Tuesday, September 28, 2010
This Staggerwing came to us from the Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma TN as N35JM. Prior to being donated in 2003 to the museum it was restored and owned by Jack Munroe. From the Beech Heritage Museum web site;
N35JM was built under a USAAF contract as Beech c/n 6914, and assigned AAF serial 44-76069. It was reallocated to the U.S. Navy as a GB-2 model with U.S. Navy BuNo 23737 and delivered to Station Operations Naval Air Station Seattle, WA on May 20, 1944. Subsequently stationed at NAS Pasco, WA and NAS Tillamook, OR, it was stricken from the Navy on July 31, 1946.
It was sold to a U. S. civilian as D17S NC67737 and was registered in Canada as CF-GLL in 1951. Based in Vancouver and Calgary until May 1975 when purchased by Jack H. Munroe of Brighton, CO and registered as N35JM.
Jack notes that “my interest in airplanes started in the mid-twenties with model-building. Then Lindbergh came to Denver and that was that. I was a kid with a bike and there were three airports within range of our house.” Jack completed an extensive restoration of N35JM with the first flight occurring in 1982. In the October of 2003 Jack donated his D17S to the Staggerwing Museum where he has been a trustee of the Foundation since 1981.
The current owner is based in Seattle so, once again this Staggerwing will end up where it did in 1944.
We found the airplane to be in pretty good shape overall. We fabricated a completely new instrument panel and returned it to original configuration however added dual controls with late style "bow-tie" yokes. A new period correct interior to round out the cabin.
The current owner decided to go with civilian paint and our favorite combination, red and black! The Beechcraft Heritage Museum was kind enough to loan us a original side panel with a perfect Beechcraft Bird on it for a pattern. A bit of a challenge to layout.
We're pretty happy with the paint. Getting the Staggerwing into the booth and being able to shoot the entire fuselage in one session was quite the challenge.
Numerous items were replaced or rebuilt during this restoration. The landing gear received lots of attention and is about as close to factory new as you can get. Once reinstalled the process of rigging and fitting began. Its quite a impressive system considering its age however, a bit complicated.
Were full steam ahead for final assembly phase this week and next and hope to be flying soon. We'll share some more progress photos soon that hopefully show some daylight between the tires and runway!