by Chuck Cravens
As November comes to a close, more and more signs point to a return of the Red Tail to the skies and its educational mission. Last month we saw wing mounting, landing gear work, air induction system, and cockpit progress. The wing and gear work was finished this month and a very important milestone occurred when the prop was mounted.
Paint and Protective Coatings
The last few parts that needed paint have been sprayed and dried, ready for installation.
The Red Tail is a P-51C-10NT and would have had a fuselage tank installed. The tank was a new feature of the dash 10s and installed on the production line. Tanks were also retrofitted to some earlier models.
The added back seat is placed where the fuselage tank and radio racks would have been during the military service of this Mustang
Mounting the Propellor
When a repair or restoration gets to the point of mounting the prop, the engine test can’t be far behind.
The original Hamilton Standard prop was 11’ 2”. It is 30 percent, or almost one-third, of the 37 foot wingspan.
As those who have been following the progress of the restoration know, the engine test was successfully completed on November 16th. A very brief video of the first post-repair start is posted on the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s Facebook page. The address is : https://www.facebook.com/cafredtailsquadron/
The AirCorps Aviation Facebook page has it as well: https://www.facebook.com/aircorpsaviation
If you haven’t checked them out, I know you will enjoy them.