The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #70 in FL
315 miles this trip, odometer now 15970 total, miles this year 2069.
>From Pensacola NAS, Hi Everyone!

Before I leave Pensacola I will try to relate to you what I have learned while having fun here fixing this old Demon aircraft. Again I remind you that we all see things differently. Back in the late 1950s I was a first class petty officer in charge of a crew doing maintenance on a Demon aircraft. I saw things differently then also. The other crew leaders said I was insane. They called me "Oilcan" because I always had an oil can in my hand while servicing the aircraft. My aircraft was always the dirtiest one on the flight deck. It was also the one that logged the most flight hours so maybe it is pays to be insane. Every time we were to launch a flight of four Demons we would strap pilots into six Demons. Then if one or two pilots had a problems with one or two of the four scheduled for flight a spare aircraft would take it's place. Only once did I strap a pilot in my aircraft and not launch it. It happened on a very dark night. Before he even started the engine he admitted he was afraid to fly and climbed out of the aircraft. I am sure that he was not the only pilot that has lost his nerve on a very dark night but they would usually find a reason to down the aircraft rather then admit they had lost there nerve.

Now to get back to the Museum. They tell me I am working in the Aircraft Maintenance Branch there is also an Aircraft Restoration Branch. I believe they should change the name to Aircraft Cosmetic Maintenance Branch. In my book they definitely do not do Aircraft Maintenance. They do a very good job of making the Aircraft beautiful. Beauty is only skin deep and is in the eyes of the beholder. You could take a wicked old witch to a beauty parlor and she might come out looking like a doll but she would still be a wicked old witch.

I believe the Aircraft Cosmetic Maintenance branch should be more interested in Aircraft Preservation. The first thing I would do is outlaw Sand Blasting (they use plastic beads instead of sand) as a way to take old paint off an aircraft destined to be put in the Museum. From what I see in and on the Demon it is a disaster there has to be a better way. I would also change her personality and disposition and give her longer life by doing a little Aircraft maintenance with a grease gun and an oil can before making her beautiful. It would make latches, hinges and joints work like they were intended to work. I can tell that this old Demon hasn't seen a grease gun or oil can in forty some years. Yes it would create some problems and have to be cleaned to get the paint to stick but it would be worth it for preservation of the aircraft. Isn't that what the Museum is all about?

When I walk through the Museum I see a lot of Beautiful Aircraft that are sick and in need of maintenance. I'm talking about the flat struts. I understand the tires are filled with rubber so they look like they have air in them. The struts also use air and could have a sleeve of the proper size put on the struts to hold the aircraft in the proper position like it was alive and well. I don't believe the sleeves would be as much of a distraction as the flat struts are.

Now that I have said how I see it, I wonder how many of the Museum people who read this will agree with me? Or will they declare me insane and lock me up?

Work on the Demon is progressing, the wheels have been sent to Goodyear to get the tires filled with rubber the wing panels are ready to install. George and Rick still have some work to finish and I have been moved to the engine and I'm now in the Restoration branch. The engine has been cut away so you can see the inside of it. The engine will not be put in the aircraft and will be displayed separately. It had been used by the training command and the inside of it was painted various colors to show the change in air pressure and temperature. This is in bad shape and will be redone and there is some corrosion in some places that needs attention. It will be time consuming and could take awhile. I will be taking all the components off of the engine even the wiring and tubing. Everything will be cleaned, repaired and preserved and then reinstalled. I am tagging everything I take off so next year when I come back I hope I will know where every thing goes and where it connects. I have a big wooden box next to the engine to put the tagged parts in and it is filling fast.

I will take a picture of the Demon with the wings on it and hope I can get connected to a land line to send this Story as the Cell Phone is a very slooow Modem and does not do pictures very well.

When I come back next year I hope they have the leaky hangar roof repaired, if not I hope they will let me fix some roof leaks before I go back to work on the Demon Engine. I understand they have been putting up with a leaky roof for 30 years. Every time it rains they get out some buckets to catch the water and use plastic to cover things that they don't
want to get wet. I can't believe it, even the Museum roof leaks and they have to get the buckets out when it rains to catch the water. Even the junk yards I have been in do not have such a problem.

I must tell you the people here in the Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL area are doing their part to control the World Population. Just about every night on the news I hear about someone being shot and killed or killed in a car wreck. I believe it could be that they play those Video Games where they can kill people all day long and smash a car into a wall and they just wait till the car rights its self to go on and they never get hurt. Real life just is not that way.

Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

Me & My Shadow & Gus on the road