Texas Flying Legend Museum’s
by Chuck Cravens
The restoration is nearing completion as you will see in this month’s update. Many more visually interesting operations happen near the end, so this time there are many photos. We will begin with a visit by some special folks who made a trip to see Lope’s Hope 3rd andmeet the restoration team and owners of this P-51C.
Donald Lopez’s son and granddaughter, Dr. Donald Lopez, Jr. and Laura Lopez, came all the way to AirCorps in Bemidji to take a look at the P-51C being restored in Donald’s honor.
They were able to see another P-51, a “D” model fly when Texas Flying Legends’ Bruce Eames and Warren Pietsch departed after the visit.
A great deal of finish work and equipment installation in the cockpit was accomplished this month.
Randy Carlson of Carlson Metal Shaping helped us out on the various fillets. He is a specialist in the complex forming of these tightly compound curved pieces.
Without guns it isn’t a fighter, some say, so work on the replica gun installations was an important part of this month’s restoration effort.
Plumbing for hydraulics and running electrical wiring went along with the installation of various system components in the gear wells.
The Engine Runs!
Out at the hangar, the V-1650-7 Merlin has been mounted on a truck and test run. This truck belongs to Pat Harker and this is the first time we have had the luxury of running the engine before installing it permanently in a P-51.
One of the last steps before sending the fuselage and wing out to our hangar for final assembly is the paint process.