DC-3 Restoration activity update for the 1st quarter of 2015 by crew member Carl Cruff.
The left wing was moved into the heated restoration building to begin the aluminum skin polishing; many thanks to the Anson Johnson P-51D Racer and Burnelli CBY-3 "Loadmaster" restoration teams for making room at the west end of the restoration workspace. Portable scaffolding was installed and the polished skin results on the underside wing surface continue to be encouraging. This year's winter weather was challenging for all Museum operations as several planned workdays were cancelled or shortened. All underside wing surfaces have been polished and in mid-April, the left wing was returned to the storage building to begin the topside skin polishing and to recommence fuselage polishing forward of the wing box connection point. The final airline livery color selections have been narrowed to American Airlines or Eastern Airlines with a final choice anticipated by September. These selections have historical relevance in that the DC-3 resulted from intense discussions between American Airlines CEO C. Smith and Donald Douglas to provide a wider overnight sleeper version of the DC-2 and the museum's DC-3 was actually ordered by American Airlines prior to WW2. Eastern Airlines, however, took post-WW2 possession, ownership, and conducted revenue service operations with the museum's DC-3; Eastern Airlines conducted the very first commercial airline flight service from Bradley Field in Windsor Locks in 1947.
The interior seating arrangement will consist of 14 passenger and 1 flight attendant seats. All seating will be on the left side of the interior cabin which will allow easy museum guest entry and departure access along an expanded right side aisle way. The seat frames have been stripped, repainted, and the bottom seat canvas supports replaced. New foam seat padding was procured and sectioned to the proper thickness with the generous assistance of B & M Upholstery Supply, LLC located in Lebanon, CT. The flight attendant seat has been recovered with new seat and arm rest material which is being evaluated for durability.
Mr. Robert Kalogeros has accepted a job position in Atlanta, GA and has left the DC-3 restoration team-we thank Bob for his tireless polishing efforts. Mr. Mark Bruce, an avid DC-3 aircraft enthusiast, has recently joined the DC-3 restoration team-welcome aboard!
The potential to upgrade and reactivate the interior intercom system and Flight Attendant call station are being explored as well as the introduction of an engine startup, plane taxing, and in-flight cabin sound experience.