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Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Luncheon was a big success! The team removed the stress plate on the right inboard wing in order to pull the Aux fuel tank. Today. We are happy to report that the “Tank-ectomy” went well. It will be used as a pattern to build a new one. Work continues on other winter maintenance and inspection items. Everybody is pretty well settled in until March or April when the show season starts again.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:04 pm 
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We are recovering from consuming mass quantities of vittles, but work has resumed. The right hand oil cooler was inspected and buttoned up. Every time we open a panel, we have to close it back up before leaving because the Sparrows are looking for nesting places for the winter. We cleaned out well over 30 nests when Kay arrived from Montana in 2010, so don’t want to repeat that process. They got in some unbelievable places. Our parts blaster was overhauled and a new glass was put in. We obtained some used exhaust parts that need cleaning for inspection. If they turn out to be better than existing, they will be traded out. The engine oil analysis samples came back good. Good progress!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:43 pm 
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Since I don't belong to Facebook, but still follow on your public site, I seen where you replaced the glass on your beadblaster. WE have a large glass bead blaster in the shop and have never replaced the glass . what we have and use is a clear shield of a flexable plastic to protect the glass. Are you using the same?, I can't tell in the photo. Our "tool man" gets it already precut and all we do is scotch tape it to edges and reinstall glass. As you know the glass beads bounce and ricochet everywhere in cabinet. Or do you use another media? Whatever you use , protect the glass. I gotta get down there soon.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:24 am 
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WE have a community hangar. Many use the blaster, however seems the Kay crew are the only ones who maintain the blaster. We use aluminum oxide, plastic and silica media.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:39 am 
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Happy New Year.
We closed out 2017 on New Years Eve by helping install the new LED lights in the VFM hangar. Seven rows of four lights will light the place up. We can already see the huge difference with just the first two rows above Kay! It was 24 degrees inside and sleeting outside. At 52 feet above the aircraft, my thanks to Rand for safely operating the boom and Lefty for guiding and keeping us and the aircraft safe!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:08 am 
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The new issue of Warbirds International has a nice article on Special Kay, detailing her life from military service up to the point she where was acquired by GGA, along with lots of photos. I didn't realize she had been wrecked that badly in Georgia!

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"The thing of it is, it is what it is." - some TV reporter talking about damage from Hurricane Irma


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:22 pm 
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K5DH wrote:
The new issue of Warbirds International has a nice article on Special Kay, detailing her life from military service up to the point she where was acquired by GGA, along with lots of photos. I didn't realize she had been wrecked that badly in Georgia!

Just got mine in the mail, looking forward to reading that story! WI just seems to get better every month.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:37 pm 
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Today was a great day in the Hangar. The weather warmed up and a number of projects got started. The left tip tank was removed and disassembled enough to clean it out. The internal plumbing is a bit more than expected, in part because of the jettisoning system. The biggest problem is pulling new fuel line thru the wing. It is in segments and not a simple pull old with new attached to end. The access panels are not sufficient to reach each clamp so it was obviously installed while OnMark had the wing open for rebuild. Progress continues on finishing up the new lights in the Hangar. They really make a difference. We have some new equipment to install in the metal shop and one of our work tables has been moved into the heated and newly cleaned up shop on the north side so we can work on smaller components during the cold temps like we had last weekend. Come visit to see the action plus all of the other aircraft which are opened up for annual inspections and maintenance. JR


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:12 am 
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Small crew all weekend but made great progress. All the old fuel supply hose from the tip tank to inboard of the oil cooler is removed. New hose ordered. Sunday we gang banged the aft section of the left tip tank. Its all disassembled, some dents removed, began cleaning it up. Big Tim started making gaskets. Our fwd & aft tank section "O" rings are 70.5" circumference. Perhaps the oil coolers can remain in place for the hose install. The tip tank sump valve was removed and overhauled. We found some sealant inside the tank at the base of the sump valve that had never set up. Will go back in with fresh 890. With all this behind us we hope the "learning curve" will be not as steep on the right side. We still had time to work on bomb bay and nose gear actuators. Ray has the RH aux tank dry bay all ready, tank is in work at the shop, will give ya'll a status update next time.

