We need your help to get the PBJ flying! The Commemorative Air Force is a 501(c)3 entity
so donations qualify for a tax deduction. Consult with your tax professional for details.
How can you help?
Option 1: Use Paypal to donate. Send payment to Cafsocalpbj@gmail.com
Option 2: Call the CAFSoCAL museum at (805) 482-0064
Option 3: Mail your donation to CAF 455 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010
Option 4: Come visit our facility at the address above and see how we’re progressing on the restoration!!!
Thanks for stopping by and checking out the progress.
Make sure and also visit the Warbird Information Exchange PBJ Restoration Thread
Restoration Update September 1, 2009
Here are a few shots to add to Marc’s report of yesterday’s progress. For my part I’m finding the cables to be a learning experience. Thank God there are books and diagrams to refer to! I’ve never seen so many wires and pulleys in my life. I shoot rivets for crying out loud. Things went very well for Jeff and I until I jinxed us by commenting that things were going very smooth, almost too smooth. For years the joke has been that when we finally hooked all of the cables up a pull on the yoke would actuate the ailerons and the rudder pedals would control the elevators etc., etc. Well never fear. So far things work as they should except for one small issue, and it isn’t as bad as the joke.
Cycling the elevator trim works great except the tabs work in opposition! I must admit I had to laugh. Jeff soon found the problem. The diagram in the book clearly shows that a twist in the cable runs in the right stab was called for and unfortunatley had not been done. While I had visions of tearing the tail apart Marc and Jeff assured me that we wouldn’t have to take such drastic action. It shall be resolved as all our other problems have been over the years.
Restoration Update July 14, 2009
Marc, Jeff, Dan, Scott, Jerry R., Ken and I had the pleasure of mounting the elevators. The left one went on this morning and the right was going on as I was leaving this afternoon. A great milestone. Thursday, Jerry and I will work on getting the cross tube, bell cranks, and push rods in. With the thrust lock on, the push rod adjustments will set the elevators to 0 degrees. Lots of fun ahead.
Restoration Update June 30, 2009
We put the bearings in and mounted the left elevator trim tab. All safety wired and cotter pinned and the elevator is ready for mounting. We also put the rod end mounting hardware on the mounts in the back of the horizontal. The right trim tab needed some paint touchup so we finished early for the day. The painting of the rudders has started. We need to work the endcaps and get them ready. I will not be able to make it in on Thursday but my plan of action for next Tuesday is two part. First, bearings into the right trim tab. Then put the right trim tab onto the right elevator. While that is being done, I am going to do the wiring for the formation lights on the verticals and get the left side closeout panels on. If time and mannpower permits an attempt to install the left elevator may take place.
Restoration Update May 16, 2009
First things first. Katie made it to breakfast this morning and brought her dad. What a way to start the day. Ken is working on various parts for the wings including some new nutplate strips. Unfortunatly these strips are not available commercially at the required spacing so he is at it. Marc and Thurlow worked on the rear cone for the right wing nacelle. They are installing the attach angle to hold the tail cone. This morning I had a chance to introduce Jennifer, one of the new cadets, to the amazing and mystical art of making cables. She helped me make the second set of prop servo cables and we are now ready in that department. I spent the afternoon putting in cotter pins for the pulley set on the port
side of the wheel well. What a grunt. Jeff and his son dropped by for a visit. Jeff is impressed with the work so far. He informed me that someone stole a bag of fasteners from our supply. I think I know where they are and will be getting them back when no one is looking.
Restoration Update May 12, 2009
Ken and Jerry B. are making riblets for the trailing edge of the wing stubs. So far no glitches. Each piece looks great. Jerry R. started putting in fasteners and keepers for the engine cables. We did try all the cockpit engine controls and each cable moves smoothly. While he was putting fasteners and keepers in the wheel well, I put the finishing touches on the emergency brake floor console. None of the screws are tight since I need to remove the plate to adjust the emergency brake cables once we get the hydraulics charged. The afternoon was spent putting on more fasteners. There is probably 2 days work for two people. Would you buy a car from the guy doing the right engine control box fasteners!!!!!!!!
Does anyone know where the governor and cable is for the prop pitch on one of the engines? The vertical engine has all the governor parts and cables but I can not find the equivalent parts for the other engine that is sitting horizontal. The cables on the vertical engine are stainless and there is no need to make new ones. We may have to make duplicates for the other engine. I can not find the cable dimensions in the erection manual cable table so hopefully they are the same. The parts book seems to imply that both engines have the same cables.
