The Restoration of a Curtiss Helldiver...the last known
Helldiver airframe, BuAer 75552
Helldiver from WWII. Awsome video footage.
In 1984 3
Curtiss Helldiver airframes were recovered from Lake Washington from a depth of
about 150 feet.
This is the
last available airframe. The US Air Force Helldiver (above) was identical to
this aircraft(below) in the beginning. We would like to show you some progress
and examples of work so you will see what the flying airplane will look
Lets face it, lots of parts will be made
new. All parts are made from formers and jigs that were fabricated from ORIGINAL
Helldiver parts. These parts have been acquired for the last 26
Starting with the first recovered airframe
pictured from above, in just a few years Mike restored the Air Force Helldiver
to this point. Mike will be joining Vultures Row Aviation for the duration of
the Helldiver restoration. He brings with him many different talents in the
restoration and fabrication of Helldiver parts.
Complete engine cowlings made by hand, from scratch.
We have an original early cowling so new cowlings will be 100% authentic. We
have original engine accessory cowlings, cowl flaps and stainless steel
firewall. Original NOS Exhaust, NOS landing gear sets, Front windscreen and
complete NOS Canopies. NOS and used hydraulic actuating cylinders and many many
other NOS parts. We also have a foundry for casting parts.
We have outer left and right original wings. They
are already completely dis-assembled. New spars and spar caps will be CNC
machined. Shown here is my SNJ wing ready for reassembly. We have a proven
record for building wings and a wing jig.
detail is mandatory and truth be told it's an obsession. Shown here is the
detail in our ink stamp markings on aluminum skins and the pitot tube lines. If
your looking for a top trophy winning airplane we have a track record for
an authentic cockpit, here is an original Helldiver cockpit.
The Air Force Helldiver