If anyone has a "K" model tip tank MM or IPC we could sure use it.

By the time we wrapped up Sunday afternoon it was a balmy 50 degrees! Reminds us why we live in the Lone Star State!

All we lack is finishing up...

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:40 pm 
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Good progress on getting new hose in the wing for the left tip tank. Many small dings in the fuselage were rebondoed and smoothed. A number of 50 hr inspection items were done because we don’t want to stop in the middle of the show season to do it. The left prop dome seal was replaced as it had started a small leak which if left alone would probably just get worse. Work began on the right tip tank. The boost pump needs to be removed and sent out for overhaul. It probably hasn’t been used since 1969. The copilot’s turn and bank indicator was just delivered from repair. Another airspeed indicator is out for calibration. The other side was replaced with a newly overhauled unit. We sent our spare Fuel sensors out for repair so they will be ready to install when needed. Still no word from shop on a paint date, but we are still hopeful. We have been invited to participate in an overflight tentatively set for the end of June at the Museum of Flight’s opening of their new Vietnam Memorial in Seattle. Stay tuned for updates on this. JR


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:54 pm 
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Good progress today on both tip tanks. Larry & Tim just about have all the new fuel lines installed in the left wing. Left tip tanks sections are at the welding shop. Right tank is disassembled, boost pump and SOV will be sent to the overhaul shop. 50 hour check is progressing.

All we lack is finishing up...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:59 pm 
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Another beautiful day in the Republic! Our team was a little smaller today compared to yesterday, but we still made progress on the tip tank system. They are coming along as well as can be expected for something that hasn’t been used probably since 1969. One of the fuel hoses in the left wing actually pulled apart when pulled on to remove. It was that rotten from all the years of exposure. Both wings are being fitted with brand new hoses. Everything is being overhauled and resealed. It will give us another 330 gallons of gas available besides the 800 we have now. The replacement Aux fuel tank should be showing up soon. We are planning on making the June 23 VN Memorial overflight at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. This extra gas will come in handy. We may take the northern route up through Billings, her old campsite, to Missoula and then on to Seattle’s Boeing Field. We have two other routes in mind if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Stay tuned and check our Facebook page for more details as we get closer. http://www.facebook.com/a26specialkay
Finally got to see the article in the March 2018 edition of “Warbirds International” magazine. There are some great pictures of the crash damage and saving the airplane long before we took on the project. There is one error though. It suggested sending donations to the A26 Legacy Foundation, however, that organization is no longer active. We are no longer associated with it. If you wish to donate or buy a T shirt, please PM me for info on how to do that. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:19 pm 
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To those who are wondering, yes, we are considering bringing Kay to Oshkosh. We are actively seeking sponsors and donations to help with the expenses. It will take nearly $20K for the fuel and oil. Suggestions for potential sponsors would be appreciated. Donations are tax deductible since we are a 501c3 organization.Please post here or PM me. Thanks! JR


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Progress was a little slow this weekend with the cold and freezing rain slowing things down. Planning continues on getting the tip tanks operational and we are waiting for the new Aux tank to arrive. Discussions are beginning on what shows we might attend. We have a hunch that with the price of fuel rising again that airshows may have to cut back on who they can invite. An airshow is an easy way to lose money if there are no sponsors to take up the slack from gate receipts. Since it supposed to be where the whole family might attend, the ticket price can’t be too high or attendance suffers. Most airshow directors have figured this out though and are doing good jobs keeping the show in business.

Big airplanes like Kay gobble up 100LL like there is no tomorrow, hence may be prohibitive to bring if the show doesn’t buy the gas. Oshkosh is an example. The EAA only pays for gas when the airplane performs in the show. It does not cover the $20,000 to get there and back. We have to find sponsors and donations to make it there. So now we have to scratch our heads to figure out if we can pull this off. Or does anybody really care if they see Kay at Oshkosh?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:55 am 
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Gas is always a big part of attending any event. I'd love to see "Kay" but then I am not going to Oshkosh either. . . any chance of talking Hill AFB into bringing her to their show in June?!

Tom P.


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