Restoration Update May 11, 2009
Once again Jeff and I took pity on the rest of the wing members and worked on Monday thus sparing all of you from hearing the racket generated from us shooting another skin. Well actually pity had nothing to do with it. It all came down to Jeff’s FedEx work schedule. It got a little crowded later in the morning when Mike showed up to do some work on the Zeke but otherwise the joint was empty. After breakfast we worked straight through until quitting time. We really got a lot done. We finished work on the last new stringer after making a new clip and drilling out a bracket and then shot the stringer in place. Jeff also installed new bolts in the wing attach angle. After locating a missing insert and shooting it in place the skin was placed up on the wing and everything lined up including the holes in that T-6 stringer that Scott and I were worried about. Jeff and I shot all the rivets in the skin except at both ends. Jeff thought it was a good idea to use sealant in those areas and it was still wet so we will finish next week.
Restoration Update May 9, 2009
We spliced one right hand engine cable. Mismatched cable ends! Ken safety wired the right hand splice while I safety wired the splices in the crew hatch area. We then focused on a cable crossing on the right side. Turned out one cable was routed incorrectly. In the afternoon we concentrated on the wheel well. Before tensioning the cables with the long turnbuckles we set all the wheel well turnbuckles so that all the threads were within the turnbuckle barrel. All cable tensioning is done with the long turnbuckles in the leading edge of each wing. There were a few incorrect pairings for the wheel well fairleads and this was corrected. While doing this I remembered how they were fitted when I removed them some 2 years ago. The clamped cable has the fairlead butted up against the cable end forward. The cable that it is paired with will be free to move without any interference or binding. This also allows a certain rigidity in
the fairlead. Some of the clamped fairleads need to be reversed to make them correct. Very minor operation. The engine cables can now be considered installed. The next step is finish up all the fasteners (cotter pins, safety wire, etc).
Restoration Update May 5, 2009
Ken and I worked on the left engine cables and they are now completely installed!!!!! We needed to work the clearance for the prop pitch cables and they are now running exactly as Executive Sweet, we can’t do better. There was also a slight clearance problem with one of the tubing blocks but Ken worked that one out and we should now have no clearance problems when the cables are tensioned. The pics show the cables sagging. We will get them finger tight as soon as all the work on the right side is done.
Jerry R. and Jerry B. worked on putting the fairleads in the nose wheel well. They then continued threading right hand cables through the cheeses. The 45 degree box looks good, no twists. There is an issue with the tubing blocks on the right side at the outer cheese. This will be addressed Thursday. A few holes need drilling. All the cables should be completely strung Thursday. Depending on time left, we will start tensioning. I believe that Dan will get all up to date on the wing rework progress.
Jeff and I all but finished the lower inboard skin. We lack just 4 cherries as we ran out of the proper length. Scott surprised us by showing up later in the morning after getting in from a long trip. In the afternoon we tackled the ticklish task (you like that?) of locating our brand new $3,500.00 blank, lower aft, wing attach angle. This critical and expensive piece of aluminum must be located precisely. If we are just a fraction of an inch off in our measurements the wing won’t fit. The old saying, “measure twice and cut once” took on new meaning for us. We measured about 10 times before we cut. I think we did our job but we won’t know for sure until we try to hang the wing. If we didn’t get it right it will cost us a lot of time and money. The long bright piece of aluminum that Jeff is working on in the pictures is the attach angle.
Restoration Update May 1, 2009
First, there are a lot of rivets for the wingmen. Thursday was my second day from hell while working on this project. The individual that designed the 45 degree box probably was in a padded room with a straight jacket on. Saturday started out better. The left hand engine cables in the 45 degree box now have straight runs and Ken and I started running the left hand engine cables through the cheeses and the engine control box. Everything went well as soon as we figured out which holes in the cheeses the cables should run. They are drilled to include the manual oil shutter cables which we do not use. It raises some questions as to which holes to use but we have straight runs so that should be ok.
We have 3 cable fitting errors that we will have to correct next week. It will involve some splices but should not present too much of a problem. The key problem is the prop pitch cable. When we installed the cable there was some rubbing of the inboard/outboard section of the cable and one of the pulleys stalled. We need to fiddle with it some to get the cables to run as per the picture. It’s doable, just requires a little adjusting. I included a pic of the cables from Executive Sweet to show the how close they are. They are the top two cables. Many thanks to Rick on Executive Sweet for opening the left Nacelle so we could take a look.
