October 2020 Kaman HOK-1 update by Restoration Crew Chief Rick Centore.
The year 2020 began well for the HOK restoration team. We were moving along well until the pandemic hit. The museum shut down entirely for many months. When it did open we got back to work, but with reduced hours.
Work on the cabin interior has continued. The floors have been installed and the wiring has been completed. The instrument panel, upper and lower control consoles have been completed. Some work in the cabin remains but not a great deal.
Once the cabin interior is completed we'll begin installing the windows. They will require a great deal of polishing but they are salvageable. Only one, the pilot's lower forward window, needs replacement. A mold was made that will allow us to form a new window.
The engine bay was restored. Once the transmission is installed we can complete this area prior to the installing the engine.
We built a wooden stand to hold the tail booms as we installed the numerous components that make up the tail assembly. There are three vertical stabilizers, a horizontal stabilizer with elevator, cable braces, and wiring.
In early October we realized that unless we painted the fuselage before the cold weather set in, we would run out of work. So at that point we worked with one purpose, to prepare the fuselage for painting.
The bottom of the fuselage is very low and difficult to work on. In an unusual move, we mounted a pair of casters high on the rear fuselage. A lifting bar was also built. This allowed us to employ a fork lift to tip the fuselage on its back. We could roll it around and the entire fuselage was accessible to the painter.
On October 15th the temperature was high enough to paint, but the wind was also high. We were committed at this point as this would be the last day of suitable temperature. Necessity being the mother of invention, we used a staging platform and large tarp to provide a windbreak. In the end the fuselage got painted, along with the upper pylons. We now have plenty of work to take us through the winter months.