George H.W. Bush Stearman July 2015 Update

The final stages in the George H.W. Bush Stearman's restoration Stearman happened this month. The covering was completed, correct yellow #4 paint was applied.  One concession to safety was made. The  landing gear was overhauled and Hayes brakes were installed. Gidair master cylinders were used. AirCorps recently purchased the STC for that installation.

 BuAer 3347 was trucked from the shop to the AirCorps Hangar at Bemidji Regional airport. There she was assembled, carefully rigged and readied for test flight.

From left Brian, Simon, Erik, Mark (lower) and Sam work to rig the Stearman

From left Brian, Simon, Erik, Mark (lower) and Sam work to rig the Stearman

The test flight was done by Ryan Mohr with only a week left before Oshkosh.   Paul Ehlen and Mark Tisler made the flight from Bemidji to Oshkosh. The only radio communication on the flight was receiving "yellow Stearman land green dot and welcome to Oshkosh".  Even that wasn't easy to hear over the static of the unshielded ignition.

Twilight shot as BuAer 3347 sits in the trainer area at AirVenture 2015.   photo by our own Aaron Prince

Twilight shot as BuAer 3347 sits in the trainer area at AirVenture 2015.   photo by our own Aaron Prince

The George H. W. Bush Stearman was on display the whole week of Oshkosh. The judges awarded her "Best Stearman" and AirCorps Aviation a "Silver Wrench" for the careful and correct restoration of this historically significant N2S-1

George H. W. Bush June Update

The assembly and rigging day keeps getting closer as more and more parts get their coat of yellow and any markings needed.

Cockpit systems and gauges are being finalized.  It's one of those times where the project looks close to being finished because the larger parts are complete.  There's plenty of detail work yet to be done ,though.

Many more photos to come  when the album for June is posted.

Bush Stearman May and Early June Update

May and early June have been busy times as the basic fuselage framework has been completed.  Flight control systems have been installed ready for connection to the rudder, elevator, and ailerons once the wings and tail assemblies are added. The seats were refurbished and many small parts had the zinc chromate applied.

Skin panels for the section forward of the firewall have been fitted to the engine and mount that are on a stand.

Mark Tisler fitted the covering envelope for the fuselage with the help of Sharon Hokuf. Careful shrinking of small area after small area was necessary to keep the seams straight. The tightened covering  looks great.

Work continued on the wing tank, connecting the various fittings.  The wing center section and the ailerons received their coat of yellow. It is always exciting to see parts of an airplane with the final finish applied, ready to be installed as their time comes.

April update on the Bush Stearman

In April the  fuselage frame received its coats of zinc chromate.  The flight control and  trim tab linkages were installed and the flight control lock also put in. The "bird cage" stringers and former assemblies are nearly finished on the spare mock up frame.

The end of April marked the arrival of some major components that had been subcontracted out. The April gallery shows shots of the rebuilt Continental R-670-4 that arrived from Air Repair. It was lifted and bolted to the restored mount.  It looks great sitting on the stand waiting for the stage of restoration when it'll be permanently installed.  

 

The wings showed up from Big Sky Stearman covered through silver.  The Bush Stearman looks more and more like an airplane instead of a collection of parts as work goes on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bush Stearman March 2015 Photos

February 2015 Stearman photos

Work progresses on the fuselage as wings are looking good out at Big Sky Stearman.

Progress on the Stearman's wings at Big Sky Stearman

                                                                                 It's great to see progress on the wings for the Bush Stearman.

           

Cadet George H.W. Bush's log

                                                                                                                                                          January 1943

                                                                                                                                                                              February, 1943

                                                                                                                                                                              February, 1943

                                                                                                                It must have been brutal to fly an open cockpit Stearman on a Minnesota  winter day.

                                                                                                                It must have been brutal to fly an open cockpit Stearman on a Minnesota  winter day.

December 2014 Stearman Photos

December 2014

Work continues on Bu 3347.  Fuselage frame in the jig, wing fittings cleaned, inspected, and painted.  Picture of scanned pages from George H.W. Bush's logbook showing time in Bu 3347.