02-13-2024

The SBD’s upper rear fuselage in its jig. The team used this as a template for reassembling the restored fin components, to ensure they each went in the correct position. (photo via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Fin Reassembly: In January, we described how Pioneer Aero’s William Lowen had begun refurbishing parts for the SBD’s tail fin,…

02-12-2024

This is how the upper segment for the SBD’s anti-drag ring cowling appeared in mid-October, 2023. Restoration of this subassembly is now almost complete, as is one of the two other segments which form the cowl assembly. (photo via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Upper Cowl Progress: In October 2023, we described how Pioneer Aero had begun…

02-03-2024

Our Hawker Hurricane basking in the midday light last November. (image by Richard Mallory Allnutt) CanCar Can Do! by Richard Mallory Allnutt In our first article, we described how Canadian Car & Foundry set up a Hawker Hurricane production line at their factory in Fort William, Ontario. However, this significant achievement may well never have…

01-20-2024

This is the aft fairing for the central ordnance mount which sits between spars No.3 and 5 on the lower side of the SBD’s wing center section. Pioneer Aero’s Craig Cunha found that this component has only minor corrosion damage, which he expects to repair in the near future.. (image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Ancillary…

01-20-2024

The SBD’s wing center section in its jig prior to the flap bay’s removal. The flap bay runs from the wing trailing edge to Spar No.5, which is essentially the wing’s rear bulkhead. At the time this image was captured, rivet removal was about to commence on the flap bay. (Image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.)…

01-18-2024

This is an original rib from our SBD’s fin following refurbishing. Pioneer bead-blasted the component to remove the dirt, old paint and minor corrosion and then carefully worked out the minor dents. Following inspection, it is now ready for primer-painting. (image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Refurbishing Parts: Back in December, the team at Pioneer Aero…

01-18-2024

The once-dilapidated state of our Fuel Truck’s GMC 270 straight-six engine before its restoration began. (photo via Mil-Spec Restoration) Progress in December: When last we visited our CCKW 353 Fuel Truck project, the big news involved the arrival of the vehicle’s freshly-overhauled engine block from the machine shop. Mil-Spec Vehicle Restoration soon began the process…

01-08-2024

The Military Aviation Museum’s Hawker Hurricane Mk.XII and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX sitting outside the main hangar in the autumn sunshine. (photo by Richard Mallory Allnutt) Our ‘Hurri’: by Richard Mallory Allnutt Since our Hawker Hurricane is about to enter a period of extensive maintenance, we thought it might be a good time to share some…

12-19-2023

The structure for the gunner’s cockpit floor following its removal from the fuselage during September, 2023. (image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Floor Disassembly: Back in September, Pioneer Aero’s restoration team disassembled the SBD’s fuselage, separating the structure from the wing center section. This also involved removing vestigial lower fuselage components from the top surface of…

12-18-2023

This image shows the SBD’s tail fin part way through the skin-removal process. The underlying structure shows signs of significant corrosion. (photo via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Salvageable Fin Parts: Back in November, Pioneer Aero’s William Lowen began the process of disassembling the SBD’s tail fin so he could assess its condition and begin the restoration…

12-14-2023

An illustration describing the workings of the SBD’s flap bay, showing both the center flap element and the units used in the outer wing panels. Note the large hydraulic ram depicted at left. This mounts to the center of the rear spar and activates the flaps. Note also the flap tubes, and how they adjust…

12-13-2023

A manufacturing drawing showing one of the parts which Pioneer Aero has recently remanufactured. This particular drawing describes part numbers 5062769-8 & -9, stiffeners belonging to the spar web assembly described in a recent update. (image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) The Old School Way: Aircraft manufacture during WWII relied heavily upon manual labor. Many parts…