Hi Everyone …
Just received an update
from Jim Reynolds (one of our restoration leads in Texas). We’re making HUGE progress with the restoration. For
those of you who haven’t heard … we secured a paint contractor … and … the folks at
Straube (pronounce Straw Bee) Aviation have volunteered to paint her for us! These are the folks who painted “666,”
the A-26 gate guardian at Hurlburt Field, FL.
I understand that there is a mil spec format that was created for these birds.
All were painted about the same. The paint codes that were used follows:
Dark Green (Flat): F.S. 34079
Medium Green (Flat): F.S. 34102
Dark Tan (Flat): F.S. 30219
Black (Flat): F.S. 37038
Thought you’d enjoy reading Jim’s progress reports! These guys/gals are busting their “asses”
to get “Special K” back in the air for the Nimrod reunion in October. We are definitely going to make it!!!
“Today, we met with some reps from paint and chem companies
to see what they might be able to do for us on the A-26 today. It looks very promising. They just need to get
our wish list and I think we are in. We are looking for the mil specs on the paint colors for them. BTW,
we have two new main tires that have been donated by Goodyear and 72 new spark plugs donated by Champion. We are making
some good progress... just need more hands to put all of it together. We had an Inspector who has just about completed
a top to bottom look at it. Has some more to go on the tail surfaces. We started stripping fabric off the left
elevator and it looks good underneath. Jim T has a call into the Poly Fiber company to see if we can get the fabric
and application kit donated or at cost. Still looking at a parts haul from Red Deer, Canada. That's about it for
now. Hope yall have a Happy 4th of July holiday Monday. Take care...Regards, Jim Reynolds, Ft Worth”
“Today, the crew pulled the nose gear so that it can be
inspected to see if it has to be replaced or can be overhauled. It took max effort to pull it with 4 guys and a gal
tugging plus a jack to support it. The tail feathers are the next thing to be pulled for inspection. There is
some surface corrosion to deal with we can see already on the spars, but no show stoppers so far. The vertical fin's
attach fittings must also be looked at and then we will be just about ready to start back together. We will have to
pull the left engine to do a repair to the nacelle and firewall, but that shouldn't take all that long. While it is
off, we will replace some of the hoses and wiring on the engine. The oil tank is removed as is the oil cooler.
Tank was clean, but the cooler has a leak we will have to chase down. We have some more volunteers now and that will
be a big help. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Hawkeye.”
“We had 6 volunteers and two paid staff working today on
the A-26. Hit it a good lick again. Got the left stabilizer off. I don't think it has been off since 1965.
The bolts were very tight and we had to soak them several times to get them to loosen. The carry thru structure shows
some surface corrosion and some rusty bolts that will have to be addressed. The stabilizer itself was looking fairly
good internally, but needs some patches that will have to be made externally. We removed the old deicing lines
as we will not be putting the boots back on. Will get the right side done next week. It takes about 4 guys to
lift it off because of the height involved. Worked on the nose wheel well and found a damaged area which will have
to be patched. The nose gear itself was cleaned up and we are prepping the top section for the dye check per the AD.
Have to disassemble the gear to see what is causing the seals to not hold pressure. May have to send the barrel out
for re-chroming if it is pitted too much to smooth out. Unpacked the new glass for the canopies and left windshield.
Still need a right side windshield. That's about where we left off today. We had a good time in 102 deg heat...
no really, we did!!! Kept cold water coming and everybody worked really hard to get us on the road to getting her flying
again. It was and will be worth it!!! Jim R”
12th July 2011
My latest update from Jim Terry … the man “behind
the restoration curtain.”
Don, FYI we have removed the horizonal and the corrosion we were afraid we would find wasnt there.
The nose gear is off and we will work on it this week to get it rebuilt. New volunteers show up every week , we have 2 paid people and are averaging 5 people working on it every Sat, 2 or more from Thursday through Sunday. All the new glass is here. we have to
trim it and mount it in the frames, lots of work to go but it is happening every week. New money will help alot, we
are doing way more to the plane than I ever imagined.