When Hugo Mathys, a Swiss businessman, added a former Swissair DC-3 to his aircraft collection, he wanted it brought back to factory-new condition with updated instruments and systems that meet and surpass today’s standards.
There is only one place in the world that can provide this level of work, and it’s located on the east side of Wittman Regional Airport—Basler Turbo Conversions. BTC really isn’t in the restoration business, but it couldn’t pass up the opportunity to restore this former airliner to its former glory.
Arriving in October 2010, the Swiss beauty was treated like any BT-67 in the making, says Randy Myers, director of engineering & production. The crew stripped it down to skin and ribs and then repaired and replaced structural components as needed to achieve its factory-new condition.
Then came all new electrical, hydraulic, instruments, and avionics systems, followed by an executive passenger interior with 16 forward-facing seats. Some can be turned for club seating. BTC also installed a galley, lavatory, and LED lighting. And then they polished it to a mirror’s sheen.
Mr. Mathys picked up his Swissair beauty in June 2011 and, with some employees, spent two weeks out west, says Myers. They visited the Black Hills, Idaho, Washington, and California. Returning to Oshkosh, with family members he spent 10 days winging his way through eastern Canada.
Returning to Oshkosh once again, BTC inspected the airplane closely and found no problems, Myers continued. So “we changed the the oil [in the Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 radial engines], and he flew it back to Switzerland.”