Paint Stripping
Constellation CF-TGE

And now it's time for the old girl to shed 54 years worth of paint


What lies beneath those layers of paint history? - Amazing things are revealed

The old TCA cheat stripes re-emerge

Along with the TCA logo

There's the "T R A N S" from TRANS-CANADA AIR LINES

And there's the W O R L D from WORLD WIDE AIRWAYS - her last operator

Ralph Pettersen
Yes, there it is!   TRANS-CANADA AIR LINES

The TCA logo and speed stripe on the vertical fin

Several old registrations, including N8742R from 1963 and then owner Aircraft Radio Industries

    Ralph Pettersen
Look closely and you can see CF-TGE above the N-Number

The Canadian Coat-of-Arms appeared on the LH rear fuselage


Empire Aero's Connie Project Mechanic Kevin Lacey described it all
 in a letter to former owner Catherine Scott

The old girl is shedding her paint jobs quickly and we can continue our moments of discovery. The old art work and lettering and insignia from decades past are all still there in varying degrees of legibility. Evidence of each and every owner, still in the shadows of the paint layers and in places, staining her skin itself. Like chapters in a book, each layer of paint reveals a milestone that was survived or endured by the lady. Now she stands in her glory, stripped of the paint that represented abuse and neglect. She holds her shoulders square against the hangar's encroaching sunlight. Her chin held high and proud like a thoroughbred being  groomed for the race. She knows she will never be what she was in her youth, but she responds to our touch. She knows she is loved, she knows our hearts ache as we uncover each wound and each indignity that left her in derelict ruin lying mere inches from  the Canadian soil. Her integrity grows as her lovely facade is slowly restored. Her engines will never again roar with the music of her soul. The clouds will never again look up to see her pass. But we will raise her up... and her spirit will soar in us, and all who gaze upon her.  And we will all have a little piece of her in our hearts, And though she will never again look exactly like she did, I think that perhaps she was never quite as beautiful as she is becoming.

More about Kevin here

Next - it's on to the drawings and creation of the decals.


Photos by Janet Dietz, Kevin Lacey and Ralph Pettersen.  Used with permission

Next - Reassembly

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