Next week we will have a full plate. Jerry volunteered to untangle the right hand engine cables in the 45 degree box although it does not appear to be a major problem. After that, running thrm through the right engine cheeses should go pretty well. There will not be the problem with the prop pitch cables since they come into the box from the opposite direction. In the mean time, Ken and I are going to put a few rivets in the aileron and send it to the fabric shop. After that, we will concentrate on fixing the few problems with the left engine cables. Kudos to Jerry R. for the work that he did in the 45 degree box. After what I went through it is incredible that he still is in possession of his senses; I am barely holding on.
Restoration Update April 25, 2009
This morning Ken fabricated the second of two L brackets that were needed, one for each wing. Jerry now has the engine control cables running through the correct pulleys. There were two cables that were twisted in the wheel well and that was corrected. The cables are now parallel through the wheel well, the crew hatch area, and into the 45 degree box. We need to check to make sure that there are not tangles in the 45 degree box itself. Unfortunately, several of the left engine cables are fitted with the wrong turnbuckle ends. There are several typos in the cable table and we didn’t catch them. Instead of making new cables, Joe P. suggested we find a convenient place to cut the cable and put a turnbuckle in at the point of cutting. Then attach a small length of cable with the correct fitting to fill out to the proper length. The best place is in the crew hatch area where they go out to the left wing stub. The cables going to the right engine do not have any problems. Splices in cables are a no-no.
James was in for a few hours and we had him remove a few more non structural pieces from the right wing where the jackscrew mounts. One of the brackets had considerable corrosion at one bolt hole (pic included). The bracket is ~.064 and may be tough to manufacture. Hopefully we can get some input from Jeff or Marc on this one. The other parts that came out of the left wing look ok except for one part. Ken has made a new bracket and it just needs drilling. There is a picture of a complete aileron sector assembly with hardware. When we get the other pushrod we can complete the second sector assembly. This will complete all the internal wing aileron parts.
Restoration Update April 21, 2009
Ken and Jerry B. finished most of the riveting. The aileron was prepped for covering but still needs some cherrymax rivets to completly secure two castings. These can be done any time before covering.
Dan and Jeff continued the rebuilding of the right wing. They worked most of the day putting on a new piece of skin at the wing root. A rather thick piece and the riveting is expert of course.
After catching my breath from the heat I started checking the stringing of the cables. It looks like I led Jerry down the wrong path. It turns out that the cables should be strung through the 45 degree box exactly as shown in the drawing. I made the mistake when I noticed that the cable keepers on the upper set of pullies didn’t look right but they actually were correct. The cables are all correct until the top of the 45 degree box. All the problems can be fixed there. Sorry Jerry.
I finished preping the two aileron trim tab pushrods and that completes all of the aileron, elevator, rudder components that still need to go on. Maybe someday we will get lucky and Carl will send the missing aileron push rod and the left rudder trim tab (and the two restrictor valves).
Ken and I stared looking at the wing tips. They are in excellent condition and will require very little structural work. There is one slight crack that will need a stop drill and polishing. The wing tip lights attach to a fiberglass structure. One of the structures looks pretty good. We are going to make some slight repairs to that one. The other one is pretty bad. Hopefully we can build up that one with some fiberglass and make it right. If not, we can make a mold and form a proper structure. Time will tell. We need a decision on whether we will need strobes/red-green lights or just red-green. The red/green are about $98 apiece from Aircraft Spruce I will see if we can get them cheaper somewhere else). The ones off the aircraft are in extremely bad shape. Strobe lights will cost about $350 each including power supply which we will have to mount in the wing tip and run extra wires. I guess this will be Marc and Jeff’s call.
Restoration Update April 9, 2009
Jerry R. needs to thread two more cables in the wheel well/fuselage and that will be taken care of. Don’t let the pics disturb you as the cables are not nearly up to tension as of yet. After the two cables are in he will start routing them around the respective pulleys in the control boxes in the leading edge of the wing root. He will need the outer cheese on the right side finished so he can fish those cables.
