N18J at the Cleveland Hopkins airport in the 1960's. The pilot is Earl Gibs, who purchased the airplane from the US Navy in 1948. I have the original Bill of Sale: $800 bucks!
N18J ruling the roost at KLGA, circa 1960's. This tail number is still assigned (a rare three-letter registration number!)
Here she is today. Stored in an insulated building in OKC, just some dust on the metal. Tires still hold air!
Lower gear legs are chromed.
Yep, that's me airing the tires.
Paint lines are still visible from the scheme Mr Gibs had on the airplane.
Zero time Tulsa engine. It was overhauled in the mid 80's if I remember correctly. Spoke with Tulsa about it - they can do an inspection and re-assembly for very reasonable money.
I cannot stress enough how good the sheet metal is on this airplane.
Real SNJ-3 exhaust stack. They didn't have the extension added. Most "SNJ-3" airplanes you see today are not authentic; they're simply painted or marked to look that way. This is one of only a handful of REAL SNJ3's in the USA.
Gear wells are museum quality perfect. The inside of the center wing section looks just as good.
There's a little hydraulic stain here.
I have a full set of new canopy glasses. Its ALL here!
Inside of tail cone is painted.
P51 type tailwheel. Steerable and lockable: a good upgrade for the early T6's.
Assembly placard on the vertical stab. You can see the date 12-11-41.
Overhaul tag: May 11 1944
Manufacture data tag on vertical stab spar: 11 Dec 1941
4 days after Pearl Harbor and the same day we declared war on Germany
Outer wings are wrapped in heavy plastic, stored on purpose built wing cradle-dolly. They look superb.
The seat cushions are just some temporary ones for now...
Just like in its day: cockpits are super clean.
The forward gun depression is covered up, but its still there. I also have a the original like new mahogany ADF antenna mast.
Looking back at the rear seat. This is the Air Gunnery seat with the 180 swivel mechanism, the gun ring, the gun truck (RARE), ammo cans - everything but the guns is included.
Just took this to show off the metal work.
Both h-stabs here.
All parts boxed up.
Gear actuators have been OH/d but will need to be done again due to time.
NOS panel blanks - original NA parts.
That's the back seat gun ring
Rudder & elevators with new Ceconite.
Original SNJ3 Pilot Manual. Also included: the complete USN "V5" training manual library, all in like-new condition.
AMAZINGLY - the USN selected Bureau #01796 as the photo subject for the Pilot Manual. This IS the airplane... brand new in its day. The USN logbooks and maintenance records authenticate this evidence. The manual details 01796 with 121 pages of photos inside and out. Every detail is photographed and captioned in this little jewel of a book, very few of which are still in existence.
This SNJ3 was built on Dec 11, 1941 only 4 days after Pearl Harbor was attacked and the very same day the US declared war on Germany.
Squadron Hack# 22 was her number. All polished exterior, with a red cowl, fuselage stripe and tail; black glareshield, and chrome yellow wings. Simple and beautiful airplane here!
Example of the kind of detail included in the manual: every part of the cockpit was photographed when new.
Two NOS (new old stock) North American instrument panels included - just like in the pic here. All the original USN instruments are included, and even overhauled and yellow tagged!! Today they're carefully boxed and packaged in controlled storage.