Saturday, July 14, 2012

Back on the Convair

I was invited back to the Convair 240 today to photograph the interior of the aircraft. I wasn't able to see the interior last weekend because I didn't have the time, the necessary equipment to photograph the interior, and the desire of the two who were working on the aircraft not to let anyone inside the aircraft because the main door wasn't secured in a proper open position. Before I left the airport I got the full name of U.S. Airline Industry Museum Foundation and used that to send them a link to the first post about the Convair. From there it was a series of emails, then phone calls, then setting up today's meeting.

When I arrived at the Orlando Apopka Airport close to noon a new group was at the airport, consisting of Capt. LeRoy Brown and his wife, Bill Lupo, and two others working on the 240. I gathered up some of the gear I brought with me and carefully entered the cabin through the forward entry.
Passenger Cabin
Once in the cabin I spent a few moments talking with Bill Lupo, the current president of the organization. I spent a few moments sitting in the passenger seat. It was at that moment I realized just how comfortable the older seats really were. They were roomy and comfortable, something I can't say about today's current passenger seats. In the relentless march of commercial aircraft design, we've lost a lot with regards to basic flying comfort.

I spent a good hour and a half moving about with my Pens and a tripod, photographing the interior both wide and close. There's a lot of corrosion due to this aircraft's sitting out, basically unmaintained, from 1997. Before it was allowed to sit it was put to use by a number of airlines stretching back to it's original owner, Pan American World Airways in the 1950s.
Fasten Your Seat Belts
Faded Sign
Upper cockpit over the pilot's seat
The Pilot's Chair
Old Comm Gear
What I'm curious about is if the communications gear is the original comm gear, or was replaced some time after. That Collin's Radio Radar Synchronizer has a pair of Motorola 2N1022 germanium power transistors mounted on the bottom front. It was Motorola that first introduced the germanium power transistor in the mid-1950s. It was also at that same time that Motorola introduce their famous batwing logo. If that is all the original gear, then that means it was maintained and it worked until the 240 stopped flying in 1997. Which would be unbelievable.

The long term goal is to document the restoration of this particular 240 as well as anything else of interest. I have more photographs from today's session that will become part of two more posts.


I took everything I had to today's session. I had no idea what I might need, so I took as much equipment as possible. That meant I took all three Pens (E-P2, E-PL1, and E-PL2), two E-1's, and my E-3 and all the regular 4/3rds lenses. I also took my Benro tripod, both FL50Rs and their FlashBenders. I took the Pens, the flashes, and the tripod up into the aircraft. The E-PL2 was mounted on the tripod. The lenses I used were the Zuiko Digital 9-18mm with an MMF-1 adapter, the µ4/3rds 45mm, 20mm, and 14mm lenses. I used one of the FL50Rs with a FlashBender in the cockpit with the E-PL2 set to use remote control. It sorta worked, and sometimes it didn't. I need to dig a little deeper to make remote control flash work more consistently. Post processing was done, as usual, in Lightroom 4.1.

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