Museum of Aviation F-100 Super Sabre Goes on Display

Museum of Aviation F-100 Super Sabre

After seven years of hard work, the North American F-100D Super Sabre at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia is just about finished. We have been following this restoration at WarbirdsNews for some time now, producing periodic progress reports (click HERE to see them). She arrived at the museum, a corroded, tattered hulk in 2010, but a small band of dedicated volunteers, including retired Air Force General Rick Goddard lavished thousands of hours of intensive care upon the Viet Nam War combat veteran fighter-bomber. As many of our readers will recall, General Goddard flew this specific aircraft, serial 56-2995, on 180 missions during his tour with the 309th TFS flying from Tuy Hoa Air Base in South Viet Nam. In fact, Goddard received the Silver Star for a mission in ‘995 on February 9th, 1969, making this aircraft an even more important and remarkable survivor.

(photo by Aaron Robinson)
(photo by Aaron Robinson)

Aaron Robinson, another retired US Air Force veteran, has also spent a lot of time working on the Super Sabre as one of the primary personnel assigned to its rebuild. He also provided us with all of the fascinating photographs for this article (as well as our previous pieces). With most of the structural restoration done, the major effort in the last few months has been repainting the airframe. This was no easy feat and necessitated partially disassembling the airframe, and a lot of precise masking to make sure it was properly coated with a finish that would endure. The major painting took place outside; museum staff having had to wait for the warmer spring weather to do the work. The following sequence of images show the aircraft being towed from the restoration hangar to the painting area, and then, following the respray, back into Hangar One, the museum building primarily dedicated to the Viet Nam War era.

Masking the parts prior to painting. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Masking the parts prior to painting. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Another view of the masking effort in the restoration hangar, showing just how complicated and time-consuming it was. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Another view of the masking effort in the restoration hangar, showing just how complicated and time-consuming it was to accomplish. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Leaving the workshop for the first time as a more or less fully restored aircraft. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Leaving the workshop for the first time as a more or less fully restored aircraft. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
The journey to the painting area. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
The journey to the painting area. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
On location at the outdoor paint booth. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
On location at the outdoor paint booth. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Getting the aircraft ready to paint. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Getting the aircraft ready to paint. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Painting begins, light colors first. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Painting begins, light colors first. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Next comes a light grey top coat primer. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Next comes a light grey top coat primer. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Now a little light brown. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Now a little light brown. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Then the greens... (photo by Aaron Robinson)
Then the greens… (photo by Aaron Robinson)
And finally a full coat of war paint... Just the markings and stencils to follow. Like it's that easy (we know it isn't!). (photo by Aaron Robinson)
And finally a full coat of war paint… Just the markings and stencils to follow. Like it’s that easy (we know it isn’t!). (photo by Aaron Robinson)
It's off to take up her place in Hangar One. (photo by Aaron Robinson)
It’s off to take up her place in Hangar One. (photo by Aaron Robinson)

Once inside, small reassembly jobs took place, as well as the application of new stencils. This may sound like just a little work, but it’s often these details which take so much effort to complete as they are so fiddly… and there are so many of them. The various weapons pylons also needed filling out. One of the real joys was seeing General Goddard re-apply a pair of Pennzoil stickers to the airframe. His brother had worked for the company while Gen. Goddard, then just a Lieutenant, was flying in Viet Nam, and sent him the stickers. On a lark, the young pilot had stuck them to his Super Sabre, and thus they are replicated today on his aircraft exactly as they were back in 1969. While a few more details need to be addressed on the airframe, it is essentially done now, and awaits an official unveiling, expected in early June.

Gen Goddard applying the famous Penzoil sticker.
Gen Goddard applying the famous Pennzoil sticker. (photo by Aaron Robinson)

WarbirdsNews wishes to offer our profound thanks to Aaron Robinson for his help in creating this article, and for his part in preserving such an important aircraft for generations to come. Bravo sir!

 

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3 Comments

  1. Very nice restoration.. I have some very nice F-100 era P-Series
    helmets if W.R. Museum would like one for display with the A/C.

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