Today we share an update on the refurbishment taking place on CA-18 Mk.21 Mustang A68-110 VH-MFT at Caboolture Qld. Warbirds Online visited the ongoing refurbishment of this aircraft during a workshop open day over the 25 and 26th of March 2017.
Since our last visit much more of the aircraft has been dismantled including the removal of the Rolls Royce /Packard Merlin engine from the fuselage and the separation of the two wing halves. The landing gear has also been removed as have many of the wing access panels and other equipment.
Enthusiasts are especially lucky to have had the chance to view the aircraft in its fully dismantled state which in Australia is a very rare sight as Mustangs are rare enough but Mustang rebuilds are almost always inaccessible to the public. Dave Kingshott and his team at Complete Aircraft Care and the owners of the aircraft are to be commended for their open approach to public access to the rebuild of this very popular aircraft. Dave, the owners and the team were on hand over the weekend to answer the host of questions from interested “Mustangophiles”
Many details of the aircraft are still being dissembled and assessed, rebuilt and stored prior to refitting. Wherever necessary repairs are being carried out to the airframe but no major issues have been found which require rectification – it is very much a timely refurbishment of the aircraft rather than a restoration.
Although the Rolls Royce /Packard Merlin engine has been removed it is in excellent condition and does not require significant work so it is sitting in the workshop awaiting refit. The emphasis of work is now turning from the dismantling of the aircraft to its repair and rebuild including the hydraulic systems, electrical and general structural work.
It is anticipated that from now on work will center on assembly of completed sections rather than dismantling as the Mustang continues its return to flight. There is no date for completion but it should come along quite quickly from now on as the work of putting it back together takes place.
Warbirds Online will continue to monitor progress on this magnificent Mustang as she progresses through this detailed and complex rebuild back to better than new condition. Our thanks go to David Kingshott and his team for allowing us to visit this refurbishment and our thanks also go to the aircrafts owners for granting us access to this great Warbird.
© John Parker 2017