Monday, December 8, 2014

Big Bird Gets its Feathers plucked, Day 2

Visibility:         Hazy
Temperature:  Cooler than yesterday.
Comment:      No airport operations again today.

A team gathered again to tear down Big Bird in preparation for the rebuild.  Saturday great big pieces were removed, Sunday was the small stuff.

Jan watches Andrew drill out rivets from the rudder..
Frank and Richard work on removing the seatpan which is riveted onto the frame.
John is removing the aileron bellcrank from the airframe.
Pancho is drilling out a rivet to free an aluminum "former" from the steel frame.
Frank is dosconnecting the last of the wires, etc., between the nosebowl and frame.
Several eyeballs are checking to make sure all of the rivets holding the nosebowl onto the frame have been found and drilled out.
The nosebowl is ready to be removed.
The nosebowl is off.
Many hands work to free a stubborn longeron.
 The first step of the preparation is to clean the airframe good.  Since sandblasting can actually peen over a small crack and make it invisible, any suspect areas are first scraped clean of paint.
Martin is using a knife to scrape paint off of suspect areas.
This is the right-hand attachment for the wing strut.  While not unsafe--yet--this is certainly not good and needed attention ASAP.
Right-hand wing strut attach fitting.
Rear wing spar attachment.
More rust.
More rust.
The consensus was that the dent on the tube below has been there for a long time, probably before it was painted the last time.  The dent eventually caused the crack and, and eventually would have been a complete break.
This tube is what holds the forward spar of the vertical stabilizer.

 Dent and crack on tube that holds main spar of vertical stabilizer.
Here is the frame at the end of the day.  No "attached" parts are remaining.

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