Restored A-26 heads to New York

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Thorlifter, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    WWII plane restored in Lancaster heads back to New York | Lancaster Eagle Gazette | lancastereaglegazette.com

    It took more than 12 years, 12,000 man-hours and $200,000, but the B-26B World War II bomber that was restored by the local Historical Aircraft Squadron is returning to its owners.

    The twin-engine bomber took flight for the 1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum in Geneseo, N.Y., on Tuesday from the Fairfield County Airport.

    The plane will be stored there by its owner, a California plane collector who contracted with the local organization to restore the aircraft.

    "It's going to a museum. They'll keep it a flyable plane, but who's to say if it will fly again," said Branson Rutherford, a volunteer with the organization who oversaw much of the plane's restoration.

    In 1998, the Historical Aircraft Squadron agreed to donate the labor to restore the plane to working condition, and its owner agreed to pay for parts, Rutherford said.

    Members of the organization disassembled the B-26 in Cuyahoga County and brought it to Fairfield County on five flat-bed trailers, he said.

    When the plane finally was restored to flying condition, which required repairs ranging from engine work to new Plexiglas, Rutherford said, volunteers had invested at least 12,000 working hours and the plane's owner had paid for about $200,000 in parts.

    Since 2009, when the repairs were finished, the plane has flown only six times, said John Carr, vice president of the Historical Aircraft Squadron.

    Tuesday was its seventh -- and potentially final -- flight.

    Rutherford flew with the plane to New York to deliver its maintenance records and other paperwork.

    An operational B-26 is rare, Carr said. Only 47 are registered, and less than a dozen are actually flown, he said.

    The 26,000-pound plane was introduced to combat late in World War II but also was flown in the Korean and Vietnam wars, Rutherford said.

    The B-26 that was restored locally flew in combat in Europe late in World War II, he said.

    "You just don't have airplanes like this," Rutherford said. "This is a pretty rare airplane."

    As the pilot buzzed over the landing strip for one last wave goodbye, Carr removed his ear covers and watched as it disappeared in the distance.

    "Well, she's on her way home," he said. "It's like losing an old friend."
     

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  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    That's fantastic, thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Very cool and many thanks for the info!!!
     
  4. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Seeing that gives me goosebumps! It's ashame it won't be flown anymore but with the rarity and cost it is understandable.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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