Sunday, February 20, 2022

Prowler Aviation Blog Update (Dec 2020 - March 2021) - Francis Was Busy !

Howdy All !!!

As the title indicates, Francis was busy building during this period.  Actually, Francis is always busy actively building on their Prowler project. He has been great (for years now) sharing his progress and his accomplishments while building their aircraft.

Anyway, during this period of Dec2020 - March 2021, there was not a lot of Prowler related work going on in my shop, or anyone's shop - except Francis. So, the bulk of this update will be based on Francis and his updates to me.

Right now, I believe that there are 3 active builder: Francis (France), Eric (Montreal), and Vaughn (Fort Worth). As I said, Francis keeps me pretty up to date on his progress.  I don't hear much from Eric. Starting in summer/fall 2020, Vaughn has become really active on his Prowler project.  I stay up to date with Vaughn through the phone calls and texts we share in discussing the issues and plans that he has for his Prowler project.

In late 2020 and early 2021, Francis was busy putting the skins on the center wing section of the airplane. Here is the area on the lower side of the wing, under the cockpit:
It appears that he has slightly shrunk outer edges of the center panel.  Also, note that initially he only had the one central access panel installed.  In the next picture, the panel on the lower side of the left wing is being fitted:
What the skin joint looks like a little closer up:
Now, more access panels have been added to the center skin to be able to get into each bay under the cockpit floor:
At this point, Francis was commissioned to do more work on the Yak-3 that he made the spinner backplate and other parts for in the Nov 2020 update.  This time, he was working on the landing gear doors.  I beleive he needed to form some fairly thick steel and he needed to "beef up" his english wheel in order to get the job done.  Here is the frame stripped down with a new stiff-back added to it:
And, here it is with a new paint job and the parts back:
I believe that he used the supped up english wheel to form the steel bracket you see in this pic:
There are two of these on each door and they got a small tab welded onto them so that the could attach to the gear door operating mechanisms:
I am not sure if Francis fabricated the doors themselves, but I am inclined to think that he did, also, make the doors (they look great - that's the kind of work he does!!).  Here's the outsides of the doors:
Looks like everything is primed for paint:
These pictures show a test fitting of the door.  It looks like this was done before the primer was put on, so these might have been a little out of order.  But, they look great!!

Nice job, Francis!!  You do great work!!  I will have more of his Prowler project in another "catch-up" update that is coming soon!

That will do it for this blog update.  Thanks for checking in!

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