Texas Flying Legends’
by Chuck Cravens
The horizontal stabilizer came out of its fixture. The disassembly of the fuselage took upmany of the work hours last month as well.
In the restoration shop, the fuselage disassembly process continued into this month. Actual assembly work in November and early December focused on the tail cone. The frames were mounted in the fixture and stringers, brackets, and other parts found their way into the assembly.
The fab shop machined wing mounting crossties and fittings, crash skid parts, and some fuselage fittings. Those will be used as the fuselage progresses.
Compact discscontaining microfilm from the 5th Air Force Fighter Squadrons arrived from the Air Force Historical Research Agency. The histories of every squadron that had P-47s during the correct time frame were ordered.
They include :
• The 39th, 40th and 41st Fighter Squadrons from the 35th Fighter Group
• The 69th, 310th and 311th Squadronsfrom the 58th Fighter Group
• The 340th, 341st , 342nd and 460th Fighter Squadrons from the 348th Fighter Group.
There are several thousand pages on each of seven CDs to look through. Once the pages that cover May through September of 1944 are located in each Squadron’s history, they will be read carefully for clues to our P-47’s war history.
Wing Attachment Fittings
Tail Cone Assembly
They would have been extrusions at the Evansville, Indiana plant where 42-27609 was built. For small numbers of parts as in a single restoration, machining is more economically practical.
The tail cone is oriented vertically in the fixture with the aft most end up. The fixture was constructed using photos from inside the Republic factory for reference.