Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Around the Hangar

We're getting closer to the flying season... the hangar door will be open tomorrow and it's supposed to be 70 degrees out!  We're finishing up inspections on all of the aircraft, so flying should commence in the next few weeks.  As this happens it will let us get to cleaning up and prepping for other projects around the hangar!

Aaron Stanton, Troy LaFaye and Bill Atchison troubleshoot the M37.
John Schmidt gets caught making bomb fins.
Todd Lofquist has been revamping the cases by the PX.
A slew of maintenance folks installing the right prop on the B-25.
Bob Koelbl and Tim Gunter tape off the BT-13 for wing walk to be added.
A visitor to our hangar, a Navion that will soon fly off to Texas.  The owner is working with us on parts trades.
Cadet Robbie and Mitch Bertrang prep the Bomb Bay Box for paint.
New leather surrounds were added to both cockpits of the PT-22.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Around the Hangar

Good day all!
Some photos for you of work taking place around the hangar.  There have been some major changes and we expect to roll out some new additions to step up our game as a museum.  Help is always appreciated as we start in on these projects!  Expect more photos of the work taking place, and the (slow) transition into spring time and the flying season!
The L-5 is up on jacks getting close to finished with the annual inspection

The Bomb Release System is functional, and ready to drop

Speaking of bomb bays, here is the new bomb bay travel box for the bomber.  It coverts into a table for PX as well!

The BT-13 is nearly ready to get back to flying, just some wing walk to add!

The B-25 right rudder fabric was getting pretty rough.  We took it down to the metal and recovered... next up is the left, and we will be teaching any member who wants to learn!
An upside down canopy for a Navion.  We are trading for an L-17 style canopy.  This one is getting cleaned up and new glass in preparation for the trade.

There is a lot of new metal going on the Navion.  The vertical stabilizer gets all new covering.

The Navion's fuselage, all stripped out.

The Wings sit next to it, in the project zone.

An example of the excellent work being performed on the Navion.  Skins on both sides of the fuselage are being replaced.  This will be a new aircraft when done!

Speaking of new... a new-old stock firewall is ready for install!

The Museum has new cases, new displays and an all new look!

The displays are just getting formed, but are coming along really well (as in the near complete mural in the background!)

These fairly odd looking contraptions were donated recently.  They are video kiosks, and are being reprogrammed to show videos of the aircraft, the wing, and what we do!  They will be a huge part of our future as a museum!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Alright, to get you started, here is a look at Aircorps Aviation's new hangar!  They performed an engine change to the P-51 Red Tail and this includes the test flight footage at the end!  Outstanding work!


Bringing it Back

Good day to all,

This has been a long time coming, and frankly has been a rather large oversight on my part.  The last two years have seen a number of changes, both with the CAF and with my life.  This is no excuse, but it is important that you all know that the plan is to reboot the Blog, bring us back up to date, and get the info out to those of you who aren't able to make it down as often as you'd like.

To start with, we have a new aircraft! An L-17 Navion was donated to us, and is currently undergoing major restoration at our hangar.  We have replaced skins, structural members, and are close to reassembling the fuselage.  This has already been a great project, and will be a fantastic example of type once it is completed!

We are looking to sell the Harvard MKIV.  It is currently listed for sale here.  Don't worry though!  We will be purchasing an AT-6 so that we can operated History Flights!  Please keep your eyes peeled for buyers and sellers!

We have purchased a new hangar, after the hangar next to our auxiliary hangars burned down.  A rebuild is happening for those aux hangars, in fact, one of the owners has donated his T-hangar to us.  That means we will have lots of space for aircraft, parts and even looking at a machine shop!  One of the aircraft looking to move into our new aux hangar is Matt Quy's Stearman restoration project.  It will be painted in honor of POW/MIA vets.  Once completed it will be quite a sight to behold!

Our hangar has been through MASSIVE changes.  We continue to adjust, clean and prep for the year.  As it warms up, we will do a walking tour to help you all see what we're up to!

In the meantime, I'll start posting some maintenance/restoration work taking place.  I'm sorry again for not keeping this up, but I promise to keep it going!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Around the Hangar

As stated, the changes around the Wing have been rather massive lately.  The best way to experience it is the stop down, these pictures only capture a portion of what it's like!
(Photos Thanks to Randy Bigler, Roell Painting and Andrew Hill)
An artistic photo by Andrew Hill of the B-25 in the hangar, just finishing up maintenance.
The BT-13 is almost ready to fly... I swear!

Bob Wright works on the BT-13's prop

The front wall was in desperate need of help
Roell painting came in and taped all of it off... on a 32' ladder!  No Thanks!
The final product... oil base coat with a latex cover... it looks amazing!

A lot of activity has been taking place a the hangar
And a lot still needs to be done
But the hangar is looking better every day!

Our new O'Club is coming together nicely!

And the new PX looks amazing, thanks to Glenn and Linda Franke! Glenn took care of the building...

