Aircraft Restoration Update
The summer was a very productive period for the aircraft restoration projects and the momentum carried us through the fall season. Special thanks to the dedicated volunteers who have donated many hours of their time to our endeavors. These volunteers include Pete Cea, Carmine Stoffo, PJ Aronica, Dina Ingersole, Vincent DiCostanzo, Juan Elle, and Dan Blaich. None of our accomplishments would have been possible without your hard work and dedication to the Intrepid. Thank you all.
If you recall, I mentioned that we would be working on our MiG-21 over the summer. This aircraft is also completed and is now resplendent in a high profile NATO Tiger meet paint scheme of the Polish Air Force.
This aircraft was a gift from the people of Poland back in 1992. Earlier in the year I had some communications with the office of Public Relations for the Polish Air Force and they were excited about the refreshed image of the aircraft. They enthusiastically supported the new paint scheme and furnished all the reference materials used in the completion of the project. This was a fun project because I was able to extend my artistic abilities and hand-paint a large tiger head on the sides of the fuselage. The aircraft came out quite spectacular and promises to be a favorite with the young visitors.
We have also completed the restoration of the FJ-3 Fury and this proved to be one of the most involved projects to date. We restored the cockpit, which is completely gutted, to the best of our ability.
True Fury parts are extremely rare but we were able to make this area nearly complete. The canopy and windscreens were replaced and the severe corrosion found in parts of the wing panels and fuselage has been repaired. This type of aircraft flew from Intrepid’s deck in the late 1950’s and we applied the exciting paint scheme of VF-33 to her.
Off site restorations are being accomplished by the Thomarios Company of Akron Ohio. They have recently completed our UH-1A Huey and it has been delivered back to the ship. This aircraft was a keeper but was in such bad shape that it was considered beyond our capabilities to repair in-house. Thomarios technicians had to replace large sections of surface skin and internal structural members. The chopper has been repainted back to the paint scheme she wore in 1959. Thomarios also has two other helicopters that will be restored to new condition by time we reopen. The first is the Piasecki HUP-2 Retriever. This type flew from the Intrepid in the 1950’s and will be a great addition to our collection. This project is being partially financed through generous contributions and fund raising efforts of the former crewmembers that flew the type. We also have a Sikorsky HO4S-3G which is a former US Coast Guard machine. This is a variation of the type that also flew from Intrepid at one time. The specific machine we acquired has some significant USCG history, so she will be restored in that scheme for now. Thomarios also has two Russian designed fighter jets that we recently acquired a MiG-15 and a MiG-17, more on that next time.