By Henry Hartman, EAA 278710, EAA Chapter 1041 President
As most all chapters do, The Gettysburg Barnstormers, EAA Chapter 1041, takes great pride in their home airport. It’s where we hold our very popular pancake breakfast fly-ins, our monthly meetings, and other gatherings. While visiting other airports, several members noticed identifying markings on some hangars and buildings. Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg Regional Airport (W05) was missing something!
The group decided to improve things by painting identifying lettering on the main hangar so visiting pilots would have information right in front of them. Resident artist Andy Lawrence went to work designing different patterns for the chapter’s proposal. One design was agreed upon and the plan was finalized. After getting approval from the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, (owner of the facility), a plan of action was devised.
Chapter members gathered for an afternoon/evening cookout and the first phase of the job. The hangar is covered with blue steel siding, and a hot-water pressure washer was used to remove 40-plus years of dirt and grime. After drying, the locations and sizes of the lettering was marked on the siding with small pieces of masking tape. A section of scaffolding was rolled along the front of the hangar and served as a good platform for the work.
Then after sundown, the selected pattern was projected onto the hangar surface in several sections. This was easily done by placing the chapter’s video projector on a tall stand, which in turn was situated on top of a truck to obtain more height. The selected design was in a laptop, connected to the projector, and the image was shown onto the hangar. Several members used markers to trace the outline of the lettering on the siding.
With the “hard part” of the task completed, on warm sunny days a few members then painted the letters, using the “keep it between the lines” method. Masking tape aided in making straight lines while painting. Two coats of white paint were applied to make a durable result.
With the painting complete in time for our June breakfast fly-in, the hangar was ready for its new life. The airport authority was extremely pleased with the results and complimented the chapter for the great job. Visiting pilots now have their location, the airport identifier, radio frequency, and elevation right in front of them. Of course, included is the notation “Home of the Barnstormers, EAA Chapter 1041.”