December 2016 update on the restoration of the Burnelli CBY-3 "Loadmaster" from restoration Crew Chief, Harry Newman.
This update marks the completion of the 4th year of the CBY-3 restoration and we estimate that the project is approximately 60 to 65% completed. Based on this estimate we feel we have about 30 months remaining before completion. The most difficult structural issues have been resolved and great progress has been made by our all-volunteer crew along with the support of our corporate sponsors over the previous 12 months. Some of the year's highlights include:
Completion of the interior preparation and priming
Completion of the right main landing gear and wheel well restoration. Work is underway on the left gear and wheel well
Completion of the reconstruction of the left accessory bay and fuselage structure; Work is underway on the reconstruction of the right accessory bay and fuselage
Mounting of all main and tail gear tubes and tires on their rims
A second moveable wing cradle was built to accommodate the left wing which had been stored outside awaiting restoration. The left wing was then hoisted into the cradle and moved into the restoration hangar
Completion of structural repairs to the left wing including the refurbishment of the flap and aileron bearings and mounts. The left wing has also received its initial coat of primer
Refurbishment of the left and right wingtips
Removal and restoration of the large cabin combustion heater
Removal of all cockpit assemblies, stripping of old paint and priming of the interior. Work continues on the cockpit instruments and panels
Work has begun on fabricating the permanent floor panels for the cargo bays
Work has also begun on fabricating all new windows for the fuselage
Ongoing work through December 2016
Due to the size of the CBY-3's wings and space limitations in our hangar it has been necessary to approach the restoration of the wings in stages. Earlier this year the right wing was brought into the hangar in an upright position in its moveable cradle. This allowed initial work to be completed on portions of the top and bottom surfaces. When this stage was completed the right wing was moved into storage and the left wing was brought in - also in the upright position - for similar work. As space became available in the restoration hangar the left wing was placed flat on workbenches where the remainder of its reconstruction was completed. The left wing was then primed, hoisted back into its cradle and returned to storage. The partially restored right wing was then brought back into restoration where the remainder of its reconstruction has begun.