PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

October 11, 2002 Project Update

Bill Broussard went up on Friday and got to work completing the coverings on the horizontal stabilizer and elevator, as well as working on the machine gun triggers which will be mounted on the control column.

Tom Gaylord arrived mid-morning on Saturday. Work continued on finishing the tail surface coverings and these two items were shot with initial coats of silver at the end of the evening. Bill decided his machine gun triggers needed revisions, and the first attempts were scrapped. Roger Freeman and I created a tool to try to get the packing nut off the front case of the Ranger engine.

On Sunday, things really got interesting.... Wayne Jones showed up for an afternoon of work. Roger was continuing to shoot silver on our horizontal tail surfaces as well as his brother's Ryan's ailerons and flaps.

Roger and Tom tried the tool on the frozen packing nut, but it didn't move but 90 degrees before binding solid. This was post application of heat. The crankshaft was braced by some sturdy steel bars through two connecting rods and we were able to apply sufficient pressure to bend both rods at the same time (and distort the wrench handle) without moving the nut. Roger was suspended in air on his lever, Tom was suspended on his (keeping the engine rotisserie from tumping over from Roger's pressure!). We squirted the nut with WD-40 hoping it would penetrate and loosen the nut, especially as it had been through a couple of heating and cooling cycles.

Bill was reworking his machine gun triggers and mounts and felt the process was going quite a bit better. Wayne and Tom tried to remove the packing nut one last time and it was truly frozen solid... no results. We all agreed it was best to just get another set of cases from the attic and forget about this one.

Wayne and Tom went foraging in the attic, finally selecting a set of cases. The criteria used to select the cases was that they were the easiest to get at and didn't appear to have too many spider webs built inside them!

This set of cases was easy to split, but many of the studs that mount the rear accessory case were bent. We will have to check the several crankshafts that Roger has to identify the best one, as well as scrounge up the nose case and plate and ensure all the rear covers are present. These components will need to be stripped for hot tanking and clean-up.

Roger suggested we replace the bent studs with good ones from our stubborn engine (now rejected for service). We enjoyed a 40% success rate at removing the studs. The "new" cases have very rusty looking studs that have been exposed for quite some time. Of the five studs requiring removal, three snapped. The studs from the other engine were easily removed and installed, but the broken studs will need removal and replacement.

The weekend felt like progress. When we go up next Roger will likely have the horizontal tail surfaces finished in blue, as well as correcting the color line on the vertical fin.