Installation went smooth and once secured to the mount some additional work needed to be accomplished. The angle of the fuel pump was slightly different with this radial which led to some fuel lines being rerouted and new ones fabricated. Working on vintage aircraft and powerplants such as these takes special people. A&Ps who are willing to keep learning, not afraid of taking on new challenges, and to do the job right the first time are always needed. Removal and replacement of this radial took two technicians, three weeks, from the start to the check-out engine run.
Supporting the NextGen of A&Ps
Fighter Factory has many talented A&Ps accomplishing tasks that are very different in nature compared to most aviation jobs. They are always looking for talented people. To do their part helping upcoming A&Ps Fighter Factory in partnership with the local Part 147 technician school, the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, is starting an apprenticeship program. This program is meant to help future A&Ps get some hands-on experience working in an aviation maintenance shop under the guidance of an A&P.
Staying true to the period
As mentioned before the Fighter Factory keeps one of the largest private collections of WWI, WWII, and some Korean era aircraft maintained in flying status for the Military Aviation Museum also located on the Virginia Beach Airport in the Pungo section of Virginia Beach, VA.
This museum is not an ordinary static display of aircraft; it is what you would call a fully operational living aircraft museum. The aircraft are truly special but also the Military Aviation Museum stays true to the time period by building hangars and buildings that represent the architecture of the times of the aircraft.
For instance, the Fighter Factory maintenance hangar is an original design from a hangar in Waukesha County, WI, at the Waukesha County Airport in 1937. This original stone hangar was redrawn by an architect and those plans were used to build the Fighter Factory facility.
The main museum’s hangar is 60,000 square feet of art deco style that houses much of the aircraft. Other buildings being constructed are a German Luftwaffe Hangar (1936 era) from Cottbus, Germany, being reassembled on site, and a RAF Goxhill Control Tower from the Northeast coast of England was disassembled in sections and transported to the museum to also be erected at the airfield.
Throughout the year events are held at the museum such as the Flying Proms, Hangar Talk Series, Warbirds Over the Beach, SummerCamp, Biplanes and Triplanes, Proptoberfest, Trains and Planes, and many more events.
It was good to visit and learn about the Fighter Factory and the Military Aviation Museum and seeing the professionalism and dedication given to these vintage aircraft to keep them in flying condition for all to see and hear the distinctive sound of radial engines and props in the skies overhead. AMT
More information on the Fighter Factory and the Military Aviation Museum can be found by visiting t: www.fighterfactory.com and www.militaryaviationmuseum.org.
Brad Groom currently is the Director Foreign AMT Training for the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Virginia Beach, VA. He holds an A&P certificate and a Bachelor degree in technical education. Contacted him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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