PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

October 4, 2003 Project Update

Coming together

As one would expect it was a very busy weekend at Kingsbury getting the Fokker D.VII ready for shipment to Hollywood. Over the three days we had 17 regular workers and a couple of new faces show up and give their time for a wide variety of things that were necessary to have the plane ready.

Bill Broussard arrived Friday afternoon and helped Roger Freeman and Wayne Belcher do some fitting of fuselage panels. Richard Johnson was there as well preparing the wheels for painting. Problems existed in fitting the exhaust manifold that Roger had built earlier in the week. Several modifications were necessary so that it fit properly. Some work was done preparing the false radiator to accept its attachment to a bottom panel.

Dick and Ron working
		on the false radiator

Ted Guay showed up and cleaned the axle wing for installation. He also gave a tour to a visiting party. Dick Schenck showed up Saturday and Sunday and gave a hand in all sorts of projects. This is a picture of Dick and Ron Marcotte working on the false radiator in preparation for attaching the radiator screen.

Ron had earlier made a run to Lowe's or Home Depot to purchase paint for the exhaust manifold and expanded metal for the radiator screen. He brought back more than enough plaster lath material to do the job as well as have extra for errors.

Ammo in chutes

Tom Gaylord also installed some belted ammunition in the ammo chutes for attention to detail. Wayne Jones made a unique Saturday appearance as well as his usual Sunday appearance to help. Gary Marsden was there as well as Roger Ritter, Chris Backer and Ted Dawson. I cannot give a detailed account of who did what as the place was very busy. There were enough people and projects to be completed over the weekend that Roger, for the first time on this project, held a Saturday morning briefing in the hangar, assigning jobs!

Chris Backer and Wayne Jones installed the throttle and mixture cables. They are attached in the cockpit but not on the engine side. The propellor had arrived but was not colored to everyone's satisfaction. The manufacturer painted the prop dark brown... Roger had requested it be stained dark brown. The prop may be stripped and refinished when it comes back from Hollywood.

Fitting the wing

Saturday afternoon the bottom wing was reattached so that the outer "N" struts could be fitted properly and drilled and bolted in place. Bill Bahr and Ted Dawson were on hand to help. This is a picture of Chris Backer, Bill Bahr, Wayne Jones, Roger Freeman, Bill Bahr, Jr. and Wayne Belcher installing the bottom wing. I can't tell who was on the right side. By late Saturday afternoon the struts were attached.

By late Sunday everything that was available was installed. The wheels had been doped red. The remaining panels had been painted red. The two part axle wing had been attached as well as the bottom fuselage panel under the lower wing. The only things not available were the forward pieces of the cockpit coaming and the machine guns. The coaming pieces were still at the upholstery shop and the guns are still in Arizona. Roger Freeman and Wayne Belcher will pick these up on the way to California.

Front quarter view

The aircraft was rolled out onto the grass in front of the hangar and many pictures were taken. On Monday Bill Broussard installed the step plates on top of the bottom wing spars and the disassembly of the aircraft began. Bill Kent, Wayne Belcher, and Cliff Mooney began taking the Fokker apart for shipping. The forward coaming pieces from the upholstery shop arrived and were installed. Dennis Kirby arrived from Houston and helped remove the bottom and top wings. There was a problem removing the top wing since it sits so high up. Eventually a forklift with extended tines was used successfully to lift the wing off. The tines will be brought to Hollywood to assist in installing and removing the top wing.