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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:03 pm 
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I went down to Anoka yesterday to see Mike Rawson's A-25A restoration project. Thanks very much to Mike for showing me around the shop. If my information is correct, this is A-25A 76805.

These recovery photos come to us courtesy of Mike Rawson.

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Photos from my visit to the hangar on August 17, 2004

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3 steps up to the trailing edge of the wing! The chairs ought to give those of you who haven't seen a Helldiver some sense of scale.
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Note the solid flaps on this early model
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:21 pm 
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Thank you, Daniel, for the photos.

And Mike Rawson: Thank you for your dedication to the cause. Your work is amazing and an inspiration for me to get my butt back out to the workshop and get busy. I just wish I had a few more bits of project to work with!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:25 pm 
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Wow Mike, looks fantastic! It looks like you have made pretty good progress since Steve D. and I were over there and visited in December. Great Job, I just can't wait to see that sweetie all completed. Oh, and a very belated thanks again for letting Steve and I visit. It was a real treat. It will be amazing once the A25 is all together to finally see one fully complete. My hat is off and keep up the great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:34 pm 
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I'm not very familiar with with Helldivers. What is the round structure between the cockpits?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:42 pm 
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If I'm not mistaken, that's where the life raft is stowed.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:52 pm 
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That is indeed the life raft "tube." I was looking at a bunch of those at Jay Wisler's place a few weeks ago, neat stuff.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:02 am 
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For those interested Mike told the whole story of the recovery, restoration etc. in his own inimitable style, in Classic Wings Vol.9 No.5, complete with pix of the Hawaiian wrecks. A really good story by Mike.
A few copies of that particular back issue are still available - click on the C.W. banner to see details.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:34 am 
:D Hi as you can see from the early photos the A25-A has came along way to becoming the soul surviver of over 900 built and only one of now 6 remaining helldivers ,also the oldest of the bunch!!photo #4 shows our vertical/horizonal tail surfaces, its now bolted on along with both wings that were recovered from their 1944 resting place.Whats not in the photo of it coming out of the lake was recovered from the Utah crash site! As you can see with time and money such rare a/c can be returned for our viewing pleasure :partyman:There are many many more a/c out there in much better condition than what this a/c was built from ,but many of the uneducated folks in the position of historic preservation feel that a/c like this are far too gone for restoration.They feel that they should be left in their resting place of the last 60 plus years,this keeps all but the most die hard a/c nuts from ever seeing these rare survivers of the greatest battle on earth!!Those with the ambition to hike,dive, or fly into these sites risk not only life and limb but also can face arrest from the same people that are responsible for there safekeeping!! This type of thinking will rob all of our future generations from seeing some of the most increadible a/c ever designed. we only need to look at the many ultra rare Japanese a/c that only survive in their jungle settings were you may lose your head/ life just too make a visit!!They soon will be gone forever :cry: please if you read these posts and you are in the position to make a difference in the future preservation of these rare and historic articals please contact me at Helldivers @ aol.com or feel free to post your views for all to read.We need to make changer now !!Thanks Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:47 am 
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Is this the A25 thats going to the AF Museum? Or will this bird fly?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:18 am 
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NathanT24 wrote:
Is this the A25 thats going to the AF Museum? Or will this bird fly?


Mike, please correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know this is the A-25 that will be going to Dayton.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:23 am 
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What are the differences between the helldivers. Did I hear that the wings don’t fold on the A-25? But my bigger question is why, Would it be easier from a manufacturing standpoint to just make then the same? Were the A-25s used in combat?


Also how are the A-25 and SBD different?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:07 pm 
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The main differences between the A-25A and the SB2C-1 are in the systems and equipment. The A-25 uses army radios, and has a mechanical rather than hydraulic flap system. The wings were fixed on the A-25 by removing the wing fold system and replacing the locking pin with a permanent bolt. The A-25 also had 4 .50 caliber guns in the wings rather than the SB2C's 2 20mm canons. I'm not sure if any A-25s were used in combat, though the bulk of them were delivered to the Marine Corps as the SB2C-1A. I'm sure I've missed quite a bit here, the only Helldiver book I've aquired so far barely mentions the A-25.

As for the A-24 and SBD, I don't know what, if any, the differences were.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 1:31 pm 
Hi yes this is the A25 going to Dayton. Its being rebuilt to like factory new condition with all plumbing,wiring,and complete systems,but as its going on display only no fuel or oil is permited due to safety regulations. :cry: No bondo,fiberglass,or pop rivets all construction technics have followed original mfg specs!It will be complete in every way but its only flight will be in the belly of an Air Force transport a/c.We hope to build one flyer out of our holdings that will be 75448 recovered from Barbers Point that maybe our next project if all goes as planned!No A25s were used in combat although some were used as anti sub a/c off of the east coast. :wink: I just finished the right upper mlg door last night it looks great!! :supz: Well its back to work!! Thanks Mike


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 3:10 pm 
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Mike, the work looks great! When do you anticpate it will be done? Kepp up the good work.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 5:56 pm 
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A one of a kind aircraft like that is better off remaining in a world class museum such as Dayton IMO. You'll know the extent of your work stands a far better chance for long term preservation, and with the way the warbird movement is going it could very well serve as the only living blueprint for future new-production efforts. Just like Champlin's 'Yellow 10' I believe there is a necessary static preservation threshold that should include one of a kind planes, as well as other ultra rare and unique types.

That said, I'll be very pleased to see the second ship (75448) have another shot at getting airborne! :D

I'm always one to offer my highest regards to restorers who strive to return their projects to 100% factory original specs. In my mind, that's the natural state that every warbird longs to return to. Keep up the good work. 8)

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