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Our Projects

CURRENT RESTORATIONS

P-51C Lope's Hope the 3rd 

A  P-51C flown by Lt. Donald Lopez. Donald and Lope's Hope 3rd served in the China-Burma-India theater with the 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 75th Squadron. The 23rd Fighter Group was the descendent of the famous American Volunteer Group or Flying Tigers after the US entered the war. Lt. Lopez had 5 victories in China and went on to become a test pilot in the early years of the jet age. Later he was the deputy director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum until his death in 2008. Donald Lopez was instrumental in the construction and opening of the National Air and Space Museum.


 

P-47D-23 Razorback

This P-47D-23 RA served in the Southwest Pacific. It was abandoned at Dobodura Airfield on Papua New Guinea in 1944. Later it was recorded as sitting in the yard of a house in Popondetta, the capital of Oro province in northern Papua New Guinea.

We are researching the unit it served with, we know it was 5th Air Force and probably part of either the 348th or 58th Fighter Group. One squadron of the 348th has been eliminated (the 342nd) and the 35th Fighter Group remains a slim possibility.

 

A6M-2 ZERO

The iconic symbol of Japanese aviation during WWII, a Navy Type Zero Carrier based fighter designed by Mitsubishi. Allies referred to the nimble and maneuverable fighter as "Zeke" while facing off against it in the China India Burma (CBI) Theater and throughout the Pacific.

The "Last Samurai" as designated by the Texas Flying Legends museum has a white circle around the Hinomaru, the rising sun, indicating that this naval plane was manufactured by Nakajima. Resurrected from the island jungles of Ballale in the 1960s by the Blayd Corporation the aircraft is impeccably restored and praised by experts worldwide. It is living history: an example that stands as a tribute to those who designed it and the courageousness of those who fought against it.

 

AT-10 WICHITA

The Beech Model 25 project was designed to provide the Army Air Force with a small, twin engine trainer suitable for developing pilot skills in retractable landing gear twins.  It was to be produced with primarily wood construction because there was fear that aluminum suitable for airframes would become scarce as the war progressed. The original model 25 prototype crashed on May 5, 1941. Despite the accident, the design was promising, so Beech went ahead with further development of the design.

Deliveries began in February 1942 and ended in 1943 after 1,771 were completed by Beech. Another 600 were produced by Globe Aircraft in 1944.

The Wichita, as it was named, was an important step in the development of twin engine fighter and two and four engined bomber crews, acting as an intermediate airplane between light, single engine trainers and the heavy, high performance twins.

PAST PROJECTS

P-51 D Sierra Sue II (P-51D-20-NA)

Sierra Sue II is a World War II combat veteran P-51D-20NA. She was in very nearly original configuration at the beginning of the restoration.  No "jump seat" behind the regular pilot seat has ever been installed. We believe the airframe was one of the most intact, original P-51s known.

  • North American General Assembly Number: 106-00002 (NA 122)
  • Air Corps Serial Number: 44-63675
  • Construction Number: 122-31401
  • North American Aviation Ship Number: 516
  • Parts Usage Codes: E, F, FC, FCA, FCB, FCC
  • WWII Combat Markings: 9th Air Force, 370th Fighter Group, 402nd Squadron, Code E6-D, Pilot Lt. Bob Bohna

 

P-51 Twilight Tear

Twilight Tear is a war veteran P-51D-20, AAF serial number 44-63384. She was delivered to the 78th Fighter Group, 83rd Squadron at Duxford, England. This Mustang is restored in her original color scheme used by Pilot Lt. Hubert Davis, squadron code HL-W. Twilight Tear is named for a race horse famous at the time Pilot Lt Davis named her. The filly was 1944 Horse of the Year and is recognized in the Thoroughbred Hall of Fame.
Pilot Lt Hubert shot down three Luftwaffe fighters, 2 BF-109s and an Me 262, the world’s first turbojet to be used in combat.

She was awarded Warbird Grand Champion at Oshkosh in 2011. Twilight Tear is part of the extensive warbirds collection at Fagen Fighters Museum in Granite Falls, Minnesota.

  • P-51D-20-NA
  • North American General Assembly Number: 106-00002 (NA 122)
  • AirCorp Serial Number: 44-63864
  • Construction number: 122-31590
  • North American Aviation Ship Number: 705
  • Parts Usage Codes: E, F, FD
  • WWII Combat Markings: 8th Air Force, 78th Fighter Group,
  • 83rd Squadron, Code HL-W, Pilot Lt. Hubert Davis 

 

STEARMAN BU.NO. 3347

This particular Stearman N2S-1 Bureau Number 3347, Serial Number 75-1124 is one of five known to still exist that were flown by President George Herbert Walker Bush as a cadet in the Navy.  He flew her in training in the cold Minnesota winter at Wold- Chamberlain Airfield,  Naval Air Station  in Minneapolis.  ( Now Minneapolis- St. Paul  International).  Open cockpits in February had to be brutal up here in the frigid  north. He took his first flight in an NP-1 on November 21, 1942 and the last Minneapolis flight in his log was on February 9, 1943.  He logged 82.5 hours in that span of time and passed all checks with no extra time or rechecks.

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