Album Index for: The Restoration

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With flyable Chinooks being pushed off Aircraft Carriers in the South China Sea, how did
the striped-out hull of the old gunship make it back to the States? Well, it seems a deal
was made to have "Easy Money" restored and put on display at the Army Aviation Museum at Rucker, but once arriving, that deal fell through...

Click Picture Description
"Easy Money" went from New Cumberland to Savanna Army Depot, where Boeing evaluated it for
possible upgrade to replace B-8, the aircraft that became the D-model modernization
prototype. Unfortunately, the airframe was too corroded for this purpose, so it was given to
Ft. Eustis, where it served as a sheet metal trainer. - Here's how they found "Easy Money"
23 years later in 1997, basically sitting in a scrap yard!
Hank Thomas photo's
Another view of #149 as she was found. 
After several layers of paint were removed, the originality of the aircraft became
apparent. Northrop-Grumman done a cost estimate for restoration and the Cargo
PM office in PEO Aviation at Huntsville, AL. agreed to finance the project.
Doug Sprouse photo's - In Hanger 2413 at Felker AAF, Fort Eustis, VA., the long awaited
restoration work finally begins on "Easy"! Some of the sheet metal was just too
corroded to save, and had to be removed. Doug Sprouse and Stanly Stolpa were the
ones affecting the restoration; they removed the bullet hole patches from the
throw-away sections, then re-applied them to the new skin.
 - The ramp had to be discarded completely, because it was
in such poor condition.
 - Some sections were just too carroded, and had to be completely
 - Looking aft down the right side, with paint stripped.  The pods
had to be completely re-done.
 - Looking forward on the right side, paint stripped, with
the new Pod Sections being built.
 - Looking at the ramp area, with all plumbing removed, preparing
her to be opened for the display.
 - Some of the intense repair work that had to be done to
the sheet metal.
 - With all the skin repairs completed, and a new coat of primer, ole
'Easy' steps outside for a breath of fresh air.
 - The front end was finally ready for it's first coat of Emeron! 
Frank White photo's - On the 7-8 Feb 00, I had the opportunity to go to Ft. Eustis and do
the Combat Artwork painting on the restoration. Here's a picture I took of the now
abandoned cockpit.
 - The right side Hard Point, above the forward landing gear.
Note the rectangular hole for the 20mm ammo feed to the right stub wing.
 - Inside looking aft, you can see the two wooden 'Shadowboxes" Doug built by the lateral
gunners stations. The restoration was to be displayed outdoors, so this was an ingenious
way of realistically depicting an open aircraft.
 - Looking forward you can see the left side Shadowbox in place, and into the cockpit. 
Just after finishing the Artwork, on 8 Feb 00. 
The very first close-up of the new Artwork
Here you can compare the original to the restoration. 
Norm Huston photo - (L) Jim Caudle; Project Manager for Cargo Helicopters.
(R) Norm Huston; Logistics Manager / Chief, Customer Service Branch.
Frank White photo -  Mr. Doug Sprouse, who's magic became apparent early on in
the restoration, as he put "Easy Money" together again!
Mark Jones, the initial project manager for the restoration, standing in
front of the 'just finished' artwork.
Doug and Stan 
Mr. Paul Hughes, formerly with PEO AVN, done an outstanding job coordinating the
disposition of weapons for the restoration.
Doug Sprouse photo -  The new M-5 chunker installed on EM's nose.
Abe photo -  Doug working on the right side weapons pylon, as the project nears
the home stretch.
Doug Sprouse photo -  After the long awaited restoration, "Easy Money" is loaded onto
a flatbed for the trip to her new home, Restone Arsenal, Alabama
On the 25th of April, 2000, ole "Easy" begins her final journey... into history!
Heading to Redstone Arsenal from Ft. Eustis.
Frank Grose photo -  "Easy Money" starting to come together again, during set-up at
Redstone Arsenal
Frank Grose photo - This is the one, who's brainchild this whole thing
was to begin with! We SALUTE you sir!
Chris Christensen photo - A portion of the big crowd that attended
the Dedication Ceremony on May 1st.
With the Dedication Ceremony underway, many participants from the Cargo Helicopter Users
Conference were treated to a unique view of "Chinook" history that day.
Photo courtesy of The Army Aviation History Website:
#64-13149 "Easy Money" on display at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. 
("D" Model rotors were used because no "A" Model
blades could be located)
Families of Go-Go members, make pictures beside the big Warbird. 
Getting ready for the Ceremony 
"In the warm Alabama sun" 
Jim Caudle (R) opens the Dedication Ceremony with a warm greeting.  BG Joseph Bergantz,
(PM for the RAH-66 "Comanche" program) gave the opening remarks, and CW3 Robert Hicks (L)
(Son of 2LT Paul Hicks, who was PIC "Co$t of Living")
CWO Hicks made a short speech on behalf of the "Go-Go'ers".    His respectful voice never wavered;
he spoke of the unit that his father had served,  and what it meant to be there with so many of his
father's friends.     At the conclusion of the speech,   a lone CH-47F flew overhead in a mock gun run;
A fitting tribute to "Easy Money",   the "Go-Go'ers",   and all their families and friends in attendance.    
fwd by Mr. Bill Buzzell
In Conclusion

- With the story now told, it becomes the legacy of everyone involved in the program,
both at home and abroad! Not only them, but all who look at these pictures, read
these words, and remember the unit they called "Guns A Go-Go"
..... Dave Clemmer photo