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The Future Of Military Aircraft Restoration  
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2843 posts, RR: 12
Posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 6333 times:

I was digging into the history of P-61 today and the restoration efforts that have been going on for almost 2 decades with the plane and wondered how long we can expect efforts like that to continue on modern military aircraft in the future. Most of the work is being done by retired aircraft mechanics and machinists on aircraft that are becoming more and more rare. Mostly because they're from WW2 and a time where lots of variants and aircraft types were being produced.

Sometime soon won't the surviving wrecks rot away and become unsalvageable, or the expertize these volunteers have to build a plane from a base plate fade or wreck found in a jungle after 40 years fade away? The world's militaries just don't make as many aircraft as they once did. Will the same restoration efforts be used on planes like the F-22 or the F-35? Maybe, but at a much reduced scale.

Lots of questions there. Just thought I'd get your opinions.


The beatings will continue until morale improves
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3961 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 6311 times:

I'm not a technician but it's obvious to me that restoring, maintaining and flying WW II era aircraft and early jets is much easier and cheaper than keeping up modern combat aircraft with all their complexity and failure prone electronics. I guess the P-51 will easily outlast the F-22 in the air.

Peter 



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2843 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 6300 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 1):
I'm not a technician but it's obvious to me that restoring, maintaining and flying WW II era aircraft and early jets is much easier and cheaper than keeping up modern combat aircraft with all their complexity and failure prone electronics. I guess the P-51 will easily outlast the F-22 in the air.

I too think that's a given. The example I gave was the P-61 currently under restoration at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum. That plane was recovered in 1984 and is still not in flyable condition. Personally, I think this is going to end up being a dying trade or endevour. We can only pull up WW2 aircraft from the English Channel or find wrecks in New Guinea for so long. It's entirely possible that museums will get aircraft in flying condition directly donated by the military from here on.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3961 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 6284 times:

If people furnish enough money for it, the P-61 restoration is possible, even if the result is really a new aircraft with an old c/n plate. At least when finished it will have more manageable operating costs, compared to an Avro Vulcan or supersonic fighter.


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12160 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 6274 times:

Well, there is always the replica programs, like the Me-262 project here in the US. I believe they flew one of their replicas in Germany a few years ago.

User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3961 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 6258 times:

TopBoom, do you think we'll see a warbird B-52? Much more expensive to run even than the Avro Vulcan, of course, but on the other hand, it's America.


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2843 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 6194 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Well, there is always the replica programs, like the Me-262 project here in the US. I believe they flew one of their replicas in Germany a few years ago.

The Flying Heritage Museum in Everett has one of those in flying condition.

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 5):
TopBoom, do you think we'll see a warbird B-52? Much more expensive to run even than the Avro Vulcan, of course, but on the other hand, it's America.

I'd be surprised if we ever saw a flying B-52 once they retire them. By then wouldn't you think it will take 20 hours per flight hour to keep one in the air?



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinedlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 546 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 6180 times:
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Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 6):
The Flying Heritage Museum in Everett has one of those in flying condition.

FHC's example is a real Me 262A-1a/U3 (Werk Nr. 500453, N94503). I haven't heard of it reaching flight status, but rumor is that it will be flying with real Jumo 004s.

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The four replicas have gone to the Collings Foundation (N262AZ), Messerschmitt Foundation (N262MS, D-IMTT), Evergreen Aviation Museum (110999) and the Military Aircraft Museum (N262MF). The Evergreen example is non-flying. The fifth one, that was under construction, has not been completed.

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Photo © David Lednicer



User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2843 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 6154 times:

Would those be original Jumo 004s or new build Jumo 004s using modern metals based off the original designs? Those engines were so fickle and dangerous I can't imagine they'd use the original engines.


The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 6152 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 2):
That plane was recovered in 1984 and is still not in flyable condition. Personally, I think this is going to end up being a dying trade or endevour.

I think it's more a case of having enough money to do the job and sending it to the right people who can do the job. For some reason a lot of old fighter aircraft get restored in New Zealand.


User currently offlinevenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 6094 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 8):

I believe they are powered now by two GE J-85's the same engine on T-38's and F-5's.



I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlinetrigged From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2666 times:

DOD has pretty much said that no current fighter or bomber will make it in to civilian hands. Sorry guys, but unless someone scratch-builds a B-52, B-1, or F-15/16/18/22/35, you're not gonna see one in private hands. The de-mil procedure ensures the aircraft is scrap afterwards. You might get a C-130 or if you're reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaallllllly lucky you might get a C-5, but that is gonna be it.

User currently offlinechecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2527 times:

Quoting trigged (Reply 11):
DOD has pretty much said that no current fighter or bomber will make it in to civilian hands. Sorry guys, but unless someone scratch-builds a B-52, B-1, or F-15/16/18/22/35, you're not gonna see one in private hands.

Nonsense...there are currently B-52, B-1, F-15, F-16, F-18, and F-22 out there in museums. Should be a F-35 in museum hands within 5 years too.


User currently offlineboeingfixer From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 534 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2422 times:

Quoting trigged (Reply 11):
DOD has pretty much said that no current fighter or bomber will make it in to civilian hands. Sorry guys, but unless someone scratch-builds a B-52, B-1, or F-15/16/18/22/35, you're not gonna see one in private hands.
Quoting checksixx (Reply 12):
Nonsense...there are currently B-52, B-1, F-15, F-16, F-18, and F-22 out there in museums. Should be a F-35 in museum hands within 5 years too.

checksixx, you should read the last three words of the sentence by trigged. He didn't say that museums wouldn't get these aircraft. He was talking about private citizens obtaining these aircraft. All of the aircraft listed by trigged that are in museums are still owned by the government. Even if the aircraft are displayed in privately owned museums, they are on loan from the parent agency and remain government property.

Cheers,

John



Cheers, John YYC
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