On a recent visit to Seattle, I was visiting Paine Field when we made an unscheduled stop at the Museum of Flight’s Restoration Center. I do believe this was a deliberate surprise, so we got to see some really great things.
All the aircraft restoration conducted at the facility is undertaken on a volunteer basis, meaning projects can take quite some time. Considering the work will preserve aircraft for generations to come, this is a fine thing indeed.
Restoration of a Comet 4C
The largest aircraft being restored is a de Havilland Comet 4C which used to fly for Mexicana. After leaving that airline, the aircraft passed to other owners and eventually wound up in the restoration centre as a project to complete.
For those that don’t know, the British designed and built de Havilland Comet was the world’s first jet aircraft, entering service in 1952 with BOAC. Unfortunately the aircraft started crashing due to metal fatigue.
Metal fatigue was poorly understood at the time when it came to jet aircraft and their specific requirements. After a redesign, the Comet 4 entered service in 1958 and the 4C in the restoration centre is one of these.
Passenger Cabin Restoration
Once you are inside, you can see that a whole lot of attention has been paid to the passenger cabin restoration. It looks immaculate in my uneducated eyes.
Walking from front to back is interesting as there is a door in between the cabins. Whether that is supposed to be there or not, I am not entire sure, but it’s definitely not like things are today.
At one point the flooring is removed and replaced with perspex so you can see the control cables running underneath. Also, you can visit the rear hold behind the cabin which is interesting too.
What Else Is There And How Much?
According to the web page for the place, the reserve collection for the Museum of Flight is kept here also. There is the forward fuselage mockup of the Boeing 2707 supersonic transport for example, as well as many other things.
Visiting the restoration centre costs just $5 for adults and $3 for children aged 5 to 17. Younger children go free as to Museum Members. Parking is also free.
It is certainly interesting visiting a place where people are actively working to restore items. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, however I think anyone would be able to find something to grab their attention.
Would I visit the Restoration Center again? Yes, absolutely! People who are interested in aviation would find it fascinating to see the work that goes on there – I certainly did.
Have you visited the Restoration Center at Paine Field in Seattle? What’d you think? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image via the Museum of Flight Restoration Center.