Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 9, 2021 21:19:58 GMT 12
Brendon Deere has been in touch, and he asked, "In one of the posts about NZ2423, there is mention of colour photographs taken at Ohakea between 1953 and 1958 (used in Wings magazine) by Ron Brazier and Brian Darrah. This includes the photo of 2423 with target towing gear. Just wondered if anyone might know of where that photo collection might be now?"
The latest Mustang NZ2423 update from Brendon on Facebook tonight:
Work this week has continued on the re assembly of the rear fuselage section and building a jig for the engine mount rebuild scheduled for later in the year. Focus will go back on the main fuselage when the longerons return from copy drilling.
Some detail that caught my eye. The original tailwheel uplock from NZ2423, refurbished and ready to go back into the rear fuselage structure. Because of the low hours on the aircraft (268) we are finding components to be in superb condition and showing little or no wear at all. On track to have a very original aircraft.
Some interesting tasks underway at the moment. We have finished the pressure testing of the main wing tanks and they have passed which is a great step forward. We built a cage for the tanks to allow them to be pressurised to around 2psi without damage. The coolant header tank and main oil tank have been stripped and inspected. Pressure testing of the header tank will await the return of our header tank pressure relief valve which is being used by another Mustang at the moment. Work continues on the rear fuselage section and copy drilling of the main fuselage longerons is underway.
The container with our wings and propellor is in the middle of Wisconsin getting near the end of its lengthy journey to North Dakota. Our engine is on a ship sitting in San Francisco Bay at the moment but also inching closer to the rebuilders.
The Air Force Museum has located the original RNZAF Mustang modification data for us to ensure that we include the little changes that the RNZAF made in service into NZ2423. Thanks to Brett Marshall and Simon Moody for that great help. We also located the original defects files in Archives NZ which showed problems the RNZAF had with the Mustangs and how those problems were addressed.
With the Harvard and Spitfire home after their first airshow of the year, interesting posts on their new hangarmate continue. This one for the Mustang fans from Brendon on Facebook earlier today:
One of the curiosities of our Mustang is the seat assembly. Built by the Warren McArthur company at their factory in Connecticut. Warren McArthur was a very clever engineer and had developed techniques to make ligtweight aluminium furniture before the war and supplied hotels, ocean liners and railroad cars as well as major company offices and celebrity homes. When war came and aluminium was restricted to the war effort, his company focused on making aircraft seats and it is believed they developed 500 different seat designs and supplied around 65% of the seats used in American aircraft during WW2. One interesting aspect of our Warren McArthur built seat is the external colour. Whilst production seats were painted in US Interior Dull Dark Green, our one has been overpainted with a colour closer to the British Interior green found in the Spitfire. Strangely someone has carefully masked around the stencil blocks and even the Warren McArthur label. Interesting mystery as to when this was done.
Copy drilling of our longerons is caught up in the COVID lockdown in Auckland enforcing another delay on top of the original shipping delays so we have been working on sub assembly tasks as well as continuing parts recovery from our Mustang pile - in this case one of the two damaged wings. The sub assembly for the fuselage is the section where the fuselage fuel tanks sits
Yesterday Facebookers were treated to a bumper update by Brendon Deere:
Another useful week on the Mustang NZ2423 project. The rear fuselage is moving along nicely as we have everything on hand needed for this. Lots of parts ready to go into the main fuselage once the longerons are in place. We are building up sub assemblies for the fuselage ready to go in the jig so this will come together smoothly when the time comes. Six replacement new extrusions for the engine mount will be on the way to us in the next week. Our wings arrived in North Dakota earlier this week without any transit damage and work has already started. One of our flaps revealed some of its history with handwritten markings showing its build in North American's Dallas factory in early July 1945. Whilst many of the placards on the aircraft are available from the usual industry sources, some on our aircraft are not so we will be fabricating these ourselves. The steel sections that make up the armour plating on the Mustang have come back from the sandblasters including the distinctive seat armour.