Friday May 2nd : Center wing connected to the fuselage
Today is a big day as the fuselage is being assembled to the center wing on the battery's site. We so far only had scattered pieces undergoing restoration, we are about to recover 'our' plane.
The day's main task is to pull the fuselage out of the Aérocarpiquet hangar and haul it on to a truck. The crate cannot get inside. We'll have to lift the rear of the fuselage with a pallet truck, place the nose on an old trailer and gently pull the whole lot towards the exit. Once the nose of the fuselage sticks out, we can fix the harnesses and use the crate to finish the operation off. The fuselage is loaded on a truck, blocked with mattresses, and tightly hooked up, bound for Merville. The convoy slowly moves through the Caen Ring and along the Calvados side roads, heading for the battery with plenty of photographers as escorts.
The arrival on the site has attracted an impatient crowd of Merville people as well as media. The truck must move in as close as possible to the central spot but catastrophe strikes when it gets stuck in the mud. After repeated attempts, it stays stuck and just wouldnt move. After so many miles and obstacles overcome, no one can accept the idea that the fuselage will not reach its final destination. Pulled by two tractors, the truck finally moves on the extra steps. Enough for the crane to fully unfold and carry the fuselage to the center wing. Team members give instructions, help position the fuselage and assemble gently the two parts on their first shot. What a relief for all of us and what a thrill to witness good old snafu being born again under our very eyes. By the end of the day, even the cone tail is set up.