1-218-444-4478 PO BOX 847, BEMIDJI, MN 56619
1-218-444-4478 PO BOX 847, BEMIDJI, MN 56619

November CAF Red Tail Update

by Chuck Cravens

The Red Tail runs after 10 months of repairs

The Red Tail runs after 10 months of repairs

Update

As November comes to a close, more and more signs point to a return of the Red Tail to the skies and its educational mission. Last month we saw wing mounting, landing gear work, air induction system, and cockpit progress.  The wing and gear work was finished this month and a very important milestone occurred when the prop was mounted.

“The machined aluminum part visible near the center of the image is a Hinz Filter. Named after Don Hinz, who tragically lost his life in the Red Tail P-51C in 2004, the filter is a bypass oil filter that detects if the Merlin is starting to “make metal”. The bypass oil filter’s sensors will alert the pilot to an engine problem.”

“The machined aluminum part visible near the center of the image is a Hinz Filter. Named after Don Hinz, who tragically lost his life in the Red Tail P-51C in 2004, the filter is a bypass oil filter that detects if the Merlin is starting to “make metal”. The bypass oil filter’s sensors will alert the pilot to an engine problem.”

The left side inner landing gear door shows up well here.

The left side inner landing gear door shows up well here.

This image is a tighter view of the same inner gear door.

This image is a tighter view of the same inner gear door.

The supporting jacks hold the Red Tail’s main gear tires just a few inches off the floor. This will help make swinging the gear possible when the time comes.

The supporting jacks hold the Red Tail’s main gear tires just a few inches off the floor. This will help make swinging the gear possible when the time comes.

This closer view from the left side lets us see the flap clearly.

This closer view from the left side lets us see the flap clearly.

Paint and Protective Coatings

The last few parts that needed paint have been sprayed and dried, ready for installation.

Cockpit

The Red Tail is a P-51C-10NT and would have had a fuselage tank installed. The tank was a new feature of the dash 10s and installed on the production line. Tanks were also retrofitted to some earlier models.
The added back seat is placed where the fuselage tank and radio racks would have been during the military service of this Mustang

Mounting the Propellor

When a repair or restoration gets to the point of mounting the prop, the engine test can’t be far behind.

A front view of the propellor and spinner shows how large the prop is compared to the wing span.

A front view of the propellor and spinner shows how large the prop is compared to the wing span.

The original Hamilton Standard prop was 11’ 2”.  It is 30 percent, or almost one-third, of the 37 foot wingspan.

As those who have been following the progress of the restoration know, the engine test was successfully completed on November 16th. A very brief video of the first post-repair start is posted on the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s Facebook page. The address is : https://www.facebook.com/cafredtailsquadron/

The AirCorps Aviation Facebook page has it as well: https://www.facebook.com/aircorpsaviation

If you haven’t checked them out, I know you will enjoy them.

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