It’s All Coming Back to Me Now

Ed McGuinness starts the reassembly process by installing the first pully’s and brackets.

No. The title does not infer Celine Dion or a Wagnerian Rock Ballad. The Sikorsky Memorial Corsair is coming back to life. A little over two and a half years ago I wandered into this Connecticut Air & Space Center looking to kill a few hours helping sweep a floor or clean some parts. It was just a few months after my 40th birthday when I found the Corsair.

40 was a birthday that I dreaded in no unspeakable terms. You see my biggest fear is when I die I will be forgotten, that I will fade away into time, falling into the eternal vortex of the past. Pretty dark, I know.  This morning I had this realization that not only was 40 nothing to be mournful of, hell life really just became interesting.  Not only am I now in charge of the Connecticut Air & Space Center (Promoted Aug. 2011), last year I spent a month at Ezell Aviation in Breckenridge, Texas, I have helped save the Sikorsky S-60 from destruction (Igor’s last personal project at Sikorsky), I have Cannonballed across the US (legally) and been to Hawaii meeting so many great people in the Museum business and learning more in 2 years that I did in the past 10.  The museum is growing by leaps and bounds, our volunteers are some of the best in the museum business and did I mention that my wife, Laura, and I had a beautiful baby boy named Henry Howard! Yeah life is good.

Henry Howard, the nest generation of Aircraft Restorer. Note his Corsair pin. It was a gift from Scott Ramos on the day of his birth. I met Scott via the Corsair project and we spent almost 2 weeks in the Texas Heat last year becoming fast friends.

But to get to the point. It’s all coming back to me how much I love this stuff. Every project goes through doldrums especially when all you are doing is cleaning parts and trying to find the bits and pieces that are missing.  On Saturday August 18th, 2012,  Ed McGuinness installed the first brackets back into the painted cockpit. Now we begin the road to reassembly.

Mark Corvino has been working for almost a year getting the Cowl flap system  restored and wow does it look amazing.  Mark Knopick spent almost 9 months in the media blasting room cleaning lines and fittings that were all coated with corrosion.  Our 92 year old Chance Vought veteran, Bill Digney has almost finished rebuilding the Oil Cooler sections. Tim Benson has made signification progress on tearing down the R-2800 engine.  We still have a long way to go but were in gear and heading forward.

The Corsair with a fresh coat of Interior Green. Courtesy of Mike Proto.

This entry was posted in Connecticut Air And Space Center, Igor I Sikorsky Memorial Airport Corsair Restoration, World War II and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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