Vintage Aircraft Restoration
Taking care of anything “vintage” requires considerable amounts of effort to preserve its original condition. It needs special care and attention to detail that not everyone can give. So if you are planning to get something vintage, be ready for some serious responsibility, especially if that vintage plane will fly you thousands of feet up in the air.
Vintage aircraft is a beauty. It possesses a certain characteristic and spirit that modern aircraft can never imitate. When you fly on these planes, you’re flying with some of the pillars of aviation history. It gives you a surreal feeling. With that comes a price. Maintaining and restoring vintage aircraft is not easy, and original manufacturers don’t offer support anymore. But for aircraft enthusiasts, the money and effort will always be worth it.
Here’s what you need to know to take care of your vintage aircraft!
The Restoration Process
If you have just bought your vintage plane, you most likely have to set it up for restoration. All these old planes have to undergo this process from time to time to keep them beautiful and airworthy. The restoration will present a couple of difficulties for you, so having a trusted vintage aircraft mechanic will come in handy right now. Not all mechanics can service your old machine the way it needs. Newer mechanics are not trained to deal with the older technology used in vintage aircraft. If they are unfamiliar with the components and materials used on your plane’s original production, it’s better to postpone the restoration. You have to be careful, because they may do more harm than good.
Mechanics need specialized training and certification before they can work with vintage aircraft. Search for certified vintage aircraft restoration shops. Utilize your research prowess to know which shops are good and are not. It pays to know other people who are also into vintage planes because they can provide you some insight.
Another problem you may have is the lack of spare parts that can be used on your plane. Since original manufacturers don’t offer support anymore, restoration is not easy. New parts don’t fit in the fuselage of your aircraft. In this aspect, an aviation welder can help. They will then adjust the closest and most suitable components you can find in the market to match the specifications you need. But don’t get the wrong idea that they can make anything work. The parts should be just a few millimeters off, and nothing more.
Does the Restoration Make Sense?
Yes, of course. If the aircraft underwent the proper restoration methods, following all the aviation guidelines, restoration would make sense. You only have to be sure that you’re on the right track always. Making the aircraft look nice again won’t do the trick. If you don’t plan on taking your plane to the skies, maybe that can work. But if you want the maximum value for time, money, and effort, you should guarantee that the vintage plane becomes airworthy again.
When all the restoration is done, you need to get your aircraft its FAA approval. Once it passes all the screenings and tests, you can be assured that your vintage aircraft is safe and can conquer the skies once again. Then you can enjoy flying the way no modern aircraft can ever give.