F84 Thunderflash Jet
This project was completed in the Wings Over the Rockies Restoration Department, as part of the overall restoration of the Museum's RF84F Thunderflash aircraft. This particular plane was part of a special reconnaissance project in the 1950's called FICON, which stands for Fighter Conveyor. Due to range limitations the jet could not reach enemy territory unassisted so a B-36 bomber carried the "parasite" RF84 in it's retrofitted bomb-bay and released it on location. The jet was required to re-dock with the bomber in flight for the return trip, which proved to be tricky, and the program was eventually cancelled in 1956 with the introduction of the long range U2 spy plane.
My treatment focused only on the Strategic Air Command emblem and starfield on the nose of the jet. It was discovered during paint stripping on the body of the plane, and by the time the volunteer restorers realized it was there, it had been extensively compromised. I reintegrated the remaining original paint with my inpainting using both airbrush and hand painting methods. This might be more accurately considered Painting Conservation than Metal Conservation, but as with all composite objects, many areas of expertise may be required. I am fortunate to have a strong paintings conservation background, having trained for nearly 4 years in a private paintings conservation lab before my formal graduate studies.
Julie Parker
Objects Conservator
PO Box 3644 Littleton CO 80161
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