A spe­cial ad­di­tion

Annapolis Valley Register - - OBITUARY/COMMUNITY - BY MAL­COLM UHLMAN GREEN­WOOD MIL­I­TARY AVI­A­TION MU­SEUM GREEN­WOOD, N.S.

And then there were 10!

As per the Green­wood Mil­i­tary Avi­a­tion Mu­seum’s (GMAM) man­date to dis­play air­craft and/ or types flown over­seas in the Sec­ond World War and from this Val­ley air­base, the Pi­asecki/Ver­tol H-44 He­li­copter is the lat­est ad­di­tion to the di­verse and colour­ful­ly­dis­tinct air­craft on pub­lic dis­play in the Air Park. The oth­ers are the Lan­caster, Nep­tune, Au­rora (Arc­turus), Argus, Dakota, Labrador, Her­cules, Chal­lenger, and Sil­ver Star jet train­ers.

Af­fec­tion­ately dubbed the Fly­ing Ba­nana be­cause of its shape, this air­craft was built for Arc­tic res­cue mis­sions and use on the north­ern Dis­tant Early Warn­ing Sta­tions, the “Dew Line”, with the maiden flight be­ing April 11, 1952.

Built in Mor­ton, Penn­syl­va­nia it was pow­ered by a Wright Cy­clone 1820 nine-cylin­der ra­dial en­gine, as used on the B-17 Fly­ing Fortress WWII bomber. The air­frame is the fourth in a se­ries of tan­dem-ro­tor heli­copters with the Labrador be­ing the fifth.

Six H-44A heli­copters were ac­quired by the RCAF and were based on the H-21B air­frame and had metal ro­tor blades (un­like the wooden ones of the ear­lier mod­els) and an ad­vanced trans­mis­sion. Heli­copters with air­frame num­bers 9591 and 9592 flew here at R.C.A.F. Sta­tion Green­wood in the early 1960s by 103 Search and Res­cue Squadron. Sis­ter he­li­copter #9591 was writ­ten off in a crash at R.C.A.F. Sta­tion Chatham, N.B. in 1968.

On a trip to We­taski­win, Alta. Bob John­son, then GMAM gen­eral man­ager, rec­og­nized the dis­tinct colour scheme of an R.C.A.F. air­craft, as well as the side num­ber #9592, as be­ing linked to Green­wood and was in­stru­men­tal in ac­quir­ing this new­est dis­play air­craft. The for­ward sec­tion and ex­tra trans­mis­sions and ro­tor heads were trucked to Green­wood in the sum­mer of 2012, and the next year saw the two rear sec­tions ar­rive, one rear sec­tion to be used for parts. Af­ter a work­shop re­or­ga­ni­za­tion and the for­ward and aft sec­tions “shoe horned” un­der cover in the work­shop, the ac­tual re­con­struc­tion project be­gan June 17, 2014. This new mu­seum ad­di­tion is the ac­tual air­craft aft sec­tion, side num­ber 9592, cou­pled with a U.S. Army H-21C for­ward sec­tion; these were joined to form the new 9592 on dis­play. The for­ward sec­tion of 9592 was de­stroyed in a north­ern ac­ci­dent. Over four years of ded­i­cated work were spent by a team of GMAM vol­un­teers in bring­ing the air­craft back to its for­mer glory.

Cor­ro­sion around the en­gine bay posed the first ma­jor task, ne­ces­si­tat­ing the re­moval and re­place­ment of five large side pan­els, re­quir­ing drilling out and re­plac­ing hun­dreds of riv­ets. Many fi­bre­glass sec­tions along the top and tail were re­placed with more durable alu­minum, where pos­si­ble, while dis­tinct curved shapes were for­ti­fied with ex­tra fi­bre­glass. Many other holes and tears were re­paired, all glass was re­placed with durable Lexan and many parts had to be man­u­fac­tured.

The for­mal trans­fer of the H-44 from the restora­tion crew to the Wing will take place next spring. A spe­cial in­vi­ta­tion is ex­tended to those who flew or worked on this type of ven­er­a­ble air­craft; any­one can make them­selves known to mem­bers of the restora­tion crew who can re­unite them with the air­craft and hear their H-44 mem­o­ries.

Soon to come out of the mu­seum work­shop is a Bol­ing­broke/Blen­heim, and the next restora­tion, al­ready started, is a Beechcraft C-45 Ex­pe­d­i­tor.

Jackie McPhee was in for a big sur­prise re­cently.

Dur­ing a re­cently held reg­u­lar meet­ing of the Rags to Riches Rug Hook­ing group, McPhee, of Har­bourville, re­ceived an hon­orary mem­ber­ship award and roses for her sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the craft of rug hook­ing. This award was from the Rug Hook­ing Guild of Nova Sco­tia and was pre­sented by a cou­ple of the ladies from the guild. McPhee was rec­og­nized es­pe­cially for en­cour­ag­ing many be­gin­ners of the art.

The fol­low­ing day, at the Cen­tre­ville group, they rec­og­nized her ef­forts again. McPhee has been rug hook­ing for 30 years. She only re­cently re­turned from On­tario where she was vis­it­ing fam­ily.

***

Janet Boates, of Har­mony, a mem­ber of the Rags to Riches Rug Hook­ing group, re­cently re­ceived an award for artist of the year for Canada from the Hub­bards Mu­seum. Her works were on dis­play there all sum­mer. Re­cently, there was a hook-in at the mu­seum with 60 to 70 ar­ti­sans and sev­eral mem­bers of the group from this area at­tended.

***

Oct. 24 was our last full moon. It was called the Hunter’s Moon. Not that hunters are al­lowed to hunt by the full of the moon, but it’s the sea­son for hunt­ing.

***

There were six ta­bles of 45s in play at the South Ber­wick Com-

MAL­COLM UHLMAN

This be­fore shot only partly speaks to the hours upon hours of restora­tion work un­der­taken to re­fur­bish the Pi­asecki/Ver­tol H-44 He­li­copter on dis­play in Green­wood.

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