Initial Repairs and Upgrades

In many ways, the damage sustained during the landing accident was fairly typical.  It required repairs to sheet metal of the belly and other lower sections of the airplane as well as a propeller replacement and the normal engine tear-down inspection. The not so typical damage included landing gear strut tubes and trunnions as well as the tailwheel mounting assembly.

The repair process revealed opportunities to improve taxi, takeoff and landing characteristics. Examples are the installation of modern Cleveland brakes and modifying the tailwheel to make it steerable.

There were far too many activities completed over a nearly three year stretch to fully document in this portion of the website.  As such, only a sampling of major tasks will be shown below.

Sheet Metal Repairs

1-30-09 HPIM0220

1-30-09 HPIM0219

7-15-10 006

3-9-09 HPIM0296

3-24-09 HPIM0327

3-9-09 HPIM0294

2-15-10 006

Nose Ring Transformation

Centennial Cowling Damage

Centennial Cowling Repair

PaintProject 008

PaintProject 020

PaintProject 027

PaintProject 032

Main Gear Struts – From Damaged to Newly Manufactured

5-7-09 HPIM0737



NOS Parts That Were Located



Cast aluminum trunnions and the tailwheel mount are Achilles Heels of the Spartan Executive.  Like many other situations in aviation, the question isn’t “IF” they are going to fail, but “WHEN” it is going to happen. Aluminum technology and alloys have improved tremendously since these airplanes were built in the late 1930’s, so it is possible to replace weak components with an extremely strong ones. New replacement parts were machined from billets of 7075 alloy.

New Trunnions



New Tailwheel Mount



Newly Manufactured Specialty Tailwheel Springs


A NOS Spinner Was Located

NOS Spinner for 7W


After Chrome Plating – – Great for Selfies


Finally, New Cleveland Brakes and Wheels


Wheels&Brakes 005

ClevelandWheelsandBrakes 007

PaintedWheel 001