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Douglas A/B-26 Invader

Douglas B-26K Counter-Invader 64-17679, N4988N "Special K" - Restoration

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The story

Special K - In the hangar

Special K - Stripped and ready to go

Douglas B-26K Counter-Invader "Special K" 64-17679 (N4988N)

 

 
 
 
IF 679 "Special K"  Restoration Update
 

Hi Everyone …

Just want to bring you up on the latest exciting news regarding IF 679 (“Special K”).  We have partnered with Jim Terry and the Pacific Prowler Non Profit Organization, Fort Worth TX in the restoration of the plane.  Jim , his team and I met this past weekend at the Vintage Flying Museum (where the restoration is taking place).  IF 679 will be fully airworthy by July of this year with an expected “reveal” appearance at Oshkosh.  She will then return to Fort Worth for full restoration with an expected return to Oshkosh in 2011 at which point she will be entered for the “best restoration” award.  This aircraft is most original, flying Counter Invader in the world (never demilitarized … all armament stations are functional!).   Following its 2011 appearance at Oshkosh, she will fly to Hurlburt Field in FL for an official commemoration with the Nimrods who flew her sister On Mark birds in SEA.  You can view all of the update detail on our website (including photos and a fantastic film interview with Tim Black, former Nimrod Pilot).  IF 679 was the first A-26A that he ever flew!

Needless to say this restoration is a project of love.  The expected final restoration cost is $500,000.00 to bring her back to her original production glory.  We have the best restoration staff in the business working on her.  But … donations from our world’s passionate followers are always welcome.  Both of our organizations are 501 (c)(3) Non Profit Educational Corporations … so … your charitable donations are tax deductible.  If you are inclined to offer your philanthropic support … please feel free to contact Jim Terry or myself.  We are always available to speak with you.  Our contact information can found on our Foundation Website (www.a-26legacy.org).  Thanks in advance for your interest and support!

Any Time … Any Place

Don

Donald S. Vogler, Chairman

www.A-26Legacy.org

Restoration update - Don Vogler

 

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!!!

 

6/28/11

 

“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”

 

 

7/8/11

 

“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.” 

 

 

7/9/11

 

“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 rebuiltNew 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.

Regards

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

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