Rebuilding Tsunami is quite an undertaking. 90% of the aircraft is made up of hundreds of custom fabricated parts, 5% is off a P-51 Mustang with another 5% off various other production aircraft. Although we have the original plans and tooling of the aircraft, Tsunami was modified many times, and many of those modifications were never documented. The only real proof we have is balled up in the wreck and only a fraction of those parts were undamaged in the accident.
Whenever I open up the doors to Tsunami’s storage trailer I get filled with excitement, I tell myself this is the day I’m going to start fabricating parts again, then I begin sorting through the parts and my excitement slowly turns into anxiety and suddenly I am overwhelmed. I think to myself there is no way we can do this, we don’t have the right tools or equipment, we don’t have the proper facility to construct the project and we certainly don’t have the funds to even come close to completing the aircraft. I then shut the doors and say to myself one day the stars will align and everything will work itself out.
We all know that is never going to happen, nothing is ever handed to us and if Tsunami is ever going to get rebuilt we have to start somewhere. So last week I gained the courage to open up the doors to the trailer and pull out a few of the jigs. I then pulled out the tail section along several boxes of parts and over the course of the week I laid out the parts and tried to make sense of them. I read through the plans, looked through old photos of the original build and the photos we took years ago when we disassembled sections of the aircraft. I tried to come up with a game plan, but every plan brought me back to that all too familiar feeling of feeling overwhelmed. And then something happened, I walked into the shop a couple days ago, grabbed the first part I saw and built a new one. It was nothing major, but it was a start and one of the most gratifying feelings I’ve had in a long time.
I would love to tell everyone that the rebuild of Tsunami is back in full force, but this is not the case. All I can tell you is that we are going to take it one part at a time and see where it goes.