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06-11-2024

The US Navy received nearly 1,200 Culver PQ-14 Cadets from Army Air Forces stocks, redubbing the aircraft as the TD2C-1 Turkey. This wartime image shows TD2C-1 BuNo.69547 scud-running with a human pilot aboard circa 1945. (U.S. Navy photograph) Training One’s Aim: While some may have been a little perplexed by our acquisition of a rare…

06-01-2024

The Museum’s A6M3 Model 32 Zero basking in the sunshine on the ramp outside the Legend Flyers workshop at Paine Field in Everett, Washington during September, 2022. Note the row of Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft on the horizon. Boeing’s main assembly plant is located on the other side of the airfield to Legend…

05-29-2024

The ribs and stringers for the righthand leading edge forward of the nose spar. Primer-painted, they are ready for fitting. (image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Riveting the Leading Edge: Pioneer Aero’s engineers have made great progress with rebuilding the SBD’s inboard wing leading edges over the past few months. All of the components for the…

05-27-2024

Rebuilding Spar #4: In a similar fashion to Spar #5, which we covered HERE, Pioneer’s Craig Cunha and a colleague carefully removed Spar #4 from the wing center section structure. They then disassembled it into its component parts, assessing each for its potential airworthiness. Bead-blasting each part revealed a good number which could be restored…

05-24-2024

Pioneer Aero’s William Lowen removing rivets from the upper rear fuselage’s starboard aft side. While this may seem a simple task, it requires intense focus to avoid damaging the skin and underlying structure. At this point, it is assumed that the structure is restorable while the skin, at the very least, is a perfect pattern…

05-08-2024

A wartime image of a Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 32 in flight. Except for the tail markings and some of those on the fuselage, the Museum’s Zero would have looked remarkably similar to this example. (image via Taizou Nakamura collection) Introduction: As our Museum Members, supporters, fans and followers are probably well aware, the Military Aviation…

05-06-2024

Rebuild Overview: The team at Mil-Spec Restoration has been hard at work on the restoration of the Museum’s GMC CCKW Fuel truck. Their efforts this month focused on the engine, transmission, radiator and chassis. Engine & Transmission Details: The engine is now fully rebuilt and has undergone testing to ensure its full operability. The restoration…

04-26-2024

Having drilled out the attaching rivets, Craig Cunha (left) and Stephen Fox (right) begin lifting the trailing edge spar (No.5) from the SBD’s wing center section. (image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Spar Removal: Recently, Pioneer Aero’s engineers successfully trial-fitted the newly-manufactured wing center section skins which mate up with the rear spar (Spar No.5) on…

04-24-2024

Trial-fitting newly-manufactured skins for the SBD’s wing center section to the flap bay and the lower trailing edge. (image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Wing Center Section Progress: In recent months, the team at Pioneer Aero Ltd. has progressively removed skin panels from the SBD’s wing center section. They began with the panel covering the flap…

04-22-2024

An image of the Museum’s Dauntless during its recovery in September 1994. Note the severely crushed wing leading edges. (image via A&T Recovery) Center Section Wing Leading Edges: Back in October 2023, the team at Pioneer Aero Ltd. began rebuilding the wing leading edges for the SBD’s center section. As the image above reveals, this…

04-16-2024

A view of the SBD’s wing center section from December 2023 showing the skin panel between Spar Web Nos.2 & 3 still in place. This is the panel assembly immediately beneath the rearmost panel, already removed in this image. Spar-web No.2 spans the airframe just above the wheel wells visible at the bottom of this…

04-12-2024

The fin’s leading edge, primer painted and riveted together, is trial-fitted to the fuselage to ensure its proper alignment . (image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.) Fin Reassembly Continues: SBD Update No.29 from February described Pioneer Aero engineer William Lowen’s efforts rebuilding the aircraft’s tail fin. Using refurbished parts he had salvaged from both B-22 (BuNo.36175)…