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Old 10-18-2017, 08:51 PM
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Sakrison Sakrison is offline
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1:1 scale B-25 Project

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is restoring its 1943 B-25 Mitchell "Berlin Express" to flying condition. As an EAA member and longtime volunteer, I will be spending a few afternoons a week helping with the restoration. I spent this afternoon and evening "getting intimate" with one of the aircraft's 14-cylinder Wright Cyclone engines, pulling exhaust stacks from the cylinders so the engine can be removed and overhauled.

On the airplane, the rear of the Cyclone is a rat's nest of pipes, tubes, and shrouds. Getting a socket wrench onto a bolt hidden deep in the maze and then finding room enough to swing the ratchet wrench was often a real challenge. I really could have used an eyeball on the end of my index finger.

Several years ago, I worked on the repair/restoration of the EAA's B-17, "Aluminum Overcast," pulling, cylinders, cleaning landing gear bays, installing guns and ammunition boxes. and other tasks. Crawling in and around that airplane, I gained a heightened appreciation for the young men and women who built, maintained, and flew these historic warbirds.

This B-25 has been on static display in the EAA's AirVenture Museum for many years. After restoration, it will be flown on tour as a "flying museum." I feel very privileged to take part in returning this beautiful aircraft to the air.

You can read about "Berlin Express" here:
https://www.eaa.org/…/1943-north-american-b-25h-mitchell---…

You can read about the restoration project here:
https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/contribut...25-restoration
Attached Thumbnails
1:1 scale B-25 Project-b-25.jpg  
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:15 PM
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southwestforests southwestforests is offline
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That is cool! A once in a lifetime to opportunity to get frustrated with historical significance!
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:48 AM
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Don Boose Don Boose is offline
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Good wishes for your work on restoring this historic aircraft.

I suppose it's a little too big and noisy to use to lead cranes on their migration flights?

Don
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:22 AM
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Sakrison Sakrison is offline
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Originally Posted by southwestforests View Post
That is cool! A once in a lifetime to opportunity to get frustrated with historical significance!
That made me laugh. Thank goodness I'm not paying the bills for this bird.
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On the bench: Halinski's F-14A Tomcat - 1:33
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:26 AM
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Rubenandres77 Rubenandres77 is offline
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Is always great news when a classic warbird is restored. And very nice that a member of our forum participates in the process.

Good news indeed
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:45 PM
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Sakrison Sakrison is offline
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Before I left the hangar last night, I crawled inside the B-25 for a few minutes. It was a tight fit for my 6-foot, 200-lb frame, even with much of the interior hardware removed for the restoration. Thinking back to wartime photos I've seen, I got a real sense of how cramped it must have been in combat with guns, ammunition, oxygen bottles, and crew. I thought about what it must have been like to be under fire from fighters or flak. Talk about "no place to hide"!

These photos are not "Berlin Express." I will post photos as the restoration proceeds.
Attached Thumbnails
1:1 scale B-25 Project-b25_nose.jpg   1:1 scale B-25 Project-b25-tunnel.jpg   1:1 scale B-25 Project-b25waist.jpg  
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My friends tell me I could learn a lot from birdwatching. I try but I've never actually seen a bird do anything I found personally useful.
On the bench: Halinski's F-14A Tomcat - 1:33
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:35 PM
kingjason14 kingjason14 is offline
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Sakrison, thank you for sharing your experience and those photos. That is beyond cool! That looks incredibly cramped. I work on Paine Field, and when John Session or Paul Allen fly either of their B-25s I have to stop work and watch in awe.
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:48 PM
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Fascinating!

Wyvern
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:06 PM
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VinceM VinceM is offline
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On October 7 the B-25 "Yankee Warrior" came to Elkhart and offered rides. Went to see it, but unfortunately didn't have $ 400 lying around. Nice to see you're helping one of Yankee Warrior's sisters return to the sky.
Attached Thumbnails
1:1 scale B-25 Project-b-25-1.jpg   1:1 scale B-25 Project-b-25-2.jpg  
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakrison View Post
Before I left the hangar last night, I crawled inside the B-25 for a few minutes. It was a tight fit for my 6-foot, 200-lb frame, even with much of the interior hardware removed for the restoration. Thinking back to wartime photos I've seen, I got a real sense of how cramped it must have been in combat with guns, ammunition, oxygen bottles, and crew. I thought about what it must have been like to be under fire from fighters or flak. Talk about "no place to hide"!
.
I know what you mean about the tight quarters inside the B-25. I got the chance to crawl through the pair (well, 1 1/2 planes) of B-25s at the SAC Museum where I used to work many times. At 6'3" and 250 lb, I nearly got stuck crawling into the nose through the tunnel. I hope to be able to help out in the restoration shop as I have more time once the kids get older.
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