The little bomber that could

Twin tails. An open greenhouse-like nose you can see right through. Must be a B-25 Mitchell.

Oh. Wait.

It only has one engine. Well, more correctly, one engine mount.

IMG_8780

Yes, this sad, disassembled aeronautical apparatus is my beloved Tessie. Her engine, nose gear, and wing tanks are removed—as is the skin from the cockpit to the firewall on both sides of the fuselage. Parts of this airplane that haven’t seen the light of day since 1947 are now exposed. It’s fascinating. And horrifying.

IMG_3513

Beneath her wings is a pile of assorted parts that resemble the debris field of a plane crash…

IMG_1853

Her engine sits on a pair of saw horses…

IMG_1907

Although, I must say that the view out the sides is stunning…

IMG_2821

So much so, I told my mechanic we should skip the metal and just put in plexi. I think for a moment he was afraid I was serious, as he started muttering something about the skin being part of the structure that holds the plane together…

IMG_5005

Or maybe it was because he’s started working on the new skins, apparently complicated by the fact that they have a compound curve, meaning that the metal plates curve top to bottom and front to back. Asymmetrically, of course.

IMG_1347

On the bright side, I’ll be able to keep the old skins as art. Hey, people pay good money for faux airplane side panels to serve as aeronautical decor. Now I’ll have one, too. Only mine will be authentic, one with real history.

IMG_5181

And while we’re all bummed out about the state of our family airplane…

IMG_3190 10.06.51 AM

We know this sad state of disassembly isn’t forever. Progress is slow, but she’ll be put back together soon. And I’ll leave the green-house-like nose to the B-25s.

IMG_6886

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>