October 20, 2000
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Field:
This is the third T-Squre-54 restoration report.
Progress since our last report:
- Installation of tunnel lining blankets is complete.
- Restoration of the right aileron and aileron tab controls - inclding manufacture of missing linkage parts - is complete.
- Several engine-mounted generators have been refurbished.
- Badly corroded stringers discovered in the body aft of the gunner's compartment are being replaced.
- The lower forward turret, except for the wiring harness, has been restored.
- Electrical connecotors needed to rewire the aircraft have arrived from Spacecraft Components, Inc.
Objective for the next quarter:
- Start to install a ship-set of new control cables, provided by Boeing.
- Receive control cables from Boeing and start their installation.
- Complete restoration and install the loop antenna.
- Install the lower and uper forward turret adapters.
- Complete and install the lower forward turret.
- Restore corroded right hand aft catwalk.
- Continue acquisition of amplidynes and other CFC parts.
Longer term objectives:
Complete and install rear turret fairing.
- Fabricate one forward and both rear bomb-bay doors.
- Fabricate mounts and install side blister sights.
- Begin restoration of tail compartment.
- Start engine overhaul.
- Acquire and install authentic nose windows.
- Finish restoration of pilot and co-pilot seats.
- Install restored control columns and build a new floor boot.
- Repair the longerons in section 42 right-hand forward side.
This B-29 was built by Boeing Wichita and delivered to the Air Force on January 2, 1945. It served with the 73rd bomb Wing, 498th Bomb Squadron on Saipan through the rest of WWII. At the end of the war, T-Square-54 returned to the United States and was converted to a tanker. Seven years later, it was used as a ground target at Chana lake Naval Air Weapons Station in California. In 1986, it was rescued from this ingnominous fate and moved to the Lowry Air Force Base (Denver) Heritage Museum. When Lowry was Closed in 1992, T-Square-54 was delivered to the care of the Museum of flight in seattle.
Our volunteer crew has worked for six years to restore T-Square-54. They continue to be enthusiastic and determined to make all major systems operable and to return the aircraft to wartime appearance. In these restoration reports, I'd like to tell you about several of these great volunteers:
Dale Nicholson, Crew Chief - USAF Maintenance Officer, A&E lead mechanic for Northwest Airlines and West Coast Airlines, and Service Engineer for Alaska Airlines. Dale has volunteerd more than 6,000 hours.
Lowell Houtchen - Member of China Lake recovery team, works several days each week. Lowell was a Boeing Tech Rep. to the 20th AF in the Marianas, Boeing Sales Engineer and Boeing Base Manager, Europe.
Margaret Berry - A member of our restoration crew working three or four days each week. As a teenager, Margaret was a production worker on B-17's and B-29's.
R.W. Johnson - An A&E craftsman, R.W. has experience as a flight engineer in the USAF and for Boeing, and served as a Boeing Flight Line mechanic.
Again, our thanks to the team of volunteers who are making the restoration of T-Square-54 possible. Were we to add to the cost of restoration the labor of this team, the project would not be possible.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Of the estimated $40,000 needed this year for parts equipment, and sub-contracted parts renovation (the labor on this project is donated by our many volunteers), we have raised $19,500. Your financial gift is still urgently needed. If you have already given, consider making another tax-deductible gift this year. It will make a huge difference in how much we will accomplish in the months ahead. Lastly, please tell outers about this project. Getting more people involved will shorten restoration time.
... If you have any questions do not hesitate to call me at (206) 764-5700.
B-29 Project Manager