Moving The Not So Little Papoose

 

The PA-29 Papoose is a fiberglass single engine experimental plane built by Piper in the 1950's. It is powered by a 108 hp Lycoming 0-235-CIB engine and first flew in 1962. It never went into production as the plane was considered too heavy and lacked ailerons which made maneuvering difficult.

The Papoose (above) has resided in the West Wing of the museum since it was opened in 1997. Prior to that Ron Twellman, Curator of the EAA Museum in Oshkosh said that Piper had given them the Papoose on "Permanent Loan" from 7/17/1973 to 6/25/1987 when it was transferred back to Lock Haven.

The Displays Committee decided to move the plane to a new home in the hanger to make room for other displays. The one piece wing and the horizontal stabilizer were removed from the body and all components were carefully moved with wheeled carts to the East Wing where a large opening gives access to the hanger floor below. The body and wings were lowered by means of support ropes attached to the forks of a raised forklift. The operation was a success, but not without some frustrating and tense moments.

Pictures will shown on several pages to prevent slow loading images:

1. Nose of Papoose body in opening for lifting to floor below. In foreground is a Tomahawk used as a flight simulator.

2. Plane is suspended and moving out the door via forklift below.

3. Body is almost fully out of the door opening.

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