Whitehorse gets big weather vane back

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2001

WHITEHORSE, Yukon (AP) -- The novel DC-3 weather vane at this Canadian city's airport is again telling aviators which ways the wind blows.

After three years and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor, the unusual landmark was hoisted back onto its pedestal Sunday afternoon.

The huge wind indicator was originally mounted in 1981. It was taken down in July 1998 by the Yukon Transportation Museum to deal with years of exposure.

''The weather will take its toll, and the sun, but we used the best kind of paint we could for that type of operation, so I think it will do for at least a couple of decades,'' volunteer worker Doug Davidge told the Whitehorse Star.

Davidge said a core group of 10 worked on the project from the beginning, while several more volunteers joined in for the final push. Restoration cost between $15,000 and $20,000, plus about 1,500 volunteer hours.

It was a major project setting the big plane back on its pedestal in from of Whitehorse International Airport over the weekend. First the fuselage and wings were taken out of the restoration shed and reassembled on Saturday. Two cranes arrived the following day to lift the plane into place.

The plane now carries the white, black and red color scheme of CP Air in the 1950s, with a hand-polished finish from nose to tail.

The plane has had many paint schemes it its long history. The aircraft was covered in a camouflage pattern when it was first used in India and China to fly transport missions during World War II.

The airplane was flown by Canadian Pacific Airlines after the war, then went through the hands of several Yukon-based airline companies before it was donated to the Yukon Flying Club in the 1970s.

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