Kawanishi N1K2-J "George"
The Kawanishi N1K2-J was restored at the Champlin Fighter Museum by Dave Goss and his restoration team. We did a complete restoration of the "George" inside and out for the National Air and Space Museum, or NASM. This particular aircraft had been on outside display since WWII, before she was donated to NASM.
The "George" was in very sad shape, the cockpit had been gutted and the wings cut off with a chop saw.
Roughly 90% to 95% of this airplane was able to be saved and restored. The wings and fuselage were completely unskinned and the skins were then restored and reinstalled. All of the aircraft systems, wiring, fire extinguishers, flight controls, engine controls, armament and navigation systems were restored and made complete. Cockpit instrument panels were fabricated, and all original Japanese instruments were installed. The engine was overhauled, but never run, and all of the engine accessories were restored.
Behind the Scenes
The “George” used strips of cotton cord, like shoe strings, to clamp off wiring and tubing for anti-chafe. We used shoe strings in place of the cotton cord, and even copied the knots when tying off the components.