DC-3 Restoration Activity

DC-3 Restoration activity update for the 3rd quarter of 2018 by crew member Carl Cruff.

Six interior sections were the focus of activity and good progress is being realized.


The cleaning and repair of the bulkhead behind the co-pilot's seat is finished and the reinstallation of several control systems is underway. The restoration of additional cockpit systems continues requiring detailed disassembly, cleaning, painting/refurbishment and reassembly work. Interestingly, a good portion of this work will be covered by insulation padding when the cockpit renovation is finished.

Co-pilot bulkhead reassembly underway

Hydraulic compartment

The cleaning and spot touch-up painting of the compartment bulkhead is complete. The cleaning and restoration of the tubing, fittings, and hydraulic fluid reservoir tank which were not removed are 90% finished. The hydraulic control panel adjacent to the cockpit has been repainted and the attached instructional plates lettering have been refreshed.

Hydraulic compartment reassembly and cleaning continues

Passenger compartment

The right side of the passenger compartment has been cleared of ancillary, stored components and vacuum cleaned. The sheet metal wall backer panels were cleaned and temporarily fit-check attached onto the fuselage ribs. The overhead lighting conduit/cool air duct has been cleaned, repaired, and painted with the off-white "crème brulee" cabin interior color. The air duct nozzles, light fixtures and other miscellaneous hardware attached to this lighting conduit/cool air duct are being cleaned and painted.

Passenger compartment renovation started
Overhead lighting conduit/cool air duct renovation

Flight attendant buffet station

Significant attention is being focused on the reconstruction of the buffet station used to serve beverages and light snacks to the passengers. The unit was completely disassembled, corroded sheet metal components replaced, and all access panels/storage drawers have been re-covered with period correct Formica laminate. Material for the missing beverage dispensers has been ordered and fabrication of the replacement units will be completed during the 4th Quarter. A new electrical power supply is being fitted inside one of the buffet station drawers which will power the aircraft lighting systems including the passenger cabin, lavatory, and cargo areas. The original flight attendant control box panel located adjacent to the aircraft entry/exit door will activate the new LED lighting system with all new wiring scheduled for 2019.

Flight attendant buffet station restoration
Flight attendant control panel


The lavatory door has been stripped, repaired, and re-covered with new Formica laminate. A replacement sink unit has been purchased and period correct facet and hand wash soap dispenser were installed. The previously fabricated toilet has been temporarily installed into the lavatory compartment for fit checking.

Replacement lavatory sink assembly
Lavatory toilet fit-check


All surfaces of the aircraft entry/exit airstair have been stripped of paint and thoroughly cleaned of well-worn stair tread and carpet coverings. A refurbishment scheme including several Eastern Airlines logos has been developed but the plan execution will be deferred pending the completion of several interior cabin projects.

Stripped and cleaned Airstair

Work will continue on these focus areas during the 4th Quarter. Area measurements for the passenger compartment headliner, wall, and floor covering materials have been tabulated and cost estimates for these materials and projected installation assistance are now being obtained. The desired 1940 seat shape configuration will require significant frame and support modifications, as well as decorative side panels for which cost estimates are also being solicited. External funding will be solicited to help with these interior passenger compartment costs; the DC-3 restoration project has been very fortunate with generous external support funding for prior year exterior renovations.

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