Traveling Boxcar gets a makeover: Volunteers paint C-119 exterior

A see of the C-119 screen at the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum in Columbus, Ind., Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Volunteers performing on a project to restore a C-119 “Flying Boxcar” aircraft at the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum are repainting the aircraft in advance of winter season weather conditions comes.

The plane is on display screen near the museum and Columbus Municipal Airport.

The museum obtained the C-119 for $15,000 in 2019.

The approximately 38,000-pound airplane, which is not airworthy, was taken apart previous 12 months at an airport in Greybull, Wyoming, where the aircraft’s pieces were being loaded onto trucks and driven 1,460 miles to Columbus. At an airport restoration hangar, a lot of the plane was step by step reassembled and restored about the course of quite a few months.

Skip Taylor, who is co-foremost the project, claimed that the intention is to finish painting the airplane right before wintertime arrives.

“That’s been a obstacle due to the fact we have experienced a whole lot of rain,” he mentioned.

After volunteers are completed, the plane will be mainly grey, with white on top rated and black guiding the engines.

The exterior work has also involved taking away previous black paint. “The plane was painted black beneath the engines to conceal the stains from the motor exhaust and from oil leaking from the engines,” museum officers reported. “This residue, merged with 3 coats of black paint, makes it a obstacle to take away.”

The paint elimination procedure will involve coating the outdated black paint with paint remover, permitting it soak and then scraping off the softened paint. This should be done several moments to eliminate all layers. There is also some previous gray paint that wants to be removed, but officials explained it comes off with much less issue.

Team associates have also worked on introducing an electric powered meter and circuit breaker box to the aircraft’s electrical power cart, which also incorporates a warmth pump and air conditioner.

The airplane is envisioned to have electric electric power shortly, which Taylor stated will be employed for lighting and HVAC. The HVAC, which will heat and amazing the inside of of the airplane, is previously “roughed in,” as is a great deal of the inside wiring.

In addition to operating at the display screen website, the C-119 team has also been equipped to use the Columbus Propeller makerspace for some work on the job. Taylor said the function there has included pre-assembly of air regulate surfaces, which will be added to the airplane when portray is concluded and assistance “complete the glance.” They’ve also utilised the space as a paint kitchen.

The workforce has begun buying lettering for the plane, which will have quantities, as properly as Air Power “bars and stars,” Taylor stated. Seats are out for upholstery, and they are also “chasing down some leaks in the aircraft.”

“There will often be a undertaking below or there that will add to the completion,” he explained. Even so, he expects the initial phase of the C-119 job to be full quickly.

Some feasible long run additions might involve placing in insulation and fabricating goods this kind of as a navigator’s desk, bathroom, seats, fold-down litter, and crates to assistance hide the HVAC system.

The C-119, also known as the “Flying Boxcar” because of to the abnormal shape of its fuselage, was in support with the U.S. Air Force from 1947 to 1972 and was made to carry cargo, staff, litter patients and mechanized devices. The aircraft was also utilized to drop cargo and troops applying parachutes, according to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum.

The Traveling Boxcars had been powered by two Wright R-3350 Duplex Cyclone radial engines, each with 3,500 horsepower, and could achieve a most velocity of 296 miles for every hour.

The U.S. Air Force thoroughly utilized C-119s throughout the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. Retired C-119s were being also employed as air tankers to battle wildfires in the United States.

The particular C-119 ordered by the museum was designed in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the Canadian Air Drive, Taylor said. The plane was later acquired by Hawkins & Powers and made use of to battle forest fires. Its very last known flight was in 1990.

The Flying Boxcars are of particular historical importance to Columbus, according to museum volunteers. In this article, the pilots referred to them as the “Dollar Nineteens,” in accordance to museum data.

From 1957 to 1969, 36 C-119s for the 434th Troop Provider Wing have been stationed at Bakalar Air Force Base, which is now Columbus Municipal Airport. The C-119s have been a staple in Columbus, flown out of the base extended than any other aircraft.

Companies Fairchild and Kaiser created 1,151 of the C-119s from 1949 to 1955. Nevertheless, only close to 40 Flying Boxcars are nonetheless remaining right now, most of them in museums across the state or in a scrap garden.

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