DC-3 Restoration activity update for the 3rd quarter of 2016 by crew member Carl Cruff.
The aluminum skin Step 1 cleaning activity focused on the fuselage underside surfaces. Although tedious and requiring a prone overhead working position, all underneath surfaces from the tail wheel to the wing/fuselage attachment fairing are finished. The underside of the wing box/lower engine cowling section is 85% cleaned on both sides of the aircraft. Additionally, 80% of the right wing surfaces have now received the Step 2 final polishing process. Upon completion of the Sikorsky CH-54B Tarhe restoration, the DC-3 fuselage will be relocated into the main restoration building for the completion of the skin cleaning and polishing activities, and the application of the Eastern Air Lines livery color scheme.
The wing leading edge anti-ice boots were removed before the DC-3 was purchased by the NEAM in 1992; the metal boot retainer strips were missing and the retainer strip screw fasteners were ground flush by the prior owner. Simulated anti-ice boots with the associated attachment retainer strips will be reinstalled during restoration requiring the removal of the original rivnut fasteners and installation of new rivnut fasteners. This work is now 80% complete for both wings.
Limited work activity in the cockpit area has resumed with the removal of all sidewall insulation padding and selected floor and instrumental cover panels; wood flooring has been temporarily installed. The scope of the cockpit restoration activity will be finalized during the 4th Quarter.
The DC-3 team welcomes our newest member, Mr. Ken Stino, who joins us after working in the metal fabrication business for various local machine shops.
The New England Air Museum's DC-3 was completed by the Douglas Corporation on November 14, 1942 as a C-49J and was transferred to the US Army Air Forces on that same day. The USAAF dataplate model designation for this aircraft is C-49 which was developed to distinguish the 138 Wright Cyclone 9 powered commercial airline aircraft impressed by the USAAF after the start of WW2, seventy-five of which were still on the Douglas assembly line in Santa Monica, CA. The J suffix denotes the 34 commercial aircraft within the block of 138 aircraft having Wright R-1820-71 engines being fabricated for various airlines including American Air Lines. Our aircraft was converted back to a DC-3 in October, 1945 by Canadair afterwhich it was leased and then purchased by Eastern Air Lines.