Friday, February 18, 2011

Motorpool Mania

The focus of the motorpool has been the 1943 Willys Jeep. A lot of miles have been put on it, and they were not easy miles. The vehicle is in need of some work, and the motor pool is digging in. So far, the front suspension and brakes have been taken care of. The engine was just removed, and they started taking it apart. It will take time to overhaul, but once it's done, it will be a beautiful example of a WWII Jeep!
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(Bill Atchison installs new brake cylinders)

(George Colaizy begins the dis-assembly of the engine)

(Jim Lauria and George keep at it)

(Bill and Amy work on the rear brakes)

(Jim Nelson assembles the new engine hoist)

(Randy Hendrickson sets the bearing race in a brake drum)

(Jim and Bill take a break, and pick a record to play on Bill's 1923 78 record player)

(Randy relaxes and enjoys his lunch and the music)

(Then it's back to work, getting ready to remove the engine and transmission)

(Engine and transmission are out... now the real work can begin!)

(George and Bill pull the engine and transmission apart. Keep up the good work guys!)

The Outside Air

Our PT-22 pilot training came from Terry Freedman, a CAF PT-22 pilot out of California. He was lucky enough to be involved with the Centennial of Naval Flight. Here is his write-up and accompanying photos.
I had the privilege and great luck to be able to participate in one of the most
amazing aviation events of my life in the parade of nearly 200 aircraft that
passed up the San Diego Bay on Saturday the 12th of February. Flying the
Commemorative Air Force Ryan PT-22, I was the first airplane in the parade that
followed the Blue Angels up the Bay. The weather was absolutely spectacular! You
could see all the way to Honolulu! I brought my wife Gini along to be the
photographer to document this truly Historic event and she got some great shots!
It is hard for me to describe the feelings of that day and flight, it is one I
will always remember!
PS: For the history buffs, the Navy did operate 200 NR-1's, the Navy version of
the Army PT-22, all at the then NAS Cecil field in Jacksonville, Fl.
PPS: Gini's dad was a Hell Cat pilot in WWII so this had some special meaning
for her too!

Pick something up at the PX!

Linda Franke has done a wonderful job reorganizing the PX and getting in new items that have sold well. Look for these items and more in coming posts and the newsletter.
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(This is a 1:48th scale mahogany model painted as Miss Mitchell. It is available for $125 in the PX. CAF Members get a discount!)

Around the Hangar

Helping around the hangar does not require that you are a mechanic or a pilot. We have so many things going on. All require someone to take on the project and make it happen! Find out what you can do to help the CAF today!
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(Ron Legg mounts awards received by the Minnesota Wing)

(Todd Lofquist categorizes all the museum items held by the Wing)

(He's still got a lot to do!)

(Linda Franke trains in the Wing Staff and other interested members on how to run the PX)

(Carol Lovaas cleans and organizes the museum cases)

(Todd has help with the museum items from cadets Kyle, Matt and Andrew)

(Tim Gunter and Bob Koelbl install the eyewash station)

(A parking lot full means lots going on at the Wing!)

A Look Back

Last year's first airshow was the Doolittle Raider's Reunion. This was a historic airshow, bringing together 17 B-25's. Most of you have seen pictures from this event, and there have been some video's floating around as well. This video, produced by Adam White (Red Tail Reborn) is a clip from his new show "The Restorers". A focus on Miss Mitchell and the Minnesota Wing, The Doolittle Raiders, and the Doolittle Reunion makes up this episode. It is amazing video, and very well put together. Be Sure to watch this on Full Screen! Enjoy!
(Video Thanks to The Restorers)

Aircraft Maintenance and Modification

Since so many pictures come in lately, I have to split the "Around the Hangar" section out and take a little different approach. We will focus on the aircraft maintenance side of things in this set of photos.
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(John Beyl, Larry Utter and Micael Menendez discuss the maintenance plans for the day)

(Matt Myklebust works on the P-51)

(Bob Wright checks the BT-13's ailerons)

(Dave Schouveller and Roger Van Ranst work on the B-25's exhaust system)

(It takes a group effort around the hangar... Mar Erickson, Matt, Andy Piazza and Dave remove the tail turret)

(Larry, Jim Lauria, Matt and Mark trade theories on what's needed to improve the tail turrets operation)

(Brandan Penaz works with Mark and Keith Struck under the supervision of Al Morphew. They are removing old fabric tape on the B-25 rudders in preparation for rejuvenating them)

(Doug Rozendaal and Al Morphew discuss what we are all ready for, next years flying season!)

(Al sprays rejuvinator on the rudders)

(Don't stop scrolling or we'll send Dave after you!)

(Rudy Nassif and Doug Olson clean up the PT-22)

(Matt and John inspect the Mustang engine and adjust the valves)

(Part of maintenance is discussing the plans. Doug, Meaghan Butzer, Janaka Buldoc and Bob talk over ideas for the PT-22 radio)

(Tom Goodwill cleans up the P-51 prop hub)

(Tim Gunter adds some marking tape to the L-5's fluid lines)

(Micael, Steve Kaminson and Andy Piazza inspect the Mustang)

(A new addition to the B-25... curtains! These are original issue WWII curtains that all B-25Js came with.)

Blog Update - 02February to 18February

Good Evening Everyone!
The Blog post is a little late this evening, I hope this isn't too inconvenient for you! We've had a significant amount of work progress at the Wing, activity in all areas is booming. The parking lot has been full every Saturday, and most Wednesdays, and that is a great sign! Maintenance has progressed quickly on all aircraft. Some have significant repairs in their near future, some just need a dusting off and they are ready to fly!

Motor Pool is making good progress on all vehicles, and we should see some fantastic restorations roll out of there in the fairly near future!

Next week is Winter Staff Conference in Midland Texas, so expect a few pictures and stories from the road!

For the most part, I will let the pictures do the talking for me.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Tail Turret Success!

Congratulations to Armament Project Lead Nate Timm for the successful operation of the B-25's Bell Tail Turret Assembly! Nate worked with Ray Miller to finish the hydraulics, bleed them, and get the system running. There are still a few things to be done, but we officially have an operating Tail Turret! Great Work!!!
(Videos Thanks to Brian Strom and Nate Timm)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tail End of Project Tail Turret

This year will be the first year that "Miss Mitchell's" tail turret will operate since the aircraft has been in CAF hands. It will be, as far as I know, the first CAF B-25 to have a functioning tail turret system! Nate Timm has worked incredibly hard to make this happen, and with the parts collected during the restoration of "Miss Mitchell" and parts that he has found, the project will soon be finished. Nate and Ray Miller tested the hydraulic systems after Ray created hard lines, and Nate ran the power to the front of the aircraft. The test was successful! The system still needs to be bled properly, and once it is, expect to see video of it operating on this site! Great work Nate and Ray!
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(Ray Miller runs hydraulic lines for the infamous "vanes")

(Nate Timm running a large cable from the front to the back of the aircraft)

(Running a wire isn't as easy as it seems... many times new holes and clamps are needed)

(Roger Van Ranst and Jim Lauria hoist the tail turret assembly into place)

(Ray and Nate do final checks before testing the hydraulics)

(Nate and Ray took this project on, and have done a great job of seeing it through!)