And Linda made it look like a real gift shop!

Brad Hopkins, a member of the Army National Guard, offered to paint a mural on our new wall.  These are the sketches of two of the panels that will run the full length of the museum.
His sketches will then be airbrushed... this is the final panel (starting point for airbrushing)
The final panel, representing the close of the war, is complete, and looks outstanding!

70th Doolittle Raiders Reunion

This year marked the 70th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, the daring attack on Japan led by Jimmy Doolittle. This year, only 5 of the raiders are alive, and only 4 were able to attend.  20 B-25s attended to honor them, flying first into Grimes Field, Urbana OH, then to the closed runway of the Air Force Museum in Dayton OH.  It was an amazing sight to see, and was truly heaven for anyone who had an affinity for the B-25.  Different models, different configurations, and most important, the veterans who flew the aircraft were all in attendance to show their piece of history.
(Photos Thanks to Matt Jolley, Adam White, Gary Chambers, Randy Bigler and Bob Koelbl)
The crew just before taking off for Urbana

Barbie III, am H model with the 75MM Cannon in the nose.
Panchito and Axis Nightmare overfly Urbana
Spectacular view of Urbana.
 Miss Mitchell, Devil Dog, Yellow Rose and  Maid in the Shade, all CAF aircraft, are visible here.
Champaign Gal, based in Urbana, joins the formation.
The Main hangar in Urbana
Adam White and Kara Martinelli had a showing of The Restorers, featuring the Minnesota Wing.
It was very well attended!
Matt Jolley's (warbirdradio.com) fantastic photo of the 20 B-25s on Mission Day!

The B-25s overflew the Air Force Museum in formations.
The Raiders watch a formation of B-25s larger than any since WWII

The MN Wing crew with the Raiders

Blog Update - February 11 to April 8

Greetings Everyone!
Once again, time has passed... it doesn't mean activity has not taken place!  Far from it indeed.  The hangar is getting closer and closer to being what many of us had only imagined it could be.  Between museum expansion, cleanup, building a new PX and storage zone, and our addition of an Officers Club, it's been a massive undertaking!  Add the sprinkler system being completed, and thinking about what we as a team have accomplished is simply amazing!

The Hangar Dance is approaching rapidly.  We will be visited by two members of CAF Headquarters to witness one of the best Hangar Dances in the CAF.  It will also mark the public unveiling of the new museum, px and hangar as a whole.  Members will have the benefit of using the O'Club (though we still need people to help throughout the night!).  It will mark the return of the dance to our Hangar, and safety is assured through the addition of our sprinkler system!   The dance will have more space due to clearing of lockers and benches on the hangar floor.  The wall that used to separate the museum from the hangar has come down and will allow for people to move freely through the museum.

Before the Hangar Dance, coming this Saturday, will be the State of the Wing address.  Food is being provided by the Motor Pool, who have seen an exceptionally good year already.  We have invited many people who have been instrumental in completing the hangar improvements, or, like Senator Metzen, have been instrumental in helping us reach our goals politically.  It's a time for the membership to get together and celebrate everything that has been accomplished, for those of you who have been unable to make it to the hangar, it is a time to check out all the changes, grab some lunch and learn how you can help make the Wing even better!  There will also be an exciting 2013 announcement!

The Doolittle Raiders Reunion was a resounding success.  Nothing bad can be said about the whole experience.  It was perfect.  The weather held out, the Raiders were honored, 20 B-25s flew overhead, and the MN Wing made $40,000.   GREAT start to the season!  The crew worked their butts off, and a number of members found their own ways down to help out.  It was great to have so many MN Wing members help with all aspects of the operation!  If only all shows could be this well attended and run this smoothly!

Stop by this Saturday for the State of the Wing and see what has been taking place!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Around the Hangar

As I have so much to catch up on, I will only be posting "Around the Hangar" this time. This is only a piece of the work taking place... come down and check it out yourself!
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(Removing the Harvard engine)

(It didn't take long for it to come off... far easier than the B-25!)

(From crowded, messy maintenance office to...)

(...open, clean and useful shop)

(Tool boxes left, parts and tools were sorted, and the area became an excellent sheet metal shop)

(The PX gets a new wall, by moving 3 large museum cases)

(Gary Stinar and Glenn Franke install windows in the new PX)

(And we did verify that even the big guys will fit through the door!)

(No windows yet, but gives an idea of what it will look like)

(Todd Lofquist takes on the museum wall project)

(Todd, Matt, Raine, and Kristen install the 8 foot wall)

(Difference in height... the wall now goes well around the corner)

(The sprinkler riser being assembled)

(Of course maintenance must keep on task as well... Dave Hennessy installs panels on the B-25)

(Bob Koelbl inspects the Harvard tail wheel)

(Arnie Fick builds boxes for the B-25 pre-oil system)

(Tom Peltier painted the guns for the B-25)

(Shawn Hokuf inspects the PT-22 intake system)