|Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver in the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar. NASM 2013-03237|
|NASM Restoration Specialist Will Lee works on the Helldiver's elevator. NASM 2013-03238|
The quality of the Navy microfilming process was mixed. Some drawings are completely legible; others are quite impossible to read. An intrepid group of seven museum volunteers worked six hours a day, four days a week, for four months to provide an index to the Helldiver microfilm.
Using the index and a parts catalog from the Archives, Will determined which assembly drawing he needed for the individual clip. He then requested a paper reproduction from the Archives. Although many of the original drawings may initially be difficult to read, the Archives can work with the microfilm print to enhance its legibility.
The original assembly drawings, however, only give the actual size of the components, not the direct dimensions actually needed to manufacture the parts. Using the assembly drawing and several math formulas, Will calculated the proper dimensions to make his own construction drawing for the parts.
|Clockwise from top: original assembly drawing, Will Lee's construction drawing, drawing attached to metal, and folded metal piece. NASM 2013-03244|
|New clip for the Curtiss Helldiver SB2C-5 (left) compared to the parts originally found on the aircraft. NASM 2013-03240|
Elizabeth C. Borja, Archivist
National Air and Space Museum Archives