Fiddlers Green

Your Neighborhood Salvage Yard
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Author:  airportkid [ Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:55 am ]
Post subject:  Your Neighborhood Salvage Yard

The clutter in the hangar was getting out of hand so I piled boxes of old parts I'll never use into the car and took it all to the salvage yard in Sacramento - obsolete wheels and brakes, an upper cowling, 5 or 6 vacuum pumps in various stages of disrepair, old fairings; it was a full load. The yard had something I'd been looking for - a bottom cowling bowl (they're rare because they're usually the first thing smashed in a crash). We worked out a trade, then I spent some time wandering the yard seeing if there was anything else I could use (there wasn't).

But I also wandered the yard because it makes my mouth water at all the possibilities of restoration or putting together some fantastical hybrid. There was a trim little Cessna 140 fuselage sitting all by itself, wingless, tailless and engineless that pulled at me like a siren - I was tempted to ask what it'd take to make it mine, but I've got way too many projects already.

Anyway, it also occurred to me that a paper modeler could learn a great deal visiting a salvage yard and seeing how the real things are put together. The similarities between paper design and real airplane design are more than coincidental: both involve cutting shapes out of sheet material and sticking them together. Only in a salvage yard can you see the naked innards of an airplane - and be free to shift torn aluminum clear to get a better view of some fixture or fitting. There's no better way to note the precise configuration of a cockpit layout, seen from the OUTSIDE through missing skin panels. You can pick up a compound curved fairing in your hands and twist it about, seeing its true shape and how the designer got it to mate with the wing and fuselage, and recognize how to translate that to the same troublesome fairing on the paper model.

You won't find anything military in a salvage yard, nor large airliner, but just about everything else is there, crumpled Cessnas, beat up Beeches and mangled Mooneys. I recommend a trip!

Author:  FelixR [ Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

<sigh> Unfortunately, the nearest salvage yard to me is a leeetle bit too far out to the east, and too big to wander about .... . the bermuda Triangle !

Although I do remember a "salvage area" at the Isla Grande airport (San Juan , PR) where old planes were dragged to before final disposition. TO this day I regret not doing anything to save that DH Dragon!!!

Author:  lepercan [ Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:22 pm ]
Post subject: 

There ought to be a lot of salvage after all the storms are done... How are you holding out?

Author:  old guy [ Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  3 near me

I have three large aircraft salvage yards near me. One I can go into any time I want. One I can go into if I call ahead and arange it. The last time I went I watched the last three F-14's go into the pulvirizer. I like to just walk around and imagine how they were built and the many things they did in there operational life. Just watched a WW II documentary called "Birth of a B-29" it was fasinating watching how they were made on the assembly line.

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