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Can This DIY Guru Finally Get an Abandoned Airplane Started After 20 Years?

Any airplane left to sit out in the hot sun and elements for 20 years isn't going to start up again like magic. It's going to take so many more hours of labor than many of us would ever realize. That said, watching the Rebuild Rescue Channel on YouTube struggle to coax barn-find-condition Cessna 401 has us all rooting for a miracle.
Rebuild Rescue 14 photos
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When we last saw the Free Abandoned Airplane series on the channel, it appeared like someone who'd seen the videos online was trying to buy the plane out from underneath them. But as it turned out, so long as the plane could start up on its own, the contract would stand. That's where we find the team wrenching away, preparing the two air-cooled Continental engines for their contract validation startup.

Everything had to be absolutely perfect if they wanted any hope of getting the two engines fired up in time for the validation. So everything from spark plugs to fuel injectors and fuel filters were checked, replaced, and refurbished as best as possible before the big day. Even with cleaned injectors and new spark plugs, there was absolutely no telling whether at least one of the engines would fire back to life.

The hangar doors swung open the next morning, revealing the airplane, so many of us want to see flying again to the harsh light of day. After pre-flight checks, switches in the cockpit were thrown, the ignition turned on, and the propellers began to spin as if they desperately wanted to work. But we waited, and waited, and waited some more.

Hoping desperately for at least a little sputter that may indicate a sign of life. But it dawned upon the Rebuild Rescue team, as it did to their viewers, that more work was needed. Dejected, the team decided to go back to the hangar. You'll get 'em next time, lads, and we'll be watching.

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