Sitting majestically on the tarmac at the Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita, Kansas, this proud warbird is being lovingly restored. David Brubaker, Chairman of the Museum Restoration Committee has some personal reflections to share.
David says, "I personally have been working on the aircraft since 1989. Work for me originally started with the tail gunners station. Having worked with weapons systems in the military, I was very interested in that end of the plane. As time went by a small group of volunteers formed and at any given time there are about 6-8 people active on the restoration and upkeep of the plane.
When we first started restoring the aircraft, we opened up the 47 section, which is the compartment aft of the rear main gear and found an enormous pile of material removed from the cockpit. Many panels and covers. Without the tech manuals at first, it was like a jigsaw puzzle, but we managed to find the proper location for most of the material. Work in the cockpit continued for about two years with minor projects on other parts of the plane. We began to accumulate tech manuals and our personal research gained us a great deal of information.
Over the years we have spent a lot of time putting the plane back together. We restored the lower flight deck to what it would have looked like in Vietnam. We even reinstalled the optical bomb sight. As a result of some networking, we had over 8800 pounds of parts flown to the museum from the Davis-Monthan facility and were able to extend the restoration work significantly.
We now have, as acknowledged by the U.S. Air Force Museums Program, the most intact and complete B-52D in the hands of any civilian museum in the United States. A fact that we are very proud of.
The aircraft is 90% restored. The bombay is ready to receive the modular clip racks. The is about 95% intact with cleanup needed, and the tail gunners compartment and systems are 100% restored."
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