Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Starting the Journey: Getting Whiskey 7 ready for Normandy

John Wadsworth, Loren Hoskyns, and Taro Pritchard working on W7's rudder

As venerable and durable as the Douglas C-47 design is, keeping a 70 year old war veteran flying takes a lot of work. Every winter, the dedicated volunteer mechanics at the NWM take on the the major task of annual maintenance on our flagship, Whiskey 7. This year they will have the added challenge of getting her ready for her trip across the North Atlantic. Work planned for this year includes:

  • A thorough inspection of every major part, assembly, and component of the aircraft
  • Oil changes for both engines and servicing of the hydraulic system
  • Replacement of all engine accessories with new or factory overhauled components
  • Repair and restoration of the main cabin cargo floor
  • Fabrication and installation of pan-style "paratrooper" seats which were standard equipment for C-47's during the war

Charlie Preston and Dave Andruczyk working on the landing gear last winter
Work will begin as soon as Whiskey 7 gets back from having new Garmin avionics installed at Islip Avionics. The aircraft will be moved into the hangar and placed on jacks. This allows the mechanics to inspect and test the function of her landing gear. Every door, hatch, and cover on the airplane will be removed to allow inspection. Over the course of the next few months, the airplane will be methodically inspected to make sure she's ready for the trip to Europe. At the same time, another team will be fabricating and installing the hardware for the new seats, restoring the cabin to its wartime configuration.

If you're in the Geneseo area, stop down on a Saturday morning and give the guys a hand, help is always welcome, no experience required. Stay tuned for more updates on our progress.