Thursday, October 30, 2014

Moving closer toward first flight - step-by-step

The team at CAP is steadily moving Curtiss Robin NR59H closer toward its first flight since 1984.  This refurbishment and modification project has included a long list of steps and tasks that we are continuing to knock out each weekend.  We've been so busy, there's been little time to keep this blog up to date.  But here are some photos of some of the recent work.  Several weeks through August, September, and early October 2014 are included here.

With the fuselage lifted, Lon prepares to remove the temporary skid dolly.
Randall bringing the LH axle into position after RH gear is already in place.
Randal says... with the gear installed, this bird looks so much more "Majestic".  I agree.

Challenger engine mated with Horseshoe Engine Mount.

One of the most difficult challenges with the modernization project for this airplane and engine was the goal to convert the magnetos with shielded harness and park plugs.  The folks at Radial Engines Ltd built up a new harness and shrouds for the mags using the cast bronze distributor covers from a later style mag.  They had to do some tricky machine work to get them to fit.  Once we got them here to CAP, we ran into some clearance issues which forced us to do some additional machining on the covers.  Here we have the mags installed and timed to the engine.

Mags installed.... we had some clearance issues with the horseshoe mount.

 We also removed the original hand-crank inertia starter and set out to modify with an electric starter. Fellow antiquer Tim Talen sold us a Bendix-eclipse model F-141core, which we had overhauled bu Aircraft Accessories of Oklahoma.

Completing the Bendix F-141 Electric Starter conversion - thankfully it clears the oil tank.
 What a day... we got the engine installed after a lot of little issues that had to be overcome.  Anytime you modify something, you have to be ready for many issues that you've unknowingly created.  Be prepared to fabricate.

Here's the CAP modification/fabrication/refurb team... Terry, Lon, and Randall.
 
Burning the midnight oil... installing tail parts.

Randall and Lon adjusting stabilizer and elevator
 
The Robin on its Roost after another productive weekend... tailfeathers installed.



 
By this time, many who are watching this project unfold have figured out that the new owner is making plans for some interesting NEW history to be made.  We will write more about this in future postings.  For now, I'll just say we have a wonderful group of people to support this fascinating project.

Ray and Jim readying the wings for installation.

This past weekend, on October 25th, we had an excellent crew of folks on hand to help install the wings on this magnificent old airplane.  I will attempt to name them all here...Texas team members on hand that day were.... Ray Mattix, Guy Matthews, Jim Elsey, Leon Carr, Randall Green, Carolyn Carr, Leann Bowden, Travis Lightfoot, Rachel Lightfoot, Hannah Lightfoot;  And the Costa Rican team on hand for this event were.... Everardo Carmona, Jr, Everardo Carmona, Sr., Alejandro Neito, Carlos Mazzalli, Carlos Macaya,








 
It takes a Village.

Marine PFC, Travis Lightfoot manning the safety rope while Carlos looks on.
 
Where did Ray go?

We found Ray!!
 
Glad to have her back together!!


Thanks to our most excellent "wing hangin' crew".


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