Posted by: potomacpacemaker | March 23, 2011

Sunny skies are here again

Post contributed by Volunteer Project Manager Bob Reed.

WOW! What a great day to be working on the Potomac Pacemaker. This past Saturday was an ideal time to be working in the Back Shop, with perfect weather and very comfortable temperatures. Twelve hard working volunteers devoted more than 57 man hours toward the restoration of N56V.

I was glad to be back after being absent for three work sessions. Although I can’t do much physical labor, I can at least show the volunteers that do the work what needs to be done based on the restoration project objectives.

A journalist/photographer spent most of the day with us gathering knowledge about the project for a story and pictures that will appear in an upcoming issue of the Winston-Salem Journal. A slide show will also be included in the Journal’s online edition. We’ll let everyone know when this will be published.

Volunteer Andy Ray is recovering from surgery on his right shoulder, and with his arm in a sling, his physical activities were limited as well. He was able to assist others by bringing tools when needed and doing what he was able to with his left hand.

Bill Behrendt, a new volunteer, worked with Carly Faulkner in removing the engine mounts from the right engine firewall. Carly had the unpleasant task of crawling up into the wheel well to help with removing the bolts holding the engine mounts. As with most of the hardware on the airplane, the bolts and nuts were well rusted and not easily removed.

After that job was finished, Bill began working on the center section, cutting away twisted sheet metal from around the fuselage mounting brackets, while Carly continued working in the wheel well.

Bob Johnson and Paul Diffenderfer also worked on the center section removing wiring, plumbing and brackets that will need to be repaired and eventually replaced. Joe Barvir cleaned out bird nesting materials from the right wing attachment area of the center section.  Joe and Martha Jackson then did the same thing on the horizontal stabilizer, after removing the protection covers that had been placed over the openings when the airplane was displayed at the Durham Museum.

Martha also worked in the fuselage forward cargo compartment, removing wiring from where the radio racks were installed. As mention before, we’re removing all wiring, tubing, duct work and whatever will not be necessary for the cosmetic restoration of the airplane since it will not be made airworthy.

Charlie Hall and Tim Howard continued with dismantling the passenger air stair.  The rusted frame was removed during the last work session, so Charlie took it with him and brought it back this time after having it blast cleaned and painted.  It looks like new!

Perry Miller continued work installing the tail wheel assembly with assistance from Arthur Morrison.  That’s not an easy job since the airplane is supposed to be raised at least four feet off the floor when installing the unit and it’s only about three feet off the floor where it’s presently located.

Since the museum received several large donations during and after the Piedmont Day event on February 19, we’re now in a position to purchase the maintenance stands from the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum in Atlanta. As soon as arrangement can be made, the stands will be transported to the museum in Spencer. We’re looking forward to lifting the Potomac Pacemaker off the floor and to more suitable working positions.

If you’re interested in making a donation to help restore the Potomac Pacemaker, you can download this flyer for more information, or donate online.  Your donation is tax deductible.

Our next work day is scheduled for Saturday, April 15.

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