Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The F-89 is back on her wheels at Heritage Flight Museum.

Here's a view from the top of the fuselage, looking into the cockpits.

And a walk around of the left side.

Just like old times. At the crack of dawn we assembled at the F-89, ready to work.

First the fuselage was lifted from the trailer and the left stand removed.

Hal had a great idea: suspend each wing by adjustable lifts in the pitch and roll axis, and then match the wing to the fuselage's angle.

Hal carefully guided JR on the forklift while Lyle and Eric lined up the wing.

With this elegant and simple idea the left wing easily slid into place.

Where the team swarmed over it, reattaching the wing bolts.

Erika and Rich worked on the top of the wing...

JR and Steve worked on the bottom...

and Harley did a FOD check of the right wing, looking for any critters that may be hiding.

Exhausting work, those FOD checks...

The right wing did not quite go on as easily, but it did with a little applied persuasion as shown by Eric

and Lyle.

Wings attached, and the left main gear is down as Bill looks on approvingly.

Hit play to watch the right main gear lowered into position.

The crane is removed as the F-89 rests on it's wheels again.

And Bill took a quiet moment by himself.

Wings on. Gear down and locked.

The weather gods chose clear skies over pitching rain today, much to the relief of HFM's maintenance crew whose duty it was to re-affix the F-89 wings to the fuselage. Everyone was on site by 7:15 this morning, along with a big forklift and an 85 ton crane!

The port-side wing popped right into place and took a mere half hour to secure. The starboard-side wing took a little longer, but it was all over by lunch time! Wings attached. Gear down and locked. Crane, straps, come-alongs, tools, guide ropes stowed and pizza ordered.

Next order of business is to put some lead weights in the nose - the radar and various other pieces of equipment have been removed for cleaning - to move the already aft-placed center of gravity a little further forward. Then it's on with the tow-bar and back into the maintenance hangar.

Photos and video to follow... [KS]

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Scorpion's Lair...

Thought you might enjoy a picture of the Scorpion in our maintenance hangar.

The left wing has been cleaned and the new tire mounted on the wheel. We plan to finish the right wing in the next couple of days, and hope to remount the wings Wednesday.