Long Beach, California - Tom Green is no expert chef, but somehow he was able to teach eight men how to shrink-wrap a 3,000,000-pound goose.
The Evergreen Air Venture Museum of Oregon asked Poly-Corr Industries of Chino to help seal protective plastic over the enormous Spruce Goose for journey by barge earlier this month from Long Beach Harbor to it's new home in Oregon.
"None of us knew what we were getting ourselves into, because nothing this big has ever been shrink-wrapped," said Tom Green, Vice-President of Poly-Corr.
Howard Hughes' flying boat is more than 218 feet long and stands nearly 181 feet high. The hull is 25 feet wide. The wings span 320 feet and are more than 11 feet thick. The fuselage is 181 feet long by 25 feet wide.
It took 12 workers two days to drape a white sheet of plastic 64 feet wide and 200 feet long over the fuselage. "The wrapping weighed 600 pounds", Green said.
Since the largest roll of plastic available measures 32 feet by 200 feet, the workers had to melt two rolls together to create a sheet big enough to cover the fuselage, Green said.
In all, it took 30 days to dismantle and wrap the entire plane in heavy white plastic. Workers melted the plastic sheeting with heat guns to form a watertight shrink-wrap skin that protected the wooden plane from the elements on the journey up the Pacific Coast.
Green and three of the Chino company's technical workers trained and assisted an eight-man crew for two days. Voluntarily, however, the company continued extensive telephone contact with the work crew until the whole plane was successfully cocooned, Green said.
Poly-Corr Industries is a distributor for Gloucester Engineering Co., Inc. of Massachusetts, which donated the heat guns used to shrink the plastic. "We've been a distributor of their product for 15 years", Green said.