Dan and Scott are continuing work on the wings. Today they were riveting parts together with rivets bigger than my — (we’ll leave that one alone). When I left they were prepping to attach a stringer to some piece of wing skin. The work is exemplary. Sorry but I forgot pictures. Maybe next Tuesday.
Marc was in and started working on the 3/4″ hydraulic tubing that still needs to go in as well as the one from the reservoir that the engine control cables had the audacity to interfere with. Ken and I worked all morning getting the jackscrews apart after Jerry B. was so good as to get out two stubborn retaining pins. Luckily we managed to salvage the spherical bearings in each jackscrew. These are special North American and no longer exist with any bearing suppliers. After some aggressive cleaning, the bearings are as good as factory. We reassembled one complete jackscrew and will finish up the other one next week. John, thanks for the great work on the parts you prepared. Ken tackled the cleaning of the second Flap hinge and it looks factory fresh.
Special thanks to Jerry B. He very carefully measured the endplay in both aileron sectors, determined a reasonable endplay clearance and made two bearing plates custom fit to each sector. It is my guess that NA had a tray of different spacers to account for machining tolerances. Do not let Jerry B. out of your sight. A most appreciated member of the restoration team. Once again, stupid me. No pics. Maybe Tuesday.
See you all sooner or later and happy holiday weekend,
Restoration Update April 7, 2009
I tried to disassemble the Jack Screws to get the bearings out but everything is frozen. Jerry B. decided to take them to his machine shop connection to try to get them apart. There is a very stubborn pin holding the mechanism together and he thinks he can get them out. He had a short day today.
Jerry R. has about 4 more cables to get through the 45 degree box. He would like to see the outboard cheese on the right wing stub finished so he can fish the cables through it. I think Scott was working on that.
Today was a parts cleaning day with the sand blaster that we can now see what we are doing. Five of the six aileron hinges are refurbished. Carl has the sixth one. One of the flap hinges was also refurbished today. It has a fairlead that is held on by some special rivets. We will probably have to rig some 4-40 screws with spacers to fasten it back on. The third and last trim rod fairing is in the mold and should come out Thursday.
Hopefully, Gil will be ready for painting soon. I think we are starting with the rudders. It would be nice to have the other trim tab so we can paint everything at once (once again, Carl).
See you all sooner or later,
Restoration Update April 4, 2009
Today it was Ken and I. In the morning we replaced the window on the sand blaster and added an acetate sheet to protect the new window. I am going to order new filter and lamp parts to bring the cabinet back to near new.
In the afternoon we continued riveting work on the left aileron. Some of the rivets are really tough. Ken will not be in on Tuesday so if there is anyone that would like to help finish the Aileron we can get it to Gil on Thursday, otherwise it will be pushed back a few days.
Pics include wing work progress by one heck of a team, Dan, Marc, Scott, Jeff, and all the others that have been working with them.
See you all sooner or later,
Restoration Update April 2, 2009
A nice turnout today, Ken, Dan, Marc, John, Jerry R and yours truly. Marc and Dan are working wonders with the right wing. Sorry, no pictures. I hope Dan has some. I had one pic of the boss but it was too dark. If Dan
doesn’t have pics I will post some on Saturday.
Jerry R is getting the engine cables scared. The entanglement is over and he is taking control. John and Gary worked on making new riblets that go on the trailing edge of the wing roots. Pics will follow on Saturday.
Ken and I were involved in a few things, one of which was to clean up and prime some of the aileron mounting bracket parts. I included a pic showing the process for refurbishing the parts: raw part, sand blasted part, and primed part. One more pushrod fairing is done, one more to go. The four mystery parts are now installed. Two cable keepers for the flap sectors and two main rudder mounting brackets.
See you all sooner or later,
Restoration Update March 31, 2009
Scott removed an entire upper wing panel and then cleaned up the stringers and structure underneath. Other than the broken clips that we already new about everything looks great with no surprises. Jeff and I worked on the stringers. We originally requested three 8-foot stringers but somehow only received two. We also found that putting a joggle in them is just about impossible. Maybe Jerry-2 can help to design a new joggle tool? We have some remedies in mind and I am sure we will work things out. We always do. We worked on the non-joggled stringer and we are very pleased with the result. The stringer splice really looks great. Because the stringer stock is ¼ inch wider then the original we had to trim a couple of areas but it is flush and all of the holes are drilled. We will remove it and prime it and it will be ready to go. One more stringer and we can re-shoot the lower inboard skin.