The flight control lock has been pressed together and painted. Fuselage "bird cage" frames and longerons are being made and mocked up on spare fuselage tube frame. Meanwhile the nicely repaired actual fuselage frame goes into the paint booth for its first coat of yellow zinc chromate.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Work progresses on the fuselage as wings are looking good out at Big Sky Stearman.
It's great to see progress on the wings for the Bush Stearman.
Wing hardware is being painted and nearing completion. Work begins and firewall forward and continues on fuselage hardware.
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.