recognizes the threats that time and use pose to preserving his favorite ride.
“Anyone who gets a chance to work on or fly a
WWII warbird is really lucky. I feel so lucky, just to
be a part of this history,” says the man who bought his
first P-5 1 in 1992, a pristine, non-combat, no-corro-
sion machine. He’s flown it more than 1,000 hours.
During that time, he says, “I’ve seen some challenges
with the engine and the airframe, and I started to
make some parts that were in short supply.”
Jack now has the only FAA-approved repair sta-
tion that can zero-time a Merlin. The Roush shop
makes camshafts, pistons, rings, and some gaskets,
while a lot of other parts are also under development,
like intake and exhaust valves and springs, and the
steel rod and main caps. He also works with some
more mundane but important items, like the develop-
ment of new sealants.
Now a non-racing Merlin, with Roush steel rod
caps, shot peening, corrosion resistance, Roush solid
intake, sodium-filled exhaust valves and screw-in
valve seats, valve springs and retainers, and perhaps
some of his patented repairs (like the Roush welding
process that restores cracked heads and blocks), can
approach 2,000 hours running time between bottom-end rebuilds; even top-ends are going 500 hours.
Jack is happy to innovate. “We tried a roller
cam—I have 1, 100 hours on mine so far,” he says.
Innovation and development are fine, and he loves
both, but airplanes are not cars, and Jack says he is
cautious not to take too much “car” technology to
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