Waiting to be found

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by MONDARIZ, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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    Every year a few warbirds resurface after years of "storage". Some have been tucked away in the corner of obscure airports, others are found on farms, or hidden in forests/jungles.

    I would like this thread to be a collection of such aircraft. Not the ones that have been found and restored, but those who are still waiting for a kind soul (with a lot of money) to restore them to glory.

    It would be nice, if posters could include location and if possible also Google earth links.

    I think we could list rumours as well. If they are posted with links and seem credible (somewhat documented by articles). Most might have heard about the "forgotten Yak factory somewhere in Siberia", but who has links to it, or anything else, that might aid its credibility?


    Every airport have a squadron of non-flying hulks and some are warbirds who deserves a better fate.

    Like this TBM Avenger (Blaine Airfield MN USA):

    [​IMG]
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great idea Mondariz!

    I'm not in a position to be able to restore them myself (though it is a long time dream of mine), but I think a record should be kept for those who can.
     
  3. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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    I'm in the same position (economical rather than technical, as im an aircraft mechanic) :shock:

    I have come across many pictures like the one above. Some might have been purchased with restoration intend, but have been abandoned along the way.

    Maybe by showing the pictures, we can get someone started on a restoration project.

    Right after the war alot of people bought alot of military equipment. Either for scrapping/recycling, or simply because they could and had designs on using them for something aviation related (like firefighting, or barnstorming).

    Although i hope this thread will focus on current abandoned "projects", i simply HAVE to inculde this pic - just to show what you could find right after the war.

    Note the Stuka in the background:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Looks like the bottom half of the engine is missing?

    Mondariz, I don't have any pics but I've always wondered why if there is a known site why it isn't investigated. Shortly after the invasion of Norway a flight of Ju 52s had to land on a frozen lake (I believe near Tronheim) and sunk as the ice melted. Always wondered.

    But many surplus were given to tech schools and I'm always hearing about something popping up in a warehouse.
     
  5. Negative Creep

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    After the war I'm suprised more entrepreneurs didn't buy up stocks of old planes and put them into storage. They'd be worth a fortune now
     
  6. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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    I think people were pretty tired of the war in 1945. The idea of stockpiling aircraft might not have looked as appealing as we see it. Also, since the war production had eaten almost all resources, scrapping and reselling was better business.

    There were private collectors too. Many private museums started their life at a cheap post-war sale, but most were sold to be scrapped (it was part of the deal, as states don't like to arm citizens too heavily).

    I have a pdf (a bill of sale from 1946) with a list of HUNDREDS of aircraft, sold to a private company for $55.426,68

    Including P-51, P-47, P-40, P-39, B-24, B-25, B-26 and PBY.

    Drop me a PM of you would like a copy.

    I'm not sure why such sites are not investigated, but maybe there are a limited number of people who can fund the recovery/restoration. They do actually recover a few each year.

    A sunken JU-52 seems like a perfect bird to investigate. Chances are its kinda intact (not crashed), so maybe you should find some more information. I'm in Denmark so its only a short drive away ;)

    Regarding the Stuka: Thats what a Stuka looks like, here is another pic.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Paul Mantz, the famous Hollywood stunt pilot supposedly put in a bid of $55,000 for 475 surplus aircraft at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas...there were no other takers. According to Jeff Ethell's "Wings of War" book, Mantz flew as many of them away as he could, then scrapped the rest (probably ended up as pots and pans in our parent's kitchen cabinets).

    The postwar mindset to save the great machines of WW II just didn't exist. Too bad :(

    Picture below is Kingman, AZ circa late 1946.

    TO
     

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  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    This is a sad photo...

    PT Boat burning November December 1945, Samar, Philippines. Too bad there arent more around.

    I suppose keeping wooden boats around for 60 years would be a lot of work.



    http://att.my.yahoo.com/


    .
     

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  9. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Yeah, after the War the last thing on most people's mind was collecting surplus military aircraft; at that time (1945-50), there were literally thousands thousands of surplus WWII aircraft laying around all over the US (and, for that matter, Europe too). I don't think it ever occured to anybody (at first) to try preserve any of the hundreds hundreds of aircraft rotting on airfields across the US. Like the saying goes, you don't miss it until it's gone. The only thing most of the old warbirds were good for after the War was racing; warbird prices didn't really start to take off until the late '70's/early '80's. My family restored a couple of ex-Argentine T-6's back in the '80's, and sold both of them for more than $100,000 each.
     
  10. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Isn't that a sight for sore eyes..... wall to wall B-17's, and only a handfull
    around today.

    Charles
     
  11. Evil_Merlin

    Evil_Merlin Member

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    There is a wonderful Lim-2 sitting outside the airport right outside my office window where I also fly out of a lot. Its been abandoned by its owner and is just begging to be restored.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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    I have the Paul Mantz bill of sale (well a pdf copy of it) and he did really buy hundreds of aircraft for £55.000.
     
  13. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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    Did a bit of Google and found a pricelist from Kingman Army Airfield 1946:

    * BT-13 $450
    * P-38 $1,250
    * AT-6 $1,500
    * A-26 $2,000
    * P-51 $3,500
    * B-25 $8,250
    * B-17 $13,750
    * B-24 $13,750
    * B-32 $32,500

    A quote from the site:
    "Estimates of the number of excess surplus airplanes ran as high as 150,000. Consideration was given to storing a substantial number of these. By the summer of 1945, at least 30 sales-storage depots and 23 sales centers were in operation. In November 1945, it was estimated a total of 117,210 aircraft would be transferred as surplus.

    Between 1945 and June 1947, the RFC, War Assets Corporation and the War Assets Administration (disposal function of the RFC was transferred to WAC on January 15, 1946, and to the WAA in March of 1946) processed approximately 61,600 WWII aircraft, of which 34,700 were sold for flyable purposes and 26,900, primarily combat types, were sold for scrapping.

    It is estimated that approximately 10,000 warbirds were flown to Kingman in 1945 and 1946 for storage and sale. Some sources report the number to be over 11,000. It is reported that at least 100 of the 118 B-32 Heavy Bombers built were flown there, many straight from the assembly line.

    Most of the transports and trainers could be used in the civilian fleet, and trainers were sold for $875 to $2,400. The fighters and bombers were of little peacetime use, although some were sold. "

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    A p-38 for $1250! OMG! I was born too late!
     
  15. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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    Just remember they did this to German planes too.

    In Denmark more than 1100 Luftwaffe aircraft were destroyed after the war. Some in RAF airshows.

    Among the airshow "victims" were two Blohm Voss 138 seaplanes.

    :cry:
     
  16. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The group I help out with is in the process of recovering an Avenger it should be in fair shape
     
  17. Negative Creep

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    How much would $1250 equate to today?
     
  18. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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  19. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I took that into account, Negative. And if Kool Kitty is correct, its still a steal. Amazing!
     
  20. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    We burnt our Mosquitoes and melted our Lincolns.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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