Detaching the Flap Bay:
A short while ago, we reported on Pioneer Aero's inspection of the flap bay area of our SBD's wing center section. Since that point, Martin Hedley reports that his team has detached the entire assembly from the structure, as the following images reveal, and separated it into its component parts. The process began first by drilling out the hundreds of rivets attaching the top surface of the skin to the upper cap of Spar No.5, the wing's rearmost bulkhead. They also needed to de-rivet the set of stringers which link the flap bay skin to the wing center section skin forwards of Spar No.5. Each of these center section stringers lies where that subassembly intersects with the fuselage, as can be seen in the third image down.
Dismantling & Assessment:
As already noted, once the team had removed the flap bay subassembly from the wing center section, they carefully took it apart to assess the potential serviceability of its components. The images below show some of these parts during that process; the image captions reveal which items will likely be refurbished for reuse, and which will require remanufacture.