Oct/Nov: Texas Flying Legends’ P-47D-23RA

The first joined large assemblies on the bench.

Project Update

By Chuck Cravens

Download Original PDF

In October and November, for the first time we began some assembly of the major components of the airframe. Other work on the P-47 this month centered on parts fabrication, disassembling the veteran fuselage, beginning the new fuselage, and assembling the fixed tail surfaces.

Parts Fabrication

Fuselage Disassembly

The fuselage was further disassembled in order to use the parts as patterns as we begin assembling the new fuselage in the fixture.  Parts that appeared usable were inspected.  With the fuselage in sections, various parts and assemblies can be accessed easily while apart or the sections can be set back together for a more overall look.


The vertical stabilizer skins were riveted on permanently this month.  The horizontals skins have been permanently installed for a while now. Once both were skinned, they were assembled -the first large, identifiable Thunderbolt parts to be put together!

Assembled Horizontal and Vertical Stabilizers

It is always great to see major, identifiable airplane components come together as a project progresses. This time we have the tail surfaces joined together.

About the author

3 Responses
  1. Dan Larson

    My alumni magazine alerted me to your fabulous business. I live in Northfield MN. and have a hunting-fishing cabin 60 miles N of Bemidji, so I don’t get up there that often. If I stop by on a trip north, will I be able to see anything without a guided tour?

  2. Ryan Moeller

    I’d love to work in a shop like yours! I’m currently in Aviation Maintenance School and will graduate in March 2019. I’ll also be helping a very good friend of mine restore his TBM Avenger.

Leave a Reply