DC-3 Restoration Activity

DC-3 Restoration activity update for the 4th quarter of 2018 by crew member Carl Cruff.

The time consuming restoration of six interior sections continued during the 4th Quarter. Thanks to the numerous museum guests who visited the NEAM's "Behind the Scenes" restoration shop tour on November 23rd to view many of the DC-3 interior components and sub-assemblies highlighted in this update report-your encouraging comments are appreciated! The expanding scope of the interior renovations requires the expertise of additional restoration volunteers and special thanks to those new associates helping to bring our DC-3 back into prominence.


Work is now focused on the central throttle quadrant which includes the trim, propeller, throttle, and mixture control levers. Over twenty indicator identification plates have been removed from the throttle quadrant allowing the start of surface preparation and painting activities. The numerous surfaces and restricted space for this in-place restoration requires patience and great care. Recently completed are the co-pilot's hydraulic system and landing gear pressure gauges.

Cockpit throttle quadrant control restoration underway
Co-pilot hydraulic pressure gauges

Hydraulic compartment

The reassembly and reinstallation of previously cleaned and/or painted tube assemblies is 60% complete. The hydraulic panel upper cover containing the hydraulic reservoir sight gage, Douglas Corporation data plate, Army Air Corps data plate, and the Canadair recertification data plate has been installed. Note: the Douglas Corporation data plate is made of a non-metallic material (leather?) which has not been previously seen in DC-3 literature.

Hydraulic compartment tube assembly installation
Hydraulic compartment upper panel

Passenger compartment

Most of the extraneous items have been removed from the main cabin area allowing simultaneous activity in multiple project areas. Significant corrosion was discovered on a left side window frame after the removal of the wall covering and a replacement frame was fabricated and installed. In preparation for the fitting of the ceiling cloth headliner, the installation of overhead lights and associated wiring, and the replacement of the wood headliner attachment strips are underway. Most of the interior lights have been retrofitted with LED bulbs and painted to match the overhead baggage compartment and fresh air ductwork. The previously renovated flight attendant control panel station has been mounted onto the inner fuselage wall and will be made operational upon completion of the electrical wiring upgrades.

Passenger compartment renovation started
Window sill replacement
Overhead LED light installation
Wood headliner attachment strip installation
Flight attendant control panel installation
Electrical lighting components ready for installation
Refurbished "No Smoking/Fasten Seat Belt" indicator
Overhead lighting conduit/cool air duct reassembly underway
Close-up of overhead lighting conduit installation

Flight attendant buffet station

In the rear portion of the passenger compartment and adjacent to the lavatory is a flight attendant buffet station used to prepare light snacks and beverages for the passengers. Finish work on the sheet metal partitions and back panels is almost complete as well as the total re-fabrication of the previously missing beverage dispensers. The power supply for the LED lighting system will be installed into a buffet drawer allowing easy access for turning the power on and off. The entire buffet unit was very extensively corroded and will represent one of the interior restoration highlights when fully completed.

Flight attendant buffet station nearing completion
Buffet station fire extinguisher
Buffet station beverage dispensers
LED lighting system power supply


Nothing of significance remained from the original lavatory and all major items (sink, toilet, accessories, etc.) are being recreated from historical photos or other DC-3 restorations. The lavatory door interior is now complete and waiting installation. A stainless steel splash guard is being fabricated to surround the previously completed sink assembly. The bulkhead walls have been stripped of prior paint and fabric coverings and the LED wiring for an overhead light is underway.

Beige lavatory door ready for installation
(Note: adjacent grey forward compartment door)
Lavatory sink splash guard surrounds being fabricated

Aft luggage and forward cargo compartments

The aft storage compartment is located between the rear passenger/lavatory areas and the tail wheel compartment and was used primarily for passenger luggage. All of the newly fabricated sheet metal liner panels have been reinstalled and primer painted. Air vent grates have been fabricated and installed and the overhead light fixture is being rewired. The two main forward cargo compartments are located between the forward section cabin door and the radio/navigation equipment racks; sheet metal panels are being fabricated and installed in these areas.

Aft baggage compartment sheet metal liners with vent and overhead light installation
Aft baggage compartment bulkhead ready for painting
Forward cargo compartment sheet metal liner installation underway

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36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT, 06096