F-100D Restoration Update
by Richard Mallory Allnutt
Over the past year, we have been following the restoration of a combat veteran F-100D Super Sabre at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia. The restoration team has been slowly returning this important airframe from the corroded hulk it once was into a magnificent representative example of the breed. This aircraft, USAF serial 56-2995, flew several hundred missions during the Viet Nam War. Ret’d. Maj.Gen. Rick Goddard flew more than a hundred of those sorties, including one on February 9th, 1969 for which he received the Silver Star. Nearly fifty years later, Gen.Goddard is again working on the aircraft, alongside fellow restorer Aaron Robinson. It is most definitely a labor of love for the two men, who have both poured an enormous amount of effort into the project. (Please see our earlier article HERE for a more in depth look at the aircraft’s history.)
When we last visited the museum in March (click HERE), the aircraft’s fuselage had just received a set of freshly restored wings. Since then, the restoration team has installed the undercarriage, and towed the aircraft from the restoration hangar into the back of the Scott Hangar, where further work involving non-hazardous materials can take place.
They recently installed the (de-militarized) 20mm cannon in the munitions bays, along with the ammunition tracks and link chutes. The project is still in need of a few pieces to complete the gun systems, so if any of our readers can help, please do contact the museum. Since the move into the Scott Hangar, Robinson and another volunteer have attached the inflight refueling probe on the starboard wing.
Last week, the team opened up the storage can containing the aircraft’s Pratt&Whitney J57 engine to verify that it has all the necessary pieces. Work on the engine bay is now complete, so it will only be a matter of time before a crew can mount the powerplant. The team is also preparing the cockpit for painting. The fully-rebuilt ejection seat is on hand for installation once the cockpit is ready. Aaron Robinson reports that much of the remaining work, involves installing small pieces and fabricating a number of missing small access panels. Once these jobs are done, it should then just be a matter of repainting the airframe exterior before the aircraft is finished and can go on formal display. They are in the home stretch now!
WarbirdsNews wishes to thank Aaron Robinson for his help in preparing this article, as well as for the fascinating photographs which illustrate it.