A question that comes up quite a bit in the Museum is, how much of an airplane is original. We always answer, as much as possible! Certainly the original rub strips from the last update needed replacing, but in this update we are going to focus on the work that goes into keeping a piece very original! The Oil Tank we are looking at today came off a donor aircraft, but is of original war-time construction. Somehow, it survived the years since WWII in near perfect condition, including its original data plate and part numbers.

One of the few damaged items on the tank is the scupper bowl, which will be reformed to return it to the correct shape. The cadmium plating on the filler cap could also stand to be refreshed. In order for the tank to be able to be used to hold oil for the Dauntless however, access must be gained to the rubber bladder inside so it can be inspected. The screws on the end of the tank were removed, and it was opened up. The rubber bladder was found to be in near perfect condition and was suitable for re-use.

The original components, each rehabilitated, received a fresh coat of corrosion inhibiting primer, and then a period correct top coat, returning the tank to the condition it would have been in when this oil tank was first built. The original rubber bladder was re-installed once the paint had cured. Even the scupper bowl came out perfect!