Last week the Flying Heritage Collection changed the tracks on its M4A1 Sherman tank. It was a relatively simple process; akin to putting socks on an angry elephant. With that being said, we had many great advantages that would have made a frontline G.I. nothing but overjoyed.
First of all, the tank wasn’t skewed sideways into a ditch and mired in three feet of mud. Typically, a tank doesn’t throw a track anywhere nearly this hospitable. The taxiway outside our hangar is level, dry, and firm, making for ideal conditions to make the switch.
The next big advantage we had was that the tank runs, which allowed us to place the new track in front of the old one and slowly drive forward. It made for minimal extra lifting, pulling, and out-and-out sobbing during the process. Finally, the FHC employed aircraft tugs and forklifts to help pull the tracks “over the top” of the drive sprockets and join the track back into a nice, clean loop.