Detailer continues work to restore Air Force One
An area car detailer returned to Seattle recently for another crack at restoring the original Air Force One and other vintage aircraft.
“This is a continued project that goes on and on for these historic planes,” said Douglas C. Parfitt after returning home to Whitehall this week. “These planes are a priceless part of history.”
Parfitt also has a home in Forward Township and relatives in the Mon-Yough area.
He first was involved with work at Seattle's Museum of Flight in 2011. This time, he was a team leader for a group of 30 volunteers, headed up once again by California-based auto detailer Renny Doyle.
“This is my legacy as a detailer and I am proud to share the experience,” Doyle said.
The plane dates back to the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. For insurance purposes it has a value of $100 million.
“It is considered flight worthy but it would take a lot of money to put it into the air,” Parfitt said. “These nonprofits and these museums and these curators do not have the money to maintain these planes.”
It would take a quarter of a million dollars just to repaint the plane, Parfitt said, adding that in two years there has been a lot of oxidation and corrosion.
“We polished every piece of paint and every piece of aluminum on that plane,” Parfitt said.
“There are a lot of moving parts that go into it,” Doyle said. “The height alone is staggering and requires a cherry picker to reach the top of the vertical stabilizer.”
The team had other aircraft to tackle.
“We basically detailed the original Boeing 737,” Parfitt said. “It actually had serial number 1. It was made by Boeing and it was given to NASA for training purposes.”
Doyle and Parfitt's crew worked on a B-47 Stratojet bomber, a Boeing aircraft whose mission would have been to drop nuclear bombs on the old Soviet Union. It remained part of the Air Force's Strategic Air Command until 1965.
Parked next to the original Air Force One was one of the last Concordes to be flown successfully before the joint British-French line of supersonic transports was shut down in 2003. It is on a future rehab list for Parfitt's crew.
“The goal is to do it next August,” Parfitt said. “Aug. 10 is about the driest time of year there.”
Meanwhile, Parfitt will go back to his day job, taking Eye for Detail to locations throughout the Pittsburgh area.
It is a business he started after a career in food service.
“It's been a passion of mine and something I really love,” Parfitt said in 2011. “The more I did, the more skills I wanted to learn to make it better. I really thought I could do this for a living as well.”
More details about the plane Parfitt's crew detailed can be found at http://www.museumofflight.org/air-force-one.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Paving, electronics upgrades evident at Steel Valley
- Grant to benefit W. Mifflin airport
- Mon Valley steelworkers rally for new contract
- County shuts down Clairton demolition work
- West Mifflin Area boosts technology
- McKeesport’s Minerva Bakery gets spotlight in WQED special
- Volunteers restore stands at former Duquesne football field
- McKeesport Area schools to provide outreach activities
- West Mifflin Community Day returns to airport grounds
- Mon-Yough water line upgrades will lead to more reliable service
- Serra has cause to celebrate as new year starts