After 68 years underwater, a WWII plane is back to its former glory

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I was there at the Air Zoo when they brought it in. The pictures don't convey the stink of the dead marine life in it.
More pictures here:
Wildcat arrives at Air Zoo


If this can be restored, so could this Skua.

No it couldn't: it has been conserved to protect its condition as-found, in a museum which treats originality very seriously; take a look at their Corsair.

"Restored" (for static) usually means removing parts which are cosmetically unacceptable and replacing them with new; "restored" (for airworthy) usually means creating a replica and attaching a false provenance to it via a data plate.

Thankfully the Fleet Air Arm Museum understands the cultural worth of an item and is not hamstrung by the obsession with monetary value; hence the Skua will always be displayed in its historically appropriate condition.
The Smithsonian has also adopted a preserve what's present attitude, halting any corrosion and realizing there is historical worth in existing paint and markings.

I always felt it was wrong to repair the floats on the Japanese I-400 series submarine floatplane in their collection, even if it was done using period techniques employed by the IJN during WW2. It wasn't done during nor by the original combatants.

While beautiful, their older soup to nuts restorations have sacrificed much that was historical.
Here is an example of a TRUE restoration - using a 100% complete "modestly damaged" P-38F-1-LO 41-7630* with minimal corrosion (magnesium parts were the few to corrode - they were unusable) as the exemplar.

~$2,400,000 restoration cost using 80%-85% of the original parts!
P-38E Glacier Girl​

Glacier Girl – Prairie
The Real Story:
Glacier Girl restored:
Interview with survivor:
Lecture on the recovery & restoration (over 1 hour):
Prairie Aviation Museum said:
Glacier Girl was one of six P-38 fighters and two B-17s that were forced to land on a glacier in Greenland due to bad weather on 15 July 1942.
All crew members survived and rescued after spending nine days in the challenging weather.
The squadron was left in place until 1982 when Pat Epps and Richard Taylor decided to recover at least one of the P-38s. Everyone thought that the planes would be slightly covered by snow and ice. However, in their first expedition, they could not locate the squadron.
Using new technology and several expeditions later, they located the squadron and found that the Glacier Girl was buried under 264 feet of snow and ice.

The story of the location & recovery is here: Glacier Girl: The Back Story

For the story of Glacier Girl's restoration and first flight, see Air & Space/Smithsonian, March 2004. Glacier Girl
Glacier Girl on the ice:

Glacier Girl on the ice.jpg

One of the other 4 P-38s after the "landings" - you can see the props are missing, the props & hub assemblies can be seen about 2 lengths behind the aircraft - so this is NOT the one recovered.

Initial shaft excavation:

01 Initial shaft excavation.jpg

Going down:

02 going down.jpg

P-38 in ice:

03 P-38 in ice.jpg

"Mostly intact":

04 mostly intact.jpg

Cockpit fully intact:

06 cockpit.jpg

Bringing her up piece by piece:

07 bringing her up piece by piece.jpg

The glacier had preserved it all: the guns, engines, and propellers, with not a bolt or rivet missing. On the negative side, says Cardin, "every single piece of the airplane was broken."

The final piece, the wing center section between the engines, came up 1 August 1992. Her "second first flight" was on 26 October 2002.

They had optimistically planned for her first restored flight by Oshkosh 1994 and to cost ~$600,000... but that was before they got down to rebuilding her.

They were able to repair & re-use about 80%-85% of the aircraft, including both engines & hubs and 5 of the 6 props. The original guns are also installed. The restoration (including the $638,000 recovery phase) still cost ~ $3,000,000!

That with it being the most-complete, least-damaged wreck ever successfully recovered [B-29A Kee-Bird, also from Greenland (emergency landing 21 February 1947) but the drier northwest, not the wet southern area 10 miles from the coast, was located intact on the surface and restored to flying condition on-site, but the APU caught fire during the pre-take-off run-up and destroyed the aircraft].

At the July 2003 Dayton Air Show, Glacier Girl competed for the Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Award, which typically goes to the airplane whose restoration has best preserved authenticity - Glacier Girl's presentation included her seatbelt, tool kit, a can of Harry Smith's tobacco, and his helmet—all found with the airplane deep in the glacier. There were also 18 volumes of photographs documenting the restoration process - and they had been working from a set of Lockheed plans obtained from the Smithsonian Institution.

Needless to say, she won - and as a bonus the trophy was presented by Neal Armstrong!

Neal Armstrong presenting the 2003 Roll-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy.jpg

In her second life:

Glacier Girl in Flight 2.jpg
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