CAF Airbase Georgia Reaches Milestone In Stearman Restoration

Stearman stands on its own gear as airworthy restoration pushes forward

The Stearman for the first time sees the light of the CAF Airbase Georgia's hangar. You can see the tail of the unit's SBD-5 Dauntless. [Photo by Angela Decker]
The Stearman for the first time sees the light of the CAF Airbase Georgia's hangar. You can see the tail of the unit's SBD-5 Dauntless. [Photo by Angela Decker]
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By Angela Decker
We have been bringing you updates on the Commemorative Air Force Airbase Georgia (formerly the CAF Dixie Wing) restoration of Boeing N2S-2 Stearman Bu.03531 at their hangar in Peachtree City, Georgia since late 2019. Since our last update in late 2021, the team of volunteers working on this project has continued to gain momentum, reaching several benchmarks in the restoration.
After more than four years the Stearman is finally standing on its "legs." [Photo by Angela Decker]
After more than four years the Stearman is finally standing on its “legs.” [Photo by Angela Decker]
Over the last two years, the team has fully assembled the structure of the fuselage after fully inspecting each part, bead blasting, priming, and painting the sections.  With the completion of the fuselage structure the electrical system and wiring were installed, making it viable to install the instrumentation.  Other components like the seats, control linkages, various additional connections, and the firewall have also been installed and completed.  The landing gear was also reconditioned and new Redline brakes were added for additional safety and function. With the completion of the main components of the fuselage and landing gear, the team recently reached a milestone when the fuselage (with landing gear attached) was removed from the rotisserie.
The wings of the Stearman. [Photo by Angela Decker]
The wings of the Stearman. [Photo by Angela Decker]
The next steps will include additional sheet metal work and the rigging of the wings and the center section prior to covering those sections.  This will allow the Stearman team to check for fit and ensure that no issues will arise with the full assembly after the wings are covered.  Following this fitment, the team will then cover those structures, embark on final assembly, and have the engine compartment to attend to as the restoration continues forward.  With the completion of their PT-19 restoration, many volunteers working on that project have shifted over to help with the Stearman team.  This brings an additional wealth of knowledge in fabric and painting skills developed during the PT restoration.
Volunteers Brad Postage (left) and Michael Lamble working on the tail fairing of the Stearman. [Photo by Angela Decker]
Volunteers Brad Postage (left) and Michael Lamble working on the tail fairing of the Stearman. [Photo by Angela Decker]
Airbase Georgia Stearman project lead, Jeff Clark, provides a walk-around of the fuselage with additional titbits regarding items completed, the future of the restoration, and expected delivery dates on the project in the video at the end of this article.
Project Vision Airbase Georgia took on this project in part to help educate and inspire children in middle and high school (especially female students) to explore and pursue careers in aviation and to encourage more women to become involved in the Commemorative Air Force. CAF Airbase Georgia’s Education Program will introduce students to the story of Rosie the Riveter and America’s military aviation history through its collection of aircraft, artifacts, and lesson plans that meet Georgia classroom standards.
On November 14, 2020 the CAF Dixie Wing dedicated their P-63A Kingcobra to Betty Bishop who worked at the Bell factory during WWII. Betty worked on the Wing’s P-63 Kingcobra as well. [Photo by John Willhoff]

If you would like to know more about the mission of Airbase Georgia, you can visit HERE.  To donate to the Stearman Project, you can do so by going to their Donate Page and notating “Stearman Project” in your donation.

Watch the interview with project manager Jeff Clark.


1 Comment

  1. For the N2S team, the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola’s Archives Division found for me that the correct shade of yellow is Lemon Yellow, though this has been mis-stated as other shades in a major reference (Elliott). – Orin L. Humphries

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