Pemberton NAF N3N-3 project with the skins off captured by Z 9 / Z14-24f2.8

Pemberton and Sons Aviation have started their latest restoration project, a NAF N3N-3 on floats “Yellow Robin.” Addison Pemberton and Son’s legendary craftsmanship in the aircraft they have restored is known around the globe. The Boeing 40 and G-21 Goose are just two recent examples of their skill and precision that makes the N3N-3 on floats project so exciting. Being a short drive away now, we’re fortunate to make it over to the hangar at KSFF, and since our son Brent is part of the restoration team (2nd from the left), we get to be with him as well. Over the eyars I’ve graduated from sweeper to engine tear down to woodworker (building a couple of spar parts for the Travel Air wing) to sidekick and second pair of hands … that’s when I’m not shooting. It’s truly great, rewarding fun!

The N3N-3 is a classic trainer from WWII with more made with floats than not. The N3N is not an amphibian. When it has floats, it cannot land on a runway or pull up on a ramp. It can only land on water (in emergencies, grass). This particular bird like all of Addison’s has a unique history so it will be restored as it appeared coming out of Naval Air Factory.

Addison working on installing rudder pedal linkage captured by Z 9 / 8-15Fish & SB-5000

Having spent many years working in the Pemberton hangar, I know not only where tools are kept in what drawers, but more importantly where to put the camera down. That’s important because I get to have the fun of wrenching on the aircraft as well. Addison is very kind to explain and teach me as we work on items together. The N3N-3 being all metal, working with soft and hard rivets, sheet metal work to create new parts to replace old ones is just some of the fun and lessons. Right after taking the photo above, Addison said he needed a hand. The Z 9 / 8-15Fish / SB-500 (working wirelessly) get safely placed in one of the many gear harbors I have around the hangar and the next moment, my hand is on the firewall attaching pump and lines. The next moment, the camera is back in my hand firing away. Good times, good time. mtc

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