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View Diary: The Spruce Goose (Photo Diary) (59 comments)

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  •  It has been kept maintained (14+ / 0-)

    and in a climate controlled environment.   I suspect the wood has held up well.  There is at least one RAF Mosquito flying, and it is of similar wood construction.  There are a handful of WW-I airplanes still flying and they are more than 90 years old.  

    Doing an annual inspection on this beast boggles the mind.  And would boggle most people's checking account as well.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:38:36 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  My job (20+ / 0-)

      from 1973 thru  1978 when it was moved was to operate and maintain the climate control equipment. We had 2 120hp. Powermaster boilers and a Carrier recriprocating refrigeration system. That plus a humidification system. Optimum conditions were 72 degrees with 58% humidity. However Hughes hated insulation for some reason, so in the winter when it got cold out we had to lower the temp. and humidity in the hanger or clouds would form inside the hanger and it would start raining. We used a swing psychrometer to determine the correct settings. There is a slight error in this diary. The plane had a full crew when it flew. I have met several of the men who were on that flight. I met Dave Grant, the co-pilot several times. I was told that the flight was an accident. Hughes just meant to taxi, and was surprised when it actually flew. He quickly put it back down. There were also two flight engineers, Don Smith and Joe Petrali. Also there were 8 flight mechanics in each wing. Two to each engine. That must have been exciting. There were also two more crew for a total of crew of 22. The plane was kept in excellent condition and while not quite flight ready it could have flown again. Every month we would exercise the controls and rotate each of those big old Pratt and Whitney radials. 28 cylinders in four banks of seven. I used to have black and white photos of the plane in the hanger that I took with a camera I smuggled in, but I think my ex wife has them. All in all one of the most interesting jobs I've had. I even got to meet Walter Cronkite and be on the CBS Evening News. If I ever get those photos back I'll try to write a diary about my time working on the plane with pictures.

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