Hello to all aircraft and restoration lovers.
My name is Greg, and this is my first instructable.
I work at an aircraft salvage yard. Everyone who works here loves airplanes and the owner has several. One that I'm in love with is a 1946 Aeronca Chief. The 1946 Chief is a fabric skinned aircraft and has been re-skinned recently ( the ceconite fabric process weakens and fades over time so it needs to be redone, not like aluminum aircraft of today).
The interior is in rough shape, often bush planes are that way. I decided to give the airplane a little clean up and restore to its former glory, as close as I can get without spending a lot of money.
This instructable is about my first step, the aircraft control wheels.
Step 1: 2012 vs. 1946
I chose to start with the control wheels because it's the first thing I notice when I look inside an aircraft. The second is the instrument panel.
In 1946, control wheels were metal and to make them comfortable to grip for hours they wrapped them with rope.
Unfortunately, after years of use, sweat and moisture gets trapped in the rope and rusts the wheel. After the rope frays and tatters, it looks like a rusty old frayed noose.
So here we have the cockpit of the '46 Chief when it was new. The second pic is what it looks like today, the third is how we're going to make it look.