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Old War Plane Restored with Paint Firm's Help

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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Paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams' aerospace coatings arm recently donated paint to help complete the Yankee Air Museum's restoration of a historic aircraft—a C-47 from the Vietnam War.

The aircraft, painted to honor the 1st Air Commando Group of World War II, underwent treatment that stripped the plane of its former paint. The 1st Air Commando Group operated in the China-Burma-India theater.

Restoring the Past

After an extensive amount of research to determine what color scheme should be used on the aircraft, Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of the Yankee Air Museum, noticed that many of the planes operating in the CBI were painted in the field, resulting in variations of color tones and hues.

“Being closely involved from the start, picking colors from two-inch square paint chips and then actually seeing the first applications on the plane was a bit unsettling,” said Walsh. 

Despite these discrepancies, finding a color match was successful: the top of the plane was painted Earth Brown No. 5, the bottom coated in Neutral Gray and the markings done in Insignia Blue and Insignia White.

While Sherwin-Williams provided the paint, Kalitta Maintenance completed the labor. Fernando Hernandez, Technical Service Representative with Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings, noted that care was taken to ensure paint mixture accuracy, and that the coatings were consistent throughout.

The plane took a short run for the sky with three brief test hops before departing for its home base at Willow Run Airport, near Ypsilanti, Michigan.

According to Walsh, the plane will next receive technical markings and squadron insignias. Work began in early June; the project was announced in November 2017.


Tagged categories: Aerospace; Historic Preservation; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Sherwin-Williams

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