ZK-AWO/NZ3548 Part Four - Interior restoration

With the exterior complete and the interior protected from the weather, work commenced on stripping the paint from the interior. This was a slow process due to multiple layers of paint and the addition of glue which had been required to stick felt used for noise reduction.  As can be seen, all useful components had been taken out when the aircraft was scrapped.
In this photo, taken from the entrance into the cockpit, it can be seen how bare things were. The wheel was not standard equipment (it is the spare for the trailer!) and the poles clip together together to display flags from the back (see previous page). The throttle quadrant knobs, trim wheel and hydraulic hand pump were added after recovery. 

The interior as photographed in December 2005 and almost ready for painting. An original escape hatch has been sourced and fitted, along with a hydraulic reservoir (both kindly donated by Fieldair). It is quite possible both these items were from the original aircraft.

On 28 February 2006, the restoration project reached a major milestone with the installation of the co-pilot's seat. To get this into the cockpit, the seat had been dismantled into two parts to fit through the entrance doorway. Putting all the bolts back in is not an easy job in the confined area. Here Tara has the privilege of being the first to sit in the aircraft since it was scrapped.

Another photo of the cockpit taken on 28 February 2006 before the pilot's seat was fitted. The two large instruments in the centre of the instrument panel are for the autopilot. The leather seat cushions are original.

19 March 2006. The pilot's seat is now fitted. When purchased from Fieldair, this was not complete as the base had been removed and used in another aircraft. Components for a new base were made to match the original. Currently the seat is bolted into a static position. With more work, it may be possible to complete the base unit (quite complex) so that the seat can be adjusted back and forth on its supporting rails.

The cockpit nearing completion. A few gauges still need to be fitted and holes used for more modern radio equipment blanked off. Other items needed are the flap indicator and windscreen wipers.  Still, the cockpit has come a long way from when it was recovered from its North Island resting place rotting away under an old macrocarpa tree!

Items I'm still chasing include:

  • cockpit escape hatch handles
  • knobs for throttle quadrant levers
  • right fuel selector cock
  • upper cockpit electrical panels
  • clip-on panels for cockpit walls
  • flap indicator on left cockpit wall
  • magneto switches
  • windscreen wipers, motors and de-icing controls

If you can help with these, please contact Chris.Rudge@xtra.co.nz

In restoring this cockpit, I wish to acknowledge the following organisations:

MORE FM, Christchurch - initial sponsor assisting with painting, signwriting and purpose-built trailer
Barrie Cummings, GlassTech, Christchurch - manufacturered new windows
Fieldair Engineering, donation of escape hatch, hydraulic parts, instruments and fittings

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