Sunday update (a couple of days late, sorry
Bill and Godfrey cleared a workbench in the maintenance shop and moved the replacement left main gear leg to that bench so that the overhaul can be done properly. Bill and James gave the replacement unit a thorough inspection and evaluation once the parts were spread out on the workbench. I spent some quality time at the parts washer, de-gunking the rest of the shafts, bearings, and shims for the torque links (the ones I didn't get to Tuesday evening
). I then had a really
fun time scraping the congealed grease out of the inside of the oleo tube with a plastic paddle (literally in up to my armpit
). The inside of the tube is in superb condition! Bill and Pat researched the proper paint type and color to use when we repaint the leg, and the team discussed which parts to use from the replacement assembly and which ones to re-use from the old assembly. All in all, we have a good plan in place and our talented team will be able to get the job done right and give us a nice, safe gear leg that won't need attention again for several more decades!
Pat, Rick, and Mike spent much of the day troubleshooting and fixing some cockpit gauge problems, which were traced to crossed connections in the left wing. These are comparitively minor problems and are typically not hard to fix, but it sure takes a lot of time and teamwork to find the cause!
James, Pat, Mike, and I began looking into some ongoing oil temperature problems, which will require some minor work on two of our wing-mounted oil coolers. It's not going to be a huge job, per se, but like everything else, it will take some time and manpower.
Not mentioned specifically are the countless other little things that are happening all the time.
As for making it to Wings Over Houston, all I can say is that we can't make any promises. We're all looking forward to seeing our beautiful bomber back in the air where she belongs. There is still a lot of work to be done on her, and our team will push forward to the best of our ability, without cutting corners and taking risks. There's only one way to do the job, and that's to do it right. There is no other option. She'll be ready when she's ready. We'll be sure to let everyone know when that joyful day comes!
We've had several new volunteers join the Museum lately, including at least one licensed A&P. It's nice to see new faces and increase our available manpower. We can always use more helpers, and we have something available for everyone who has the time to come out and help, all the way from sweeping floors clear up to working on the aircraft. If you live in the D/FW area and you like old airplanes, please come out and give us a hand! We have an unlimited supply of ice water for those hot days. . .
Dean the confident