The progress continues on the North American AT-6 I have been helping with. Jason sent all of the steel parts out for new plating and they came back looking new. Now the process of putting everything back together begins. It is much slower putting it back together than taking it apart but hopefully it will stay together for many years. Some of the major areas we have been working might not have been opened up since they were assembled 70 years ago. Namely the tank bays where the fuel tanks live, the right bay looks as though it has never been opened. It is incredible to get into this airplane and see some of the engineering and thought process that went into the initial manufacture of this airplane. There are these crazy nut plates in the tank bay and I still have no idea why they are manufactured the way they are.
Currently we are reassembling the tank bays and the wheel well area including the landing gear themselves. It’s tough to take a picture to show the progress, some of these assemblies are very intricate and hidden away once installed. Getting everything aligned properly takes just the right amount of washers or shims or both and the only way to know the exact configuration takes assembling and disassembling to get things fitting perfectly.
The progress continues, hopefully by March the AT-6 will be back on its wheels, there are tons of little projects that need completion first. I’m learning a lot about the T-6 during this process.