Gordon sent us the following email along with some outstanding pictures of the restoration in progress.
Thanks Gordon! We will all be praying that the bird will be at the next reunion!!!!
Hello Dennis and Ollie:
I thought it might be interesting to your readers/members to get a brief look at some of the work we're accomplishing on 69-6381, an A-37B that I am restoring in Arizona.
As you'll probably remember, I was lucky enough to end up owning one of these that two of your members Bruce Tuxill (pilot) and Barry Smith (crew chief) have direct experience with. In fact, when I plan to repaint it with their names stenciled back on it - "as original."
The aircraft is undergoing an extensive restoration process. Obviously, corrosion and the age of time have been the biggest problem to date, however, as a testament to this aircraft, we're really quite astounded at the overall condition and the strength of these aircraft. Severely over-engineered, but more interesting the further we get into it. To date, all hydraulic lines/fittings/actuators have been overhauled or replaced; entire fuel system (including valves, fuel pumps, lines, etc.) have been overhauled or replaced; electrical has been "rung out" and waiting for the inverters to come back form O/H; cockpit flight instruments/gauges are out for overhaul; flight controls and gear overhauled/repaired/replaced; every single bearing replaced throughout with new; most magnesium skins replaced with aluminum; engines are next - fuel control units in for IRAN, etc. We're shooting for ground/taxi tests this summer - will keep you advised. Who knows, maybe the next reunion will have a nice A-37B on hand!
I am sending you some .JPG photos, and you are welcome to post some, all or none. I took these on 5/15/00. I'd like to ask the members if anyone has any history on S/N 69-6381or 67-14794 (the next project), to please let me know. Both A/C came out of BienHoa . . . I'm told.
And, if anyone has any current technical abilities to lend (technical / maintenance resources, ideas on locating certain parts, etc.), we'd sure like to hear from them. For example, when we took apart the air cycle machine evaporator, there was no "wet sock" installed. It was sealed - so would this be because of the highly humid environment and removing the sock resulted in better performance of the unit? We're not totally A-37B literate yet, so we're finding out a lot in a severe learning curve.
Thanks for the tour of the project Gordon. Good Luck!