Dakota Territory Air Museum’s P-47 Update – June/July, 2022

The Thunderbolt is in the restoration shop as the various systems are finished. (image via AirCorps Aviation)
Aircorps Art Dec 2019

We have just received the June/July, 2022 report from Chuck Cravens concerning the restoration of the Dakota Territory Air Museum’s P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 at AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji, Minnesota. We thought our readers would be very interested to see how the project has progressed since our last article on this important project. So without further ado, here it goes!


This month, work on the final wing systems, fuselage details, and control surfaces continued. The cowling shape is is in the final stages of completion, and the windshield is now permanently attached.

Acid Wash

Back in WWII, it was a common practice for factories to use an acid wash on areas of aluminum skin which were to be spot welded. As such, an accurate restoration must also include duplication of this acid wash, since it is very visible on the airframe.

The left flap and elevators were the final control surfaces to be finished.

Work on the wings this month centered  primarily upon the ammunition and gun bay doors as well as the landing gear. The team installed the landing gear gap seals, as the fitting on the gear doors was completed.


The nose cowling’s complex shapes make building this assembly difficult. Mike has made remarkable progress though, fitting much of the outer skin this month.


This month the team installed the cockpit windshield, along with the bulletproof glass which sits behind it. This installation is interesting in that, unlike most bubble canopy fighters, the armored glass is a separate part, independent of the windshield itself. It mounts inside the windshield, bolted to the front deck assembly over the instrument panel.


During the period from late May through mid-July, much of the work focused on the fuselage underside where the turbosupercharger and its associated ducting are located.

And that’s all for this month. We wish to thank AirCorps Aviation, Chuck Cravens for making this report possible! We look forwards to bringing more restoration reports on progress with this rare machine in the coming months. Be safe, and be well


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