The DC-2 sat out in the open air for 37 years, and had become badly weathered.
Disassembly of the DC-2s outer wings, tail fin, engines and propellors began in January 2016 with a small band of enthusiastic insiders. This was conducted on the open grass area beside the “Pickles” hangar, where Council had left it.
The wings, engines, propellors, tailplane, and fin were gradually removed and relocated to the Smartair hangar, and a Pickles crane towed the whole fuselage into the hangar on 12 May 2016.
A major call went out for volunteers in the Albury-Wodonga region. On 14 May 2016, 30 people underwent our first volunteer induction training. A year later, at least 50 people had done the induction.
We have men and women from a wide range of ages who come to the regular work days (Wednesdays and Saturdays).
Early tasks included removing aluminium cladding on the ailerons (nonstandard), disassembling the propellors, wheel hubs, and tailwheel structure, beadblasting corroded parts, making workbenches, and many other tasks.
In the first half of 2017, the fuselage and centre-wing were de-mated, the engine nacelles were removed from the centre-wing, the tailwheel and main undercarriage was all removed, and the inner lining of the fuselage was removed. In other words, all the major assemblies were separated.
Later in 2017 we began repair of the rudder, cleaning and jigging of the engine nacelles, disassembly of the horizontal stabilisers, further disassembly and repair to the undercarriage, straightening the bent engine mount, tool-making, and prepared to send the propellors to Melbourne for specialised repairs.
In 2018, we de-rivetted the fin leading edge extension, and began paint-stripping the fuselage. Detail work on repairing the control surfaces continues.
Now the major tasks are to create jigs to hold the structures steady so that they can be disassembled and rebuilt.
Take a look at this time-lapse video of a typical workday…
Take a 3-D walk through of the hangar.
Courtesy Justin Dallinger (Foto Supplies Camera House, Albury)
Thank-you to our tireless volunteers!