and pullies and such. Also work was moving along nicely in the tailwheel area (between 7-8) with Mike and one of our new volunteers working on the tailwheel motor mount. (It seems to take about 100 rivets to hold that trapazoidal box togeather. I started work on a bracket that holds the resin block that the control wires go through as the orignal is corodded.

Ill post some photos either tonight or tomorrow.

James (aka kidjim25)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:22 pm 
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This winter has been a real bear!
I've been looking forward to an update on "the Rat". Great to hear that the momentum doesn't stop! :supz:

Andy


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:37 am 
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Wonderful news, thanks for faithfully posting here on WIX. I can't imagine working in the unheated barn in the weather the Midwest has been having in the past month or so. Super human dedication by the crew but its got to be very challenging at times.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:23 am 
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Image

moulds for the plexiglass windows we need for the nose glass

Image

old bracket and new bracket in progress

sorry for only a couple photos. the rest were taken on my cell phone and I still need to get them transferred.

More soon!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:30 am 
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I have a question regarding large projects like this, the Brooks -17's and Doc:
Is there an FAA inspector or DER assigned to projects like this? when it comes time for the final airworthiness inspection is there a individual or team that has officially been following the work and can sign off on airworthiness?
I guess an IA can call the airplane airworthy before the inspection but that seems like a big gamble. One of the things that I have noticed is that the ranks of competent examiners with real world mx experience is getting thin. I would hate to see any of these projects grounded by an examiner that decides that it is easier to say NO than get involved because they are not familiar with the project and aren't comfortable with it.....
-Robert

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:30 pm 
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So true.I'm pretty sure they are aware of this "tiny" issue.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:31 am 
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finally got out to the plane today to see how things had been progressing in my work related absence, and they have been progressing great even with the horrid weather we've been having all winter. The final fuselage skin panel that needed to be remade was added to the plane today so that was a major milestone. also the front nose glass is progressing nicely and the major components of bulkheads 7-10 are nearly fully riveted in (some parts still need to be attached and or fabricated, mostly brackets, tabs and connections.) Over all though she's coming along nicely!

here of course are some photos.

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interior shot of the last skin piece along with all the work that has been completed on bulkhead 10

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rivets rivets and more rivets

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tail wheel compartment

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riveting the skin to bulkhead 10. this shot give you an idea of how they could change tail gun compartments fairly quickly since it's technically completely separate from the rest of the aircraft

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final skin piece before being clecoed into the fuselage

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not to many clecos left back here (quite a change from a few months ago)

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moulds for the nose glass to be fabricated in the vac form machine

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drawings being made to fabricate new captain's side access panels

enjoy!

James


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:52 am 
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Thanks for the update James. This is such an amazing project. Hats off to all involved :drink3:

That shot of the last panel reminds me of the photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, with Neil Armstrong reflected in his visor.

"That's one small step for B-17, one giant leap for Rat-kind" :lol: :lol: :supz:

Andy Scott


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:37 am 
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DH82EH wrote:
Thanks for the update James. This is such an amazing project. Hats off to all involved :drink3:

That shot of the last panel reminds me of the photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, with Neil Armstrong reflected in his visor.

"That's one small step for B-17, one giant leap for Rat-kind" :lol: :lol: :supz:

Andy Scott

:supz: :supz: :supz: :supz: :supz: :supz: :supz: :supz: :supz: :supz:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:25 pm 
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haha that's my reflection in the panel and chris holding it. Chris has done many of the panels and is one of our master metal workers among all the other hats that he wears. Ill let him know that we're the buzz and neil of the desert rat. =)

James


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:13 am 
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Lucas Ryan has posted recent photos of the restoration on his Facebook page, using his atmospheric photo techniques to wonderful effect, here
https://www.facebook.com/12595DesertRat ... 374&type=1

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:02 am 
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Have you seen the new thread .....USAAF Dump finds..... it could be something you might be interested in. Looks like B-17 parts, may be something you need in the mess,

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:24 am 
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hi everyone!

sorry for the long time span between posts. Lots and lots of work has been continuing on "The Rat/Tangerine" here are some photos from a couple weeks ago. I have talked to Mike and what you see here is even outdated. I know some of the photos may seem like repeats from earlier posts but you can see progression if you count the number of cleco's that are missing in the newer photos. It's a good way to count progress as we fill up coffee can after coffee can with the fasteners. We have also started a couple of new sub assembly projects that have been going very well. Both the left and right wingtips have been disassembled for repair and replacement. They were both in pretty good shape, though the connection points will need rebuilding.

Enjoy!

James

wing tip under repair
Image

writing from the war found in the wingtip
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data plate
Image

rudder and elevator pully system riveted in place on bulkhead 11
Image

elevator pully brace and stiffener between bulkhead 10 and 11 (gives you an idea on just how many rivets are from bulkhead 8 to the back of the plane)
Image

mike and chris riveting the skins
Image

finished product
Image

Image
wing tip re assembly begins


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:37 pm 
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Thanks for posting the pics James! Its always appreciated on WIX seeing what's happening at the Desert Rat.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:20 pm 
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YAY! I've been hankerin' for a Rat fix!
I didn't doubt that progress was happening, but seeing it in pictures is great.
Way to go team.

Andy


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