1-218-444-4478
1-218-444-4478

By

Chuck Cravens
Some visible changes have occurred in the restoration of Lope’s Hope 3rd these past few weeks.  All of the cowl formers have been fabricated and fitted.  Fitting of the new top cowl skins is being done now. Ryan fits upper cowl skins. Work on the doghouse and scoop progresses. Always a noticeable assembly is the...
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This month the final permanent riveting of many of the fuselage skins took place. The balsa fuselage tank supports were completed. The doghouse progressed nicely and is nearly finished. One of the major mysteries was what command radio and radio compass would be correct for a CBI P-51C-5NT. Through lots of help from knowledgeable Mustang...
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As more skin is added permanently, the P-51C characteristic cockpit windows are beginning to take shape. Research has centered around determining the correct radio compass and command radio installations for the original Lope’s Hope 3rd. Those installations aren’t detailed in the engineering drawings we have so we are searching tech orders for the information. Fuselage parts...
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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...
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The fuselage frame parts have been produced and fitted together in the jig. Turtle deck frames distinguish this fuselage as a C model. Once that was done the frame parts were disassembled and given their first coat of zinc chromate,  the yellowish colored first coat that goes on before assembly.  Later on , after complete fuselage...
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With the horizontal and vertical stabilizers complete and the rear fuselage done as well, work moves on to the forward fuselage structure fabrication.  This part of the fuselage is in the jig and it won’t be too long until it comes out, joins the firewall forward structure and is mounted on a stand. The firewall forward structure is...
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