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Restoring A P-40

Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:34 am

Thanks to Tom Moungovan for this--

"Schellville Airport (AKA Sonoma Valley Airport) near Sears Point Raceway has a number of rare & unusual flying machines. One of these is a Curtiss P-40N that has been undergoing restoration for 7 years now. All the owner originally had to work with was a bare damaged fuselage & 4 ft. of one wing. He fabricated the rest on his own.
Yesterday afternoon at about 2PM, the aircraft was towed out of its hangar and at 2:20PM, the V-12 Allison engine run for the first time with owner/restorer Chris Prevost in the cockpit. It was near 100 degrees F, but the engine fired right off & was ran for about 5 minutes."
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RE: Restoring A P-40

Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:53 pm

Fabricated the remainder of the partial wing and fabricated the complete wing on the other side? Can you briefly explain how he did that? Where did he find jigs, drawings, proper grade of aluminum or aluminum alloy, etc.? That's one heck of a project; almost like starting with doggone near nothing and finishing with a factory fresh end result. Did he do this by himself or was there a team to help him out? He'd need some real experts there.
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RE: Restoring A P-40

Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:14 pm

That is how it is done these days... The "wrecks" that still exist are all completed using newly manufactured parts from original factory blueprints. These days you could build a completely new airplane from scratch and some of the warbirds flying have more then 80% newbuilt parts.
Theoretically you could start from just a data plate.
But whereas aluminium and steel are available without difficulty, the bottleneck in keeping these birds flying are the engines. A Merlin engine typically has a 300 hr TBO and every bird that goes in scraps a an engine from the list. There are no newbuilt engines.

While the RR Merlins (or packards) that were used in Spitfires, Mustangs, etc... are scarce, the Allisons that were used in the P-40's are a bit easier. Sadly (from an aviation enthousiast point of view) many of them are also used in powerboat racing, dragsters, truck racing, etc....
just draining the supply of parts and engines for these birds to keep flying.

Just my  twocents 
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RE: Restoring A P-40

Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:24 pm

Isn't there a former AVG (Flying Tigers) P-40B that was found in a lake in China a few years ago now undergoing restoration?
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RE: Restoring A P-40

Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:58 pm

Quoting FVTu134 (Reply 2):
There are no newbuilt engines.

I understand that there are quite a number of parts for the merlin that are PMA/STC's by Rouch Industries, including complete cylinder heads. I don't know if they are going to take the next step and start building new plants but it would be a logical step considering their involvment in all forms of racing.

As noted Merlis are very popular in tractor pulling rigs and hydroplane racing.

Quoting FVTu134 (Reply 2):
Theoretically you could start from just a data plate.

No theory to that at all. I think there are several super cubs here that don't have any original Lock Haven parts save the data plate.
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RE: Restoring A P-40

Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:08 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 4):
it would be a logical step considering their involvment in all forms of racing.

And the fact that the owner of the company (Jack Roush) owns a P-51 or two...

Those parts would sure come in handy when he needs them for his own birds!!!
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