Got some things done in the last few days mostly in the cockpit on the instrument panel. The panel that came in the Harpoon was a custom panel that was a long ways from being original so it needed to be removed.
In the center of the panel is the Sperry A-3A autopilot. This center piece needs to be fitted and mounted before the panel goes in. Here are the two gyros of the A-3A.
The gyros sense deviation in all three axes; pitch, yaw and roll. This information is fed through vacuum and mechanical means to the hydraulic component which has three cylinders for actuating the controls.
I went to our storage hangar and pulled the crate of A-3A autopilot components and came up with a good set. The gyros are all Navy marked, Army parts.
First the rack is set in place to figure out how it was mounted and what it is going to take to fabricate the missing parts. I am fortunate to have an original PV-2D model panel on hand that after an overhaul will be used in our Harpoon. This panel is two serial numbers older than our 84062.
Fortunately some of the original autopilot mounting structure was still in place so I had to make three brackets to get the gyro mount rack back in. Here is the forward upper bracket being laid out
This is the rack with the three green brackets and shock mounts installed
It gets secured in place
Now the panel goes in for fitting around the autopilot. The panel mounts with four sets of shock mounts across the bottom. The old ones were shot to say the least so they will be replaces with new ones and the bracket will be cleaned up
Just a little blown don't you think?
Here are the finished brackets ready to get paired up and bolted to the panel
After the panel was reworked back to stock it is ready to be filled up with instruments. Fortunately we have a bunch of the correct instruments in stock with the correct Munsell green faces appropriate to the Harpoon. I hope to find the rest over time
One cool find was this manifold pressure gage
Check out the tag that was attached to the back. I have not seen something like this before but sure is cool. The Bureau number is from a PV-2! You can just make out the yellow Vega stamp too
Fabricating and fitting new hoses for the instruments. Its best to get as much done as possible on the bench since its a lot easier that doing the contortionist routine in the aircraft
Helpful information from the technical pubs and docs
With the panel ready to install I enlisted the help of my daughter Sydney to do the two person task. I was waiting to install the panel while the glass was out for this very reason. Ease of access. The panel is wrapped in felt to protect it and the instruments during the install
Now the fun begins getting the panel aligned and secured. The shock mounts are not easy to get to
Syd helped by vacuuming out the cockpit and belly area. She also helped with adjusting and securing the panel. She was a life saver today as I would have only got half as much done without her. Thanks Syd! She is a little camera shy though especially when she is in strange positions like here under the cockpit
After a good days of work the poor gal was pretty beat as it was a hot day in the cockpit. Tired but happy about what we worked on together
Here is what the panel looked like when we first crawled in and took a look up front
Then a few days ago
And a few hours ago
LH panel before and after
Not bad for a few days work
I still have a few hours left for finishing up the plumbing and wiring clean up and Cade is going to work his magic on the throttle console, control columns and yokes. Then the new glass goes in.
I am looking forward to spending the time on the computer making all of the decals and placards for the panel and cockpit. It is a blast to make them accurately and they really make a difference in the overall look.
Slow but steady...
To donate to the PV-2D project via PayPal click here http://www.twinbeech.com/84062restoration.htm
We brought her from:
to this in 3 months:
Help us get her all the way back
All donations are tax deductible as the Stockton Field Aviation Museum is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Tell a friend as the Harpoon needs all the help she can get.
Vintage Aircraft, Stockton, Californiahttp://www.twinbeech.com'KEEP ‘EM FLYING…FOR HISTORY!'