The Stearman restoration project has finally taken off. A team of Dixie Wing volunteers has been assembled for the restoration, and during the first meeting in September an initial assessment of the overall project was conducted. The first immediate need to address was the lack of extra space at the museum to start a proper parts inventory process. With the Dixie Wing restoration shop occupied by the wings of the PT-26 belonging to the Heart of America Wing (Dixie Wing members are helping a sister unit), it was decided to purchase a 40 ft container to use as a storage facility. The unit was delivered to the Dixie Wing museum on November 19th. The next step will be the construction and installation of shelves and hardware. Once the container is ready the inventory process will commence.
During the month of December the airplane will be featured in the CAF yearly fundraising campaign called “12 Planes of Christmas.” With this campaign the Dixie Wing is hoping to raise $30,000. These funds will be utilized for centralizing the project to one location, upgrading the fuselage, as well as restoration of the motor mounts and landing gears.
The Dixie wing intends to develop a restoration program led by the several female members of the unit. The objective is to honor the cultural icon “Rosie the Riveter” who represented women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II. While women during World War II worked in a variety of positions previously closed to them, the aviation industry saw the greatest increase in female workers. More than 310,000 women worked in the U.S. aircraft industry in 1943, making up 65 percent of the industry’s total workforce (compared to just 1 percent in the pre-war years). The intent of this project is to show and encourage more women to get involved in the CAF.
To support the Stearman restoration, click HERE.