November 27, 2005
Chapter 1: PABLO's A4C Buno 148543 Arrives!
Another good, NO "GREAT DAY" to be around airplanes and people who like
As you remember the Virginia Aviation Museum and Virginia Aeronautical
Historical Society promised that a A4C like Paul was flying on June 17,
1966 on his 97 1/2 mission, would arrive here at the Museum. Well today
Worldwide Aircraft Recovery LTD.
http://www.worldwideaircraft.com/index.htm with Marty at the helm of his
tractor trailer arrived from NAS Pensacola and the National Museum of
Naval Aviation at the VaAvMuseum here in Richmond.
Mike Boehme-Director and his staff and docents on duty plus, David
Hahn-Asst Director and Curator, Paul Galanti and umwha were in attendance
to observe this one man ballet (Marty) assemble "The Scooter" or
"Heineman's Hot Rod" as it was known in the Navy!
It was a chilly, but sunny day till later when some clouds rolled in. The wing section and nose with cockpit were unloaded from the trailer and
mated. Tomorrow Marty will unload the tail section and attach it to the rest of
the airframe, then it can be temporarily moved into the Museum for
further assembly. Shortly after Thanksgiving the plane will be moved and be repainted in
the colors and markings of Paul's squadron VA-216 and then placed in the
Virginia Aviation Museum permanently.
Soon I hope to take a picture of this bird like the last one attached!
That should 'almost' complete the pictorial set.
Oh yeah, we really need a boarding ladder, tail hook, a couple of 300
gallon drop tanks and really an engine!
Anybody got any of these they aren't using??
JR aka Dick
Chapter 2: PABLO's A4C 'IS' Taking Shape!
On a sunny Virginia Day with the temperatures MUCH warmer than yesterday
it just seemed like a good day-'Thanksgiving Day' that is-to junket back
out to the VaAvMus to participate in getting some more of PABLO's A4C put
I have a good wife that doesn't give me grief-too much-about this stuff!
As I arrived Marty of Worldwide Aircraft Recovery LTD
http://www.worldwideaircraft.com/index.htm was installing the upper wing
panels that the flaps retract into.
How about piano wire hinges?? Nice touch and "Original Equipment"!
A product that I have used to lube or loosen stuck parts and that Marty
was using during reinstallation and is better than WD-40 or penetrating
oil is "Q.B. Blaster"!
After a short time PABLO joined us then David Hahn arrived and in the PM
for the tail section installation party Mike and Kim Boehme and Elaine
Sutton of the "Fabulous Museum Crew" came by!
Remember this was their holiday!!
It really interesting to see how these airplanes are assembled. You can seen how various sections were contracted out to different
aeronautical companies and then went to final assembly -AND they all
How about 4 BIG bolts to attach the nose and cockpit section to the wing
and 4 more to attach the tail section.
Now think about taking a catapult shot and/or trap (arrested landing) let
alone pulling a bunch of Gs and the thing holds together!!
Its one thing to just look at the outside of one of these combat machines
then look deep inside and think of all the engineering solutions that had
to occur let alone the many work hours put in by the maintainers both
ashore and at sea to keep them working so they could fly on a sortie!!
As I mentioned before in a short time the plane will get a new coat of
paint and then reside inside the VaAvMus here in RIC-"IF" it will fit.
Thats the reason for extending the nose strut to its max, to lower the
tail so that it will slip under the door opening.14 feet 2 inches appears
to be the vertical opening needed. It will be a little snug, but we think
it will go. The hinged door to the rear of the A4 is the one that will open to accept
A few more access panels to install or be refabricated and it should be
about ready for the paint crew. The last paint job was at NARF Jax in
1971 when it went thru overhaul. I found on Google last night that this particular Buno was flown by VA-15
the "Lions" and VA-152 "Fighting Aces" off USS Forrestal.
http://www.skyhawk.org/5E/G144868/html/145022.htm (148543 in background?)
This has been fun stuff and I plan to follow it as time permits!
JR aka Dick