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Buffalo Crew Update – December 2005
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Recent visitors to the museum will have noticed a change in the landscape on the western ramp. The Buffalo fuselage, which had been in the shed for the last three summers, was wheeled out into the light of day in early October. This followed a busy summer of wrapping up reconstruction of the damaged nose and installation of landing gear in the nose and main wheel wells. Cockpit instrumentation and control yokes have also been installed. Concurrently with these efforts, the engine, restored by DAC Aviation International, and speed decreaser gearbox was mounted on a moveable stand for display purposes.
On October 1, the fuselage was rolled out of the shed and placed under the main wing section, which was then bolted to the fuselage. A couple of weeks later, the fine folks at Aurora Crane volunteered their time and equipment to lift the wing and fuselage so that the previously installed landing gear could be extended. On this watershed day, the Buffalo finally sat on its gear after a decade of sitting ingloriously on a wooden frame in South Carolina and at the museum.
During November, the crew worked hard to reattach wing skins over the main joints between the wing and fuselage. Other members of the crew worked on preparing the tail section for attachment to the fuselage - efforts are currently underway to complete this attachment.
Over the coming winter, the crew plans to turn their attention to leading edges, control surfaces, and wing tips. This will include cleaning, painting, and sub-assembly. When the weather clears in the spring, completed parts will be attached to the aircraft. A recent delivery from DAC Aviation completed our inventory of these parts. When assembled, the CWHM Buffalo will include parts from nine different Buffalo aircraft – including aircraft that served in the air forces of Canada, the United States, Sudan, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zaire. One flap section originally came from Sudanese Buffalo c/n 87 – which was shot down in 1985 resulting in four fatalities.
The preferred theme for this static display aircraft is Canadian Forces Buffalo 115461 which was shot down over Syria on August 9, 1974. August 9 is now recognized as Peacekeeping Day in most provinces and in many cities throughout Canada. Peacekeeping Day recognizes the bravery and sacrifice of serving and veteran Canadian peacekeepers. When restoration is complete, the museum’s Buffalo will be a unique tribute to the Canadian Peacekeeping legacy. The continued support of DAC Aviation International is gratefully acknowledged.