Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back to Life-L-17B 48-974 Restoration Completed

After a long twelve months our restoration of an actual L-17B is complete. Found stuffed in a broken down hanger where it had been sleeping for almost thirty years behind piles of junk , painted with yellow house paint; Ryan Douthitt saw it as aeronautical treasure and put it back in the air after stripping the old paint.

As a matter of fact it is the silver and red partially restored Navion in civilian markings on this user group website masthead.After buying it last year from Ryan, we took it another level after demate and complete systems, instruments overhaul and anew interior. The second phase of the restoration was completed by Bob Juarez after we worked throughout the year in my T-hanger in Fresno. I learned a ton about this wonderful flying airplane and although painful and expensive, I recommend the demate which forces an overhaul of all plumbing, wiring, etc. to anyone who hasn't done it. It gives you peace of mind of what is lurking inside( 1.e. 3 rats nests!).Hope everyone enjoys these pictures we will do one last blog with in flight photos in a month or two(working off a pretty good list of sqawks since Ryan took back into the air).Thanks to everyone who helped and offered suggestions(i.e. the tip on how to stop aux. tank leaks using McFarlane grommet screws-works great!, the original L-17 checklist copied by Rip Quinby-see interior shot, etc.).I love the big IO-550, three blade modified Navion hot rods but I hope some of you still appreciate what I believe is the most original bird miltary Navion flying- green panel and all. Would love to hear what you think. Ron Paliughi Fresno, California.