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DC3 Restoration Project

- DC-3 Restoration and Monument Project -

The Spirit of Santa Monica

It is a pleasure to tell you about our progress on the DC-3 (The Spirit of Santa Monica) Project !

Earlier this year, Jeff Mathieu and Bob Trimborn presented the plane to the Council reviewing the rich history of the DC-3 and the impending Restoration and Monument Project.

The aircraft has experienced an exciting history, since it was manufactured at Douglas Aircraft, here in Santa Monica in 1942. It was used by Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II, traveling the world, including Africa. After the war, it was used as a domestic airliner and eventually owned by David Price, Chairman of the Museum of Flying.

Mr. Price generously donated the plane to our City earlier this summer, along with a donation of $50,000 for its restoration. To the left, you can see the list of volunteers and donors who have come together with great vitality to complete the Project. Our team, lead by Ted Walters & Airport Manager Bob Trimborn, has indeed been a model project of volunteerism! They have donated over 1,000 hours, with no cost to our City.

Students at West Los Angeles College and Westwood College have donated their skill and time as part of their curriculum, by replacing portions of the skin of the plane with aluminum, replacing thousands of damaged and / or missing rivets and screws and preparing the plane for painting. Boeing donated the aluminum and FEDEX has donated the primer and paint, etc.. Ted Walters, SM Airport Staff, has lead the volunteers as the Project Coordinator. The volunteers include people from the FAA, Boeing, Pilots, Photographers, College Students and many others with an interest in aviation.

The original fabric on the wings and tail were replaced with aluminum, the plane has been coated with several coats of paint primer and has been completely repainted. The soil borings have been completed and the structural engineer is calculating the foundations and wind loads, as the plane will be elevated above the new monument. The monument is being designed to reflect the era of the DC-3. Kiosks depicting the history of the Donald Douglas Plant, the history of Santa Monica and the DC-3, will be incorporated into the Monument.

Team Members

Robert Trimborn, Airport Mgr.
Matt Majoli, OPS/Noise Mgr.
Ted Walters, Restoration Coord.
Kristina Andresen, Architect
Norm Atchison, Photographer
David Axelrod, Axco & Green
Robert Chandler, Advertising
Joe Chizmadia, Pilot
Rick Conrad, Pilot
Robert Convey, EAS
Shelley Corwin, Artist
Bill Eyre, LAX FAA Mgr.
Peter Foster, Pilot/Lawyer
Mark Galloway, LAX FAA
John Gilbert, Boeing Aircraft
Andrew Goldman, Team Photos
Bill Heard, Bill's Air Center
Harvey Klein, Aviation WLAC
Bob Lench, Lench Aviation
Jeff Lichtig, Pilot
Pat McGinnis, Boeing Historian
Pete Machin, Pilot
Charlie Moynagh, Pilot
Matti Prahbu, Structural Eng.
Larry Sacco, SM Risk Mgmt.
Antonio Shaibani, City Eng.
Bob Young, Attorney/Pilot


David Price, Santa Monica Museum of Flying
Mark Collins, FEDEX
Jim Erwin, Aircraft Spruce & Speciality
Steven B. Chesser, Boeing Aircraft Company
Thomas Brink, Genuine Aircraft Hardware Co.

For more information contact KSMO EVAC
Questions or comments? smowebmaster@evac.org
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