This SPAD XIII replica came to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA as part of the Champlin Fighter Collection purchased by the Museum of Flight in 2003. It had cotton fabric on it which was deteriorating.
Our job was to assist with disassembly of the airframe and work with the MOF staff to remove the airframe from the Personal Courage Wing gallery. Then we loaded the SPAD into a truck and transported the airframe to our shop where we removed all of the fabric. We inspected the airframe for condition and made small repairs, detailed and re-varnished the wood. We re-fabriced the airframe using ceconite to insure longevity per the requirements of the contract.
Additional work done on the SPAD included:
- Fabric the whole axle assembly
- Wheels centered on rims with all new spokes and removing the tread on the tires to represent smooth tread
- New cowl blisters
- New fairings for the aileron push/pull rods
- And we changed out all modern screws and bolts that were visible on the exterior of the airframe with bolts and screws that represent the fasteners that would have been used during 1917/18.
We then repainted the airframe in the paint scheme of the 95th Aero Squadron USAS to represent Lt. Norman Archibald’s SPAD XIII.
When the re-fabric/repaint process was complete we assembled the airframe in our shop to confirm fit and finish. After inspection we disassembled the airframe and transported it to MOF. Upon arrival we worked with MOF staff to move the airframe back into the PCW gallery and reassembled the aircraft.
Museum of Flight