Texas Flying Legends Museum’s Lope’s Hope 3rd Update November and early December 2015

November and early December was a time to finalize fabrication and assembly of some of the fuselage of this Texas Flying Legends Museum’s P-51C project  in preparation for interior painting.

Machined form for top rearfuselage skin. It is seven and a half feet long!

The cockpit interior is being finished to the point where it can be disassembled for painting. That involves test fitting equipment like the radio control boxes and making and fitting the windscreen and side windows .windows

Equipment is out.  This is the bomb release pulley bracket ( 102-63094 bracket, rack control, fuse.) station 85 1/4 upper pulley.

Robb fine tuning the shape of the “D” window.

TFLM’s Lope’s Hope 3rd’s  cockpit area with all controls removed for painting.

Robb checks the fit in the fuselage opening.

On the lower part of the fuselage, substantial progress has been made on the scoop area.  The exit duct frame members are complete and inner and outer skins are made and clecoed on, nearly ready for final riveting.  Mark fitted and permanently installed the tail gear in the rear section. The doghouse and exit door are also coming together.

Mark trimming doghouse skin to fit.

Exit door and duct.


The cowl skins and formers have been fabricated and assembled.

Firewall forward skin fitting

That made it possible to tear down the completed firewall and the forward frames, skins and engine mounts in preparation for the zinc chromate application.

It is always nice to see the more visible progress once tooling is done and parts are made.

Speaking of visible progress, we were sent photos of progress on the wings by Brent at Odegaard Wings.

Wing frame coming together.

Leading edge

Another view of the stress door area.

Ribs ready to go in.

That’s it for the November /December update but the January one should be our in early February if not late January.

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1 Response
  1. Tom Griffith

    Is "Lope’s Hope 3rd" going to be restored with or without a Dorsal Fin Fillet?

    There doesn’t seem to be a complete photo of that aircraft, and the only place that I’ve seen an image WITH the DFF is the excellent artwork/painting/drawing on this page.

    I’ve seen a photo of him in front of the rear fuselage of a P-51B or C, with a DFF on it, but since there’s not even a part of a SN on it, there’s no way of knowing whether or not it’s a late field-upgrade of "Lope’s Hope 3rd" or not . It DOES have seemingly the correct paint job on it for the 75th FS.

    One way or the other, congratulations on what looks to be a fine build!

    We in the warbird-watching community cannot wait, and being a Native Texan, I cannot wait for Rod Lewis to have this baby at airshows and on display.

    Tom Griffith

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