“Lady Liberty” Is Grounded.

The aircraft went in for a required inspection. The inspection was an extensive one, it required the removal of both oil tanks and all four fuel bladders. When the mechanics removed the fuel bladders they found two serious items. The first was a corrosion problem underneath the right main fuel cell or bladder in the airframe itself. The corrosion was large but it only involved sheet metal and no structural members. The repair was completed and the airframe is as good as new. However, the other problem is the fuel bladders themselves. It turns out that the bladders were manufactured on or about 1944 from rubber of that era. The rubber technology for bladders in those days provided for two sheets of rubber with a polymer middle that expanded when it was exposed to fuel.

The rubber tanks were manufactures in 1944, they are old and dried out and had developed microscopic cracks like a dry rotten tire does today. The auxiliary fuel cells had failed and were replaced during the reinstallation of the tanks as a part of the inspection. However, the main tanks were inspected and no cracks were visible and were reinstalled, thinking they were serviceable. Fuel was put into the tanks and no leaks were identified. It seemed all was good with the world.

Two days later, a call comes saying the Lady Liberty is leaking fuel, it truly was, and not from the normal penetrations. The rubber had developed those microscopic cracks and the polymer layer had expanded, ripping the bladder apart, both inner and outer rubber bulkheads were destroyed.

There is no repair for fuel tanks that are 73 years old and the new main tanks will cost $15,000.00 each.
The Lady Liberty Sponsor Group is extending to anybody and everybody that can help to get this aircraft back into the air, please do so. Our crew has expended all available blood, sweat and treasure they can possibly provide to help this fine aircraft remain on flying status. Now we ask for your help. Anything you can provide to reach that $30,000.00 mark will be forever appreciated.

Any Financial gift you may be consider may be sent to:

Lady Liberty Fuel Tank Fund
C/O Bayless Bookkeeping LLC
521 N. Grand St.
Enid, OK 73701

Don’t Forget Lady Liberty’s Hangar Address at the Airport
and Please take the opportunity to come and visit us soon.
Lady Liberty Sponsor Group
1026 S.66th Street
Hangar 11
Enid, OK 73701

For more information you may call;
Julie (405) 919-6784
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