The DC-2 Restoration Progress

The DC-2 sat out in the open air for 37 years, and had become badly weathered.

Uiver Restoration
Uiver Restoration

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.

Uiver Restoration

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.

Uiver Restoration

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).

Uiver Restoration

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.

Progress Update

Targets for 2019

  • Commence fuselage restoration program from the tail end working forward.
  • Complete 2nd half of horizontal stabiliser assembly, mate to fuselage and locate elevator assemblies on hinges.
  • Restore vertical fin assembly and refit to airframe.
  • Finalise rudder reconstruction and reassemble empennage.
  • Organise an Uiver fund raiser event to commemorate 85 years since the Uiver landing at Albury Racecourse and KLM's 100th anniversary.
  • Review consultant's museum feasibility report and develop strategies to achieve the recommendations.

Overview of activities in 2018

  • Fuselage stabilisation jig built and aircraft installed.
  • Dedicated sheet metal and riveting tooling obtained to commence airframe restoration.
  • One, subcontracted, horizontal stabiliser disassembled, inspected, cleaned, repaired, primed and reconstructed.
  • Hangar reorganised with dedicated work stations supplied with compressed air and power points.
  • Major upgrade of hangar lighting.
  • Construction of a compactus with secured access for storage of tooling and smaller parts.
  • Fuselage restoration task plan developed for 2019
  • Hosted visits from several overseas people as well as an interstate vintage car and local social and service clubs.
  • Hosted a community open day and a fund raising Bunnings BBQ
  • Organised a fund raising and social event in October with a jazz band and a volunteer Christmas lunch at the Tuileries.
  • Received a grant to engage a consultant to explore possible locations and display options for the finished aircraft.

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!

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