Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Cub Waits in Barn for 59 Years
Read this story in the Texas Antique Airplane Assoc. newsletter and had to post it! What a cool story and amazing find. Enjoy! Thanks Jared for letting me post it.
Cub Waits in Barn for 59 Years
By Jared Calvert
When I first step in the barn I realize building a clip-wing Cub will have to wait. I stood by myself, in awe at the sight. I was only told the plane, built in Lock Haven in 1946, had been sitting for “a while”. I figured a high time, beat-up Cub would be a good base for a clip-wing and make a nice hangar mate for my Pitts. But seeing the short lightning bolt, “Cub” inscribed tires and cotton fabric, I knew this Cub had been in this barn for a very long time. It would have to be restored to original.
NC7057H, a Piper J3-C-65, was purchased new for $2,352.00 by Charles Moseley of Santa Anna, TX. After taking possession of the aircraft in Fort Worth and flying it home to Coleman Co, Moseley’s airplane had flown 16.5 hours. For three years Charles and his daughter Charlotte flew the aircraft to and from their ranch operations in separate counties. When the Mills Co. ranch was sold, the plane was no longer needed. The last flight was piloted by Charles on July 1, 1950. It was pushed into its wood, barn-like, dirt floor hangar at a corner of a 180 acre field. The doors were closed and the young Cub was put away into darkness where it would sit for nearly six decades. The total time on the airframe was 197 hours.
Fast forward to 2009 and the airplane is showing its age but is still in remarkable condition. Minimal rust and a considerable amount of cotton fabric remain on the airframe. The original instruments, aluminum rudder cable guards, canvas wrapped breather tube, on and on there is a new discovery at each glance. Amazingly, the family had done a great job keeping up with and taking care of the paperwork, including all of the aircraft logs, documents from the CAA, the purchase receipt from Meacham Aircraft Sales, and the pilot logs of both Charles & Charlotte. Charlotte’s son, Jay, found Ranger to be a fitting place for the airplane. It was pulled from the barn and once again in the sunlight on January 18.
Though the plane was completely assembled when the Ranger restoration group got their hands on it, it’s become a basket case quick. Unique details continue to pop up though. When the tailwheel was disassembled we found wood bearings. Wired to the fork was a tag reading “STEEL BEARING SHORTAGE NECESSITATES TEMPORARY SUBSTITUTION OF WOOD BEARINGS.” When restored we plan on utilizing the Cub through the nonprofit, Calvert Charitable Projects, to give rides to kids at Ranger and flying events it attends. What better way is there to expose a young mind to aviation than through the open door of a Cub?
The restored Cub will also be a good platform for informing people about the Ranger Airfield project; an undertaking to restore and preserve one of Texas’ oldest airports. Plans are to also form a flying museum and take in donations of antique aircraft, components & memorabilia. You can look over the Cub and experience the Ranger Airport at the May 23 meeting. Feel free to contact me by 254 433 1267 or email@example.com
Visit the airfield’s temporary website at www.myspace.com/rangerairfield