June/July Dakota Territory Air Museum’s P-47 Update

Update by Chuck Cravens
pper intercooler air exit opening
The view from the rear of the upper intercooler air exit opening shows how large they really are.


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Assembly of one of the unique features of 42-27609 recently began.  The 5th Air Force experimented in a number of ways to get more range out of their P-47s.  One of these experiments was an extra fuel tank mounted in the turtledeck behind the pilot.  It was called a Christmas tree tank because its triangular shape resembled the well-known holiday decoration..

An even more important milestone was achieved as work began on the upper fuselage.

Christmas Tree Tank

Lower fuselage finishing touches



Upper Fuselage

The P-47 fuselage is built in an upper and lower half. First the lower half is built in a fixture that has a heavy beam at the top of the lower fuselage. Then the upper fuselage is assembled on top of the completed lower section. The large lengthwise fuselage fixture beam was removed this month so that work on the upper fuselage could begin.

AirCorps Archivist Ester Aube

Ester Aube
Ester representing AirCorps library at Airventure 2017.

The profile subject for June/July is Ester Aube, the woman behind AirCorps Library’s continued success. Ester comes to us from Montana and is an indispensable part of AirCorps Aviation. She handles all the archived manuals and engineering drawings for both the restoration shop and for the AirCorps Library website. When we need to look something up, Ester’s work at organizing all this material enormously speeds up the process. The largest part of her job is digitizing these fragile 70 year old materials and it isn’t unusual for her to scan 30,000 pages in a single month. Through her work for the AirCorps Library, Ester has helped other organizations, like the Globe Swift Museum, digitally preserve their collections of original documents and drawings. Ester has a Bachelor of Science in art conservation with a minor in art history from the University of Delaware, making her uniquely qualified to handle the irreplaceable documents that warbird enthusiasts have sent her to digitize and preserve. Ester’s favorite warbird is the P-40.

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