The HUP restoration has been coming together these last few weeks with a combined effort of professional aircraft folks and USS IOWA volunteers. The pros have been working on structural repairs to the windscreen along with final stripping of the remaining coatings. They’ve also assisted with organizing the components and evaluating what we have. For the most part, it seems the news is good. This aircraft is remarkably intact which will assuredly help simplify restoration.
Our volunteers have been working on cleaning and prepping the interior for new coatings which they’ve finally started placing this last weekend. A handful of photos attached. We’ve also been scrambling for paint supplies from various suppliers and we now have perhaps 2/3’s of what we need already in hand. We’d like to recognize the “Car Aroma” company in Wilmington CA who have donated a significant amount of coats for the project to date.
One interesting find under the original paint on the tail is an underlying image of a woman being lifted by a dove. (see attached) Our guess is that this was placed on the tail during French ownership but we’re not aware of any formal insignia which would have had the image so we suspect it occurred during commercial service. Our graphic artist is convinced that she’s seen the image somewhere before as the style is reminiscent of a Matisse drawing but we haven’t found any references yet. However, with the uncovering of the image we might consider conserving the piece rather than painting over it. In view of that, we are looking into replacing the tail with a different piece. More on that later.
Our Volunteer team this week included Derek Cross, Ron Bendy, new volunteer Miguel Maldonado, George Evans and Lloyd Oake. Bill Maggio has also been working on components aboard ship.
And behind the scenes, Tom Epperson has been working on procuring paint materials as well as playing on-camera start for the KTLA segment.