For the latest information on this project, please visit our new web site at:
The restoration has been tracked in a series of artciles in the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's "Flightlines" newsletter:
Below is a weblog, started in August 2004, that tracks the restoration of the Buffalo.
24 March 2008
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum now officially owns the aircraft. A dedication ceremony is being planned for 2009.
12 July 2007
Over the last few months we have completed painting the outer wings and empennage - complete with lettering and UN logos. And over the last few weeks we attached these to the aircraft. It is now substantially assembled! Next steps are to attach propellor blades and speed decreaser gear boxes. The main fuselage also requires painting and stenciling.
2 December 2006
Painting continues. Over the winter, we will rotate larger sections into the museum for painting. Thanks to CWHM member Ron Wylie, we now have the proper information on paint schemes and markings for Buffalo 461.
1 October 2006
In June (Father's Day Weekend), the museum held the annual Soar with Legends event. The Buffalo crew was out in full force to show off the Buffalo. Since then, we have continued with painting - mostly putting primer coat on various control surfaces. Some control surfaces have been attached to wings and tail - although the wings remain un-attached. Larger external surfaces are being sprayed. Recently, passenger plexiglass windows have been removed and replaced with plastic so that we can paint the fuselage without making a mess of the windows (althought the plexiglass has seen better days - new windows would be nice!). The cargo door and cargo ramp have been installed along with engine nacelles. And there has been lots of work fitting smaller pieces. We are holding off attaching wings and tail...
22 APRIL 2006
From January to April 2006, leading edges and control surfaces were refurbished. This included cleaning and priming. Skins around the centre-wing section joint have also been installed which makes this area watertight (well, nearly watertight) so that we have been able to take down the tarp that we had been using to keep water out of the fuselage. Other crewmembers have been working on the ramp and cargo door mechanisms - we hope to automate these controls.
10 FEBRUARY 2006
During December 2005, the aft fuselage was attached. During the next couple of months, the crew will be cleaning and painting control surfaces, wing tips, and empennage. By early summer, we hope to attach these remaining parts to the aircraft to complete major assembly. This month, the latest Buffalo Article appeared in the museum's "Flightlines" newsletter.
9 NOVEMBER 2005
The crew is busy riveting skins at the wing-fuselage junction. Work to prepare the tail for connection to the fuselage has also started. A recent review of parts has revealed that in addition to c/n 85 (Sudanese Air Force 811 - our Buffalo) parts from the following Buffalo aircraft are included in our inventory:
c/n 9 (Canadian Forces Buffalo 455);
c/n 60 (Zairian Air Force, Mauritania Air Force);
c/n 70 (Zambian Air Force);
c/n 86 (Sudanese Air Force 822 - last surviving Sudanese AF Buff);
c/n 87 (Sudanese Air Force 833 - shot down in 1985);
c/n 90 (Kenyan Air Force); and
c/n 94 (Tanzanian Air Force).
22 OCTOBER 2005
With the excellent assistance of Aurora Crane, the Buffalo was raised so the the main and nose gear could be extended. The Buffalo now sits comfortably on its landing gear after more than a decade squatting on a wooden yoke.
1 OCTOBER 2005
On October 1, 2005, the Buffalo crew pulled the forward fuselage out of the barn. The fuselage was rolled under the main wing section and the two sections were attached. The Buffalo should be standing on its gear very shortly. We now have all the parts needed for complete aseembly except for two speed decreaser gearboxes (SDGs) for mounting the propellor assembly. DAC has also provided us with a beautifully restored engine that has been mounted for display next to the Buffalo.
12 DECEMBER 2004
Steady progress continues on the DHC-5 Buffalo. Since the 6 October 2004 delivery, we have inventoried the delivered parts and generated a wish list for the last few missing pieces. A frame is under construction for the engine and speed decreaser gearbox that were carefully restored by DAC and suitable for display. With completion of nose repairs in the fall, we are now working on the nose and main gear doors. The nose gear doors are a challenge since they come from a D-model Buffalo (our airframe is also a D-model) but our nose gear wheel well is from an A-model Buffalo. Other recent work included fabrication and installation of the cockpit floor and bulkhead. We continue to collect information on the Buffalo and its use in the Canadian Forces. Some of this information has been incorporated into this web site an in a display board that will soon be ready for display at the museum. In particular we continue to search for information on Buffalo 461 and 116 ATU. If you have any pictures or information that you feel may be of interest to us, please feel free to send it along!
6 OCTOBER 2004
A big day! Our latest shipment from DAC arrived. Lots of cool parts. We did not open all the crates nor do an inventory, but what we saw was very encouraging. The engine came. Crates labelled with propeller assembly part numbers. Lots of control surfaces and leading edges. Control yokes. Best of all - main landing gear (an unexpected surprise). Sincere thanks to Gilles and all the great folks at DAC Aviation for making this happen. Over the next couple of weeks we will inventory the parts and make plans to get our Buff up on her feet. On a trivial note, we noted parts from the following Buffaloes in the shipment: c/n 9 (Canadian Forces Buffalo 455); c/n 85 (Sudanese Air Force 811 - our Buffalo); c/n 86 (Sudanese Air Force 822 - last surviving Sudanese AF Buff); and c/n 94 (Tanzanian Air Force).
21 SEPTEMBER 2004
The third feature article on the Buffalo was submitted today for the Fall issue of Flightlines. Topic - Buffaloes in Canadian Forces service.
24 AUGUST 2004
Reconstruction of the nose is essentially complete thanks to the donation of a radome by Aero Support Canada Inc. A shipping container with unairworthy parts is on its way from DAC's African operations and is expected on the project site within two months. When we acquite main gear, we will be able to begin assembly of major parts (wings, tail, etc.) to the fuselage.