In 2012, the year of the 75th anniversary of the Piper Cub, this poorly plane was taken to Mr Guy Appelback of Scanrho Aviation at Eastwinch Airfield near Kings Lynn and Marham. It was in bits and pieces. Restoration had begun!! Although the aircraft was already dismantled, further preparation had to be done. Full recovery of the fuselage and wings were undertaken.
In the mean time the engine was delivered to Mr Richard von Isenburgh of Isenburgh Engineering at South End Airfield. The choice was made to change the Continental A-65 engine to a Continental 0-200 with 100 horse power. An STC from Univair was available to achieve this. Included was an additional 18 gallon left wing tank, new engine mounting welding and modification of exhaust and cowlings. An electrical system was also installed with started and alternator. A new McCauly propeller had to be installed.
The undercarriage was also fully renewed. The paint and fabric was stripped and all new applied. The old brakes with drums were removed and replaced with a full Grove disc brake system. This could be done with an approved STC and talented engineer John Whiting at Bagby. The tail wheel is also a brand new addition. I kept the old one as a spare for future reference.
Back to the fuselage. All the control cables were replaced. All the parts were from Univair with certificates to approve. A new fuselage cowling will now not show all the dents, cracks and uneven surfaces that the old one had. It is now silky smooth with a high gloss of yellow paint. The fuselage looks very sleek and flashy with the black lightening stripe.
Now for the seats it was a bit emotional. My daughters remember the brown and white sheepskin cushions when they flew with me as little girls. This has now deteriorated so much that it had been replaced. I found a very well crafted set of cushions and rear seat sling from Don Jones and they look and feel just the part. All new varnished floor with silver and black trimmings as contrast gives a touch of class. Fortunately the instruments are present and working. The compass had to be moved to the top frame not to have interference from the new electric system.
Walter Dittel Radio
The radio is a Walter Dittel FSG71M in a casing on the back of the front seat. It even has a transponder installed. The radio has intercom system included and is very clear in such a noisy cabin. The earphone plugs are also in this casing. The radio case is a mobile unit and clamps onto the rear of the front seat. The overhead transparent perspex panel allow a chunk of light in and gives some Visibility in turns. Forward visibility, especially with a passenger in the front seat is to better view ahead.
Cabin Heating System
A new luxury item that is added is a cabin heating system. This was not necessary in South Africa but in the UK it will be very helpful.