C-123K ‘Ponderous Polly’ – April Restoration Update

The crew from Warriors & Warbirds working on their C-123K Provider, Ponderous Polly, in April during a trip from their home base in Monroe to New Bern, North Carolina (where Polly is currently stuck). (photo by Joseph Atkins)
The crew from Warriors & Warbirds working on their C-123K Provider, Ponderous Polly, in April during a trip from their home base in Monroe to New Bern, North Carolina (where Polly is currently stuck). (photo by Joseph Atkins)
The crew from Warriors & Warbirds working on their C-123K Provider, Ponderous Polly, in April during a trip from their home base in Monroe to New Bern, North Carolina (where Polly is currently stuck). (photo by Joseph Atkins)

Over the past couple of months, WarbirdsNews has been reporting on the efforts by Warriors & Warbirds in Monroe, North Carolina to return a Fairchild C-123K Provider named Ponderous Polly back to flying condition. As we have mentioned in previous articles HERE, the primary goal at present is to rebuild the aircraft’s control surfaces (damaged in a storm) so that the venerable cargo plane can fly from her current home in New Bern, North Carolina back to Monroe for a more formal restoration. Warriors & Warbirds held a fundraising campaign recently to help pay for the rebuild, and a number of you contributed (thank you!). The money raised has really helped get the ball rolling, and we have just heard from Joseph Atkins, Warriors & Warbirds spokesperson, about a trip several members made to New Bern in April to work on the Provider. Here is what Atkins had to say…

This past weekend, a team from Warriors and Warbirds traveled from Monroe to New Bern to work on Ponderous Polly. The team worked for three days from sunup to sundown going through all aspects of the C-123K. Fortunately, they were able to determine that structurally she is still sound and the damage from the hurricane seems to be limited only to her control surfaces.

They were able to drain all of the oil so her engines are no longer liquid-locked and the props now spin without hinderance. Based on an initial inspection, her engines seem to be sound and with a little TLC they will be able to bring her back to Monroe.

The team was able able to clear out all the debris from weather and animals and secure the ports so that wildlife would be unable to damage the interior any further.

This was a very successful and informative trip, we were able to find out more about her engines and their condition and most importantly we were able to determine that she is structurally viable for restoration!

The broken hinges [from the control surfaces] have been removed so new ones can be installed when acquired. This we need help with, so if any of your readers know of any parts to be had or can be of any help in manufacturing them so we can get Polly back in the air, please let us know.

We plan another journey soon. We may be doing an engine start up!

This is great news, and we look forwards to more positive reports coming from Warriors & Warbirds in the coming months. You can find them of Facebook HERE. If you can help with resources, financial or otherwise, please do visit the museum’s website HERE to find out how you can contribute. The GoFund me campaign link is HERE … every little bit helps!

Working on the engine to remove the spark plugs and drain the oil to remove the liquid lock and turn the props. (photo by Joseph Atkins)
Working on the engine to remove the spark plugs and drain the oil to remove the liquid lock and turn the props. (photo by Joseph Atkins)
Some of the eleven volunteers who journeyed to New Bern to work on Ponderous Polly. (photo by Joseph Atkins)
Some of the eleven volunteers who journeyed to New Bern to work on Ponderous Polly. (photo by Joseph Atkins)

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