Usually hidden away behind the police helicopter hangar, our poor old Skymaster has over the years almost become part of the landscape. Relatively inconspicuous – an epithet not normally bestowed on one of Cessna’s oddest designs 😀 – it has pretty much become a fixture of the ECOS apron, taken for granted, as exciting as a tree (which it somewhat resembles in its green paint scheme). You get the impression that it’s as stable and permanent as the hangar it hides behind… right up until the moment it moves :).
Arriving at the field this morning for my simulator run, I threw a glance around the apron as I always do, checking to see what – if anything – was new. Expecting nothing really interesting – the field having opened only three days ago – I was taken off guard by a Skymaster parked out in the open, unobscured for the world to see, at the end of the ECOS apron. Briefly excited by the prospect of finally seeing a flying example, I soon spotted the familiar paint scheme… nevertheless, now that it was out in the open and away from its usual cluttered background, I thought I might as well get some photography done… 🙂
As mentioned in the photo comments, a couple of us had thought of restoring it – but despite the fact that many of its common engine and system components can easily be found, being used on other Cessna designs, there really is no economic case for any form of serious restoration. The structural checks alone would cost a fortune – the entire airframe having absorbed the forces of the impact – plus you’d need to overhaul two engines, two props, the entire landing gear system, repair the wing damage, repaint it, rebuild the cockpit (this having been cannibalized for instruments) re-certify it and so on and so forth… it would be easier to just by a “new” one… 🙂