In photos: restoring a military plane from the 1950s | Popular Science

In photos: restoring a military plane from the 1950s

The task of bringing "Beach City Baby" back to its glory days is a tough one.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings has been recruiting volunteers and local aviation groups to help with the early restoration of the C-53 Skytrooper.

Vintage Wings

This article was originally published on flying.com.

Perhaps it was just a coincidence that led Jason Capra to a back road in Beach City, Ohio, where he’d spot a Douglas DC-3 seemingly abandoned in a field. Perhaps it was destiny. Whatever the forces of the universe were up to that day, it allowed Capra, an airline pilot and self-described WWII airplane enthusiast, to fulfill his childhood dream of owning and restoring a piece of history.

And this particular airplane is loaded with history, from its two months as Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s personal transport to its service as Buckeye One for Ohio Gov. Jim Rhodes., and not to mention its role in Operation Torch. That’s why it was so important for Capra and his friends and fellow board members at Vintage Wings to raise the $100,000 necessary to buy this plane and give it the restoration it so richly deserves.

Last month, Vintage Wings hosted its Father’s Day Fly-In breakfast and showcased the work that has been done on “Beach City Baby.” Obviously, as Capra recently told us, there is still way more work ahead, and that requires a lot of fundraising. Each step is progress, though, and Vintage Wings was happy to take us inside the restoration process on this beautiful aircraft.

Vintage Wings

The plane's right engine is almost completely restored, and the group hopes to fire it up in July.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

Brand new engine hoses from Specialty Hose Aerospace Corporation.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

Soda-blasted aileron in blasting booth.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

View of stripped interior including new sheetmetal repairs.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

Newly refurbished pilot seats and radio operators seats.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

Rudder with new fabric being stitched on by Jim Aaron from EAA Sport Aviation, Venango Chapter.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

A crowd gathers around the C-53 at the annual Fathers Day Fly-In Pancake Breakfast at the group’s airport: Beach City, Ohio, 2D7.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

President and Founder Jason Capra with "Beach City Baby," Emilee Derewicz.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

101st airborne re-enactors were huge with the crowds, telling the story of the Airborne in WWII.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

Members of Vintage Wings Inc. at their cookout the night before the Fly-In.

Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

The C-53 with a new original nose cone, new sheetmetal, and the almost-ready-to-run right engine. Vintage Wings

Vintage Wings

tout

Editors' Picks


Latest News


Videos