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Pumpkin drop event

Winter Build 2018/19: Hangar 9 P-47D Razorback

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
With the wing on a pad on the bench we need to do some surgery. First order was to carefully and strategically remove the aluminum from a panel large enough to fully assess the damage.
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From here, I used a razor to carefully cut away small sections of balsa skin until I had cut it all away and had joints on the ribs to glue on new skin.
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New portions of structure were added at the stringers on the top and at the leading edge. The leading edge has a piece of ply behind the LE balsa stock. I did not have the exact shape but a razor plane carves away the bulk easily. I reinforced that area with triangle stock to keep things sturdy.
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Next up was to re-sheet the wing top. three sections were used. Careful measuring and cutting and then Medium CA keeps it all in place.
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A little light sanding to do some initial blending and some gaps need to be filled with spackle.
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Note above how the bottom of the leading edge was also missing pieces. I cycled the landing gear up and down to trace a new piece of trim ply to install first and then a small portion of sheeting was installed, blended, and spackled.
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From that last picture you can see that I have one more minor area to repair but for two hours of work she is already looking much better. The sign could not have hit in a more easily repaired area. It stopped right at the aluminum spar and went right into the wheel well. I'm out of my chromate green paint so I'll likely attend the event without the wheel well painted. Still, at this point I can wrap up the spackle sanding, apply a bit of glass, re-apply new aluminum, polish, and rivet.

Many folks were thinking she was a write off from such an injury but I was not concerned. I estimated 6-10 hours to fully repair her and it looks like my estimate is going to be spot on. What you see posted here consists of only 2 hours of work.
 
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willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
After a couple of distractions this weekend (Dauntless and Escapade), I managed to do a little more work. The bottom aft portion of the wing was damaged. I pulled back some foil and the ply pieces for the wheel well were salvageable. I did need a couple of new pieces but it was another 30 minutes of work to get it all prepped. Today I'll properly tape off these areas and apply fresh glass and the obligatory 3 coats of sanding sealer to let cure overnight.

Tuesday's plan is to re-tape off for application of new foil panels after which I can polish in fairly short order. Depending on time on after that all I'll need to do is some additional rivet work.

In short, I'm only 2 hours into the repair job and estimate another 3-4 hours... under budget of my estimation but anything could still happen. Also note the sticker of my good buddy, Mike Finley, who was involved in the accident.
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willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Productive evening last night. Another 1.5 hours in so let's go over what was accomplished.

The bottom aft portion was glassed first. It was a small piece to blend in. Again, I'm using a hair dryer to quickly cure out the sanding sealer. One base coat on the bare wood, sand to rough up, apply the glass and cure, then three fill coats of sanding sealer and sand smooth. I taped off the area to apply the foil and did so in two sections here.
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The top and bottom fore portions were next. One piece of glass applied as previously outlined. I snapped a shot before I sanded to try and capture the gloss finish. The main section on the top of the wing was problematic. I messed up two pieces before getting it right the third time. The root of the wing is nearly as wide as the foil so I had to be very careful on placement. Also I had to tuck it under an existing foil panel to get the panel overlap correct. It needs a bit more smoothing out with the burnishing tool but it will turn out fine.
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So the running tally now is 4 hours of work (miscounted after work on Sunday evening) and we are ready to polish and apply rivets. I thought I would wait for the sanding sealer to cure out but I saw little need as the glue from the foil needs to cure out as well before I try to polish. The friction will wrinkle the foil due to poor adhesion. I figured I'd try to let it all cure out together this time. I've got plenty of time before Saturday to finish this up at this point but I'll try to wrap things up this evening.
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
So, laying down the rivets is a simple task of making lines. The vinyl guide comes in very handy again here. tape at one end, hold the other and apply rivets with the tube.
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You do it enough times and you have repaired panels that blend into the rest of the wing. I'm actually quite impressed with how it all blends together and how well it all turned out. It is very hard to tell there was any damage at all.
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The main repair is now complete. I'll eventually re-paint the wheel well at some point but I'm out of that paint currently. I'm all set for a warbird event on Saturday. My dauntless will accompany the Jug as I'd like to represent both fronts of the war and I've not flown the Dauntless since early last year.
 

Wildthing

Well-known member
So, laying down the rivets is a simple task of making lines. The vinyl guide comes in very handy again here. tape at one end, hold the other and apply rivets with the tube.
View attachment 137060

You do it enough times and you have repaired panels that blend into the rest of the wing. I'm actually quite impressed with how it all blends together and how well it all turned out. It is very hard to tell there was any damage at all.
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The main repair is now complete. I'll eventually re-paint the wheel well at some point but I'm out of that paint currently. I'm all set for a warbird event on Saturday. My dauntless will accompany the Jug as I'd like to represent both fronts of the war and I've not flown the Dauntless since early last year.
Perfection,
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
To conclude this project:

I'm sure the P-47 will have many more flights in the future. There is very tall corn at my local field so it's not likely that she will fly any time soon. Maybe in the fall for our annual turkey fry and fly. I've got some thoughts on a few subjects I would like to cover before I start my next build so tune into my YT channel and follow me on IG for periodic updates to my work.