It has been almost exactly two years since we began working on the P-47 on the shop floor. A great deal of that time has been spent on fixture fabrication, disassembly of the veteran airframe, inspection, and parts manufacturing. The tail cone, horizontal stabilizer, and vertical stabilizer are pretty much permanently completed, but this month an even more exciting part of the restoration began.
Fuselage longerons and ribs went into the fixture, so for the first time the forward fuselage is beyond the parts fitting stage and is being assembled.
As the work on assembling the forward fuselage got underway, the finishing touches were put on the tail cone this month and the permanent riveting was done- other than a few that will be left off to facilitate later assembly. The whole assembly was removed from the vertical fixture and mounted on a horizontal stand that will make it easy to mate with the rest of the fuselage when that time comes.
Finally I’d like to acknowledge a worthy project being done in Evansville, Indiana, home of the factory that produced 42-27609. The New Tech Institute is a Project Based School. Teacher Pat Carter’s words below speak for themselves, but I am sure the group would welcome donations.
AirCorps Aviation thought so and felt the involved students, teachers, and consultants could benefit from membership in AirCorps Library which gives them access to the available engineering drawings, manuals, and other information on the P-47 and over 20 other warbirds.
Pat Carter can be contacted at 812-746-8796
“New Tech Institute opened in 2010 and is a Project Based Learning school that has also been certified by the State of Indiana as STEM High School. The school is located less than a half mile from the former Republic Aviation Plant in Evansville where over 5,000 men and women manufactured 6,242 P-47 Thunderbolts from 1942-1945. New Tech chose the Thunderbolt as our school mascot and has been actively promoting the aircraft in its historic role such as working to develop displays for Evansville Wartime Museum and one of the projects currently being built is a 1/3 scale reproduction of a P-47 Razorback. Our school has been blessed to meet Lt. Allen Sanderson a member of the 57th Fighter Group (First in the Blue) who flew 118 missions in his Lady Jane. In talking with Lt. Sanderson we asked if we could name this aircraft Lady Jane in his honor and he agreed. Our goal is to build two of these aircraft, one for display at our school and a second for the Evansville Wartime Museum.”