DZUS – Pronounced Zooss, like Goose with alot of S’s. The DZUS is a type of quarter-turn fastener used to secure skin panels on aircraft. Unlike the Goose, It was invented by William Dzus in the early 1930s. Airplanes are covered with this buggers. They work great hence why they have been in use for so long to to secure panels in equipment, airplanes and race cars. The key is they are used to take panels off or on quickly.
So it seems when you mount an airplane out in the weather for 35 some odd years, coat it with several layers of paint and treat it to a healthy dose of galvanic corrosion they no long become quick release, no they become a real pain in the ass to remove. And that’s how I started my day off in Building 53 with my new buddy, the Corroded Corsair of the Connecticut Air and Space Center. Well I really started the day out dealing with torrential rain and flooding just to get to the building but hey she has an arrestor hook and can take off from a floating base of operations… Never-mind you had to be there.
The paint stripper that Chris applied had been sitting for 3 days and it really moved some paint. After a while of scraping and digging I got the DZUS tool and a socket wrench. This was gonna be easy. I spray some PB Blaster, let it sit for a few then UGH GRRR nothing , do it again. Well this went on as I slid around on the gull wing section of the wings trying to hug the cowl. Finally one popped with a crack. The one cracked, dam. It seems that for every once that popped one stripped and cracked. The next step was to drill out the broken ones. Progress, that’s the key. I am hoping to clear the cowl by Saturday and then pull the remnants of the self sealing gas tank that has turned into a brick of black rubber.
I am really starting to love this old girl. She has taken alot of abuse over the years and we are going to do everything we can to make her complete once again.