PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

Volunteer Work Day

February 16, 2013

by Tom Gaylord

Fokker Dr.I Triplane


Fokker Dr.I Triplane

Mike Craig and his father, Don were unable to attend the workday but Mike reports that the magneto points cam arrived and is ready for installation in March. They have also finished shaping and staining the replacement wingtip skids. Mike expects to be able to ground run the engine in March and hopes to get the airplane back in the air.

Thomas-Morse S4-C Scouts

Tom and Dave Miller worked on T-1 and reported that by the end of the day they had finished the fabrication and installation of the starboard side cheek cowl support structure. Even had the wood varnished!

T-2 received attention from Steve Richardson and Jerry Stark - they worked on fitting the metal fairing that encloses the tail skid root on the lower rear of the fuselage. The initial plan was to simply duplicate T-1's panel but it turns out the two aircraft have slightly different belly formers; T-2's belly former extends further rearwards. This changes the mounting points and the curvature of the piece which renders the duplicate T-1 fairing a mere starting point! Getting this panel to fit correctly is taking a lot more thought, trimming and shaping than was originally anticipated!

Piper J-3 Cub

Steve Freeman, Billy Cheshire, and Ian Whitaker tackled a flat tire on the Piper Cub. Good progress was made until they required materials not available on the field - time for a lunch break and a run to the store! Once the tire was repaired, Ian flew the airplane and while airborne noticed a fuel leak in the gascolator. Steve and Ian repaired the leak. Ian reports the airplane flies fine, but no word on whether the trim adjuster issue has been conquered or the tail wheel straightened out.

Curtiss Canuck

Working on the Canuck's valve

Jerry Stark and Kevin Monahan lapped the exhaust valve on the Jenny's leaking cylinder and after finishing the task reassembled the pushrod and valve rocker components. They performed a cylinder leak test and are delighted to report they've cured the leak! Their final task was to ensure all the valves were adjusted correctly. Perhaps we’ll be able to fire the old girl up in March?


Steve Freeman has continued working on the Ercoupe that was donated to the museum at the end of 2012, alternating between his other project - a Meyers 200! Steve says he has the replacement instrument panel built but still needs to rewire a few of the instruments because he tried to move the layout to a more original factory arrangement. Steve decided not to install the instrument panel’s two storage boxes that came in factory panels - the parts involved are somewhat complex and Steve didn't want to have to manufacture all that in his home shop, plus he considers the boxes "useless" since they are only about six inches deep!

Team Vehicles

1918 Indian Motorcycle

Kevin Monahan reports that he is still chasing the clutch and kick start issues. His number one problem is locating a kicker gear. The new transmission mount bolts reduced the slipping gear but did not eliminate it. The dogs on the back of the gear are "mugged" (yeah... that is a technical term!) so Kevin is searching the globe trying to locate a replacement. His supplier in Australia has not been able to provide the part, so Kevin is now talking with a vendor in Massachusetts. Again! Kevin did procure three clutch parts and has two of them painted and installed.

Model Ts

Blue Racer - Lynn Howell reports that there was no way to shut off the fuel and disconnect the fuel line from the carb. Lynn pulled the fuel cut-off valve which was plumbed directly onto an "L" on the carb. Lynn has purchased the fittings required to separate the cut-off valve from the carb and plans to reinstall the unit in March along with a new fuel filter.

Model Ts basking in the sun

Other Model Ts - most of the other operational Ts got pulled out of the hangar and started up, driven around and generally exercised.


Dirt Berm

Terry Bledsoe and Charlotte Parker continued their dirt project - spreading the dirt from the berm. Basically an excuse to drive tractors and such around the property all day!

Entrance Sign

Carl Canga has been working on a replacement for the faded front gate sign at the split in the property road. The new sign is designed to match signage from the 1920s and have more of a 'barnstorming' feel to it. Most of the work is being done in his garage with occasional trips to the aerodrome to take measurements, cut lumber and get advice from some of the others. The laser cut logo has been primed and painted. The parking sign and the under banner have been completed. Carl hopes to have the project installed in time for the Spring Air Fair in early May.