Not everything can be permanently preserved in the condition it had when it came to a museum. It is for this reason that, in addition to the storage and care of objects, museums are also tasked with their restoration as well. Since 1986, the Deutsches Technikmuseum has, for example, restored 22 aircraft in its own workshops.
Restorers are currently working on a type D VIII fighter aircraft that was produced by the Pfalz Aircraft Factory in 1918. Their goal is to preserve as many of the plane's original parts as possible and retrofit any missing components. The work thereby is a lot like putting together the pieces of a puzzle.
Our featured control column, which comes from the cockpit of the aircraft, is one of the original parts. It was removed in order to eliminate rust and apply preservative wax. Parallel to the restorers' work, a technical draftswoman is busy documenting each part. She takes the measurements and transfers the data to a special drawing program. To date, around 200 drawings have been made for the D VIII.
While the results of restoration work is prominently on display in exhibitions, the drawing work usually remains unseen. The drawings are nonetheless an indispensable part of a restoration because they contain information about the materiality, construction and design of an object. They are also important for later reproductions.
The Pfalz D. VIII is expected to be on display in the Aviation exhibition by the fall of 2022. The drawings will be kept in the museum's drawing archive.