May found Lope’s Hope 3rd getting more fuselage frames fabricated and installed. Randy and Ryan were fitting more skin sections. It is a long process to make a replacement skin section. If an older but unserviceable section is available, it can be used as a pattern to layout the new section and a template for rivet hole placement. The new piece of Alclad has to be cut to size. Then comes a whole lot of careful drilling, test fitting, more fitting and more drilling until a perfectly fitting skin panel has been produced. Once it has been finished and fits well, the skin is attached to the frame with cleco fasteners until final riveting takes place later on.
One thing that really changed the look of the project was when the windshield frame was mounted to check its fit. Somehow having that on provides a focal point that just makes it seem more like a Mustang!
Control cable and pulleys in the tail section are getting installed and the left side cockpit pedestal for trim wheels , gear lever, carb air controls, etc is being reworked.
One other milestone was checked off as the newly rebuilt Packard Merlin V-1650 arrived all shiny in its new black paint.
Two new employees had their first chance to work on a Mustang this month. Aaron Prince joined us all the way from Pennsylvania. He began work in May. Simon Meyer is from Sauk Centre, Minnesota, quite a bit closer. he started June first. They’ll be working on the Stearman as well.