Restoration of the F-14 and A-6E fighter jets on loan from the U.S. Navy and on display at Grumman Memorial Park in Calverton got under way Friday.
Six volunteers — many of them Grumman retirees — from Nassau County’s Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City donated their time Friday morning to perform “spot repairs,” by power-washing and scraping away and chipping paint from the airplanes.
Friday’s maintenance efforts focused on winterizing the planes, Cradle of Aviation Museum executive director Andrew Parton said.
The planes will be painted for the first time since 2007 next spring, he said.
“It feels good to preserve this part of Long Island’s history,” Mr. Parton said. “We’re happy to do it.”
The town teamed up with the museum to make the proper repairs after Calverton civic members and a News-Review article in May highlighted the planes’ deteriorating condition.
Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said Friday’s clean up was just the start of the restoration, saying there would be a long-term partnership with the museum to ensure the planes remained the best possible condition.
He said the town is working out the details of the maintenance plan and would continue to supply the paint and other materials, such as ladders, a power washer and a bucket truck as needed.
“The fact that they’re doing this for the town is tremendous,” Mr. Walter said. “We are looking forward to a long partnership with the Cradle of Aviation Museum.”