Our long awaited Fred ludtke Monocoupe 90AW145 arrived a week ago from Burlington, NC.
The photos show the Coupe , the Warner Super Scarab, the long 32` one piece wing and a bunch other parts that all made the trip in good shape.
Bill Willmeroth from Deland Florida does a fantastic job in moving delicate projects such as our Monocoupe.
All the parts and pieces have been inventoried, we seem to be missing only the two lower control stick pivot bracketts that mount through the floor boards to straps welded to the cross tubes .
The 90AW145 Fuselage rolls off the trailer, all the wood work is there for patterns and will helpful in fabricating all new wood for the curvaious Monocoupes lines. 650X10 wheels and brakes have been added over time and as a result the original axels were cut off and a bolting pad welded in place. With the age and amount of splices on each gear leg quite a bit of fabricating will take place and then heat treating to create new gear legs.
As you can see most of the instruments are still in place that were installed when Fearlees Freddie flew the Coupe.
Freddie has supplied us with a few parts and some drawings to aid in the restoration process, also included was a antique Hallcrafter com radio that might look great with front face plate installed in the new panel, kind of art deco.
The woodwork was last open to day lite way back in 1967, one can see how the Coupes Teal shaped aft fuselage gets it`s beautiful shape .
The fuselage tubing appears to be in great shape and after documentation and critical photos we will go forward with the fuselage disassebly , sandblasting and priming, followed by the new woodwork.
One of the more difficult and delicate pieces is the Coupe 32` one piece wing, I wish this was a Clip Wing ( more on a Clip Wing later)
Peeking in a few holes cut in the fabric the wing looks to be in great shape, gremlins can come out in mega batches once old the old fabric is cutaway though, we`ll see shortly!!
With a little warmer weather, (55 degrees) Andy applies a coat of epoxy primer to the 120 gear legs and Firewall.
With the Continental C-85 removed from the airframe work has begun on a top over haul . Two cracked cylinders were found, two replacement cylinders and the remaing two cylinders O/H`d, were replacing the old parts with new pistons,piston pins, rings,valves and o/h`d rocker arms we`ll have a great C-85 for the finished 120. Even with a compression check the cracked cylinders did`nt show a problem.The engine would have gone until a failure if we hadn’t torn into the C-85 . Peace of mind!!
Fabrication of the R/H Front and rear wing hinge flat patterns are complete, Fixturing in place front and rear hinge plates after heating and bending fabrication of wing hinge fittings and patch plates has been completed for the R/H Fuselage/wing stub assy.
With the center rear wing hinge fitting formed and welded in place , the front and rear .125″ 4130 doublers are added front and rear, they are edge welded to the ears of the first fitting and then the doublers are heated and formed around the center fitting and stub tubes and are welded. Next a third short doubler is added to the front and rear “ear” of the base hinge fitting , edge welded again and formed which completes the entire wing hinge assy.
This is the R/H Forward hinge fitting with the first fitting tack welded to the forward stub, heating and forming is next and then welding, the front and rear doublers get added as each piece of 4130 is heated and formed. The rear fitting in this view still needs the third doubler added to the front and rear “ears”.
Another view of the R/H fwd wing hinge base fitting before the tack welds are doned.
With the front and rear wing hinge fittings welded in place a section of 1.125″ x .063″ is welded between the front and rear attach fitting/stubs. The third doubler is added and welded to the hinge ears and formed to the tube and final welded.
A view from the left side of the fuselage looking at the completed R/H Stub/wing attach assy. One can see the amount of patch plate fabrication, forming and welding that takes place in a scratch built airframe of this magnitude.
With fabrication of the L/H wing hinge stub fittings completed, work can begin on the L/H side of the stub wing assy.
With completion of the stabilizer front /rear spars and truss, 4130 tubes with three different diameters give the stabilizer it`s airfoil shape. The leading edge tube was formed seperatley before installing on the fixture.