Air Heritage C-47 Skytrain

Air Heritage at this time, would like to announce the newest member of our museum has touched down on our ramp. Air Heritage is now the proud new owner of a World War Two Veteran, a C-47 Skytrain.

Our C-47 has been sitting on the ramp at the Vietnam Huey Pilots Association’s hangar across from ours’ since November 29th, 2012 when they received it from Florida. We reached a deal with them to sell our OV-1D for their C-47 and the C-47 officially became ours late last week.

For all you OV-1D fans don’t be too upset though, the upside of the deal is that our OV-1D will be staying with us, even though we will no longer be the owner of it, at least for the time being.

Now for a little bit of history of 716.

Our plane came off the production line on September 13th, 1944 and was delivered to the USAAF as a C-47B, # 43-48716. It served in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) after arriving in Welford Park, England on the 27th of September, 1944, just missing operation Market Garden by ten days.

It briefly served with the 8th Air Force before being transferred to the 9th Air Force sometime before December of ‘44. Upon arriving with the 9th AF, it served within the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing, 435th Troop Carrier Group and 75th Troop Carrier Squadron. It flew two missions over the Battle of the Bulge resupplying the allied forces in late December ’44.

In February of ‘45, it moved to a new home base of Bretigny, France. From there it took place in the world’s largest airborne operation in history to be conducted on a single day, Operation Varsity (March 24th, 1945); dropping over 16,000 paratroopers from several thousand aircraft to cross the River Rhine. On that day, our plane towed two Waco CG-4A Gliders full of troops.

At this time, we don’t have any more specific history of our plane except for dates of transfers within the service. By the time it was retired in 1972, it had been converted into an executive transport, VC-47D. Upon leaving the Air Force, it was used by the state of Florida spraying for Mosquitoes out of the Miami area. From there it was acquired by the Vietnam Huey Pilots Association who had it ferried here to Beaver County.

As for flying, our plane is in a somewhat flying condition. They were able to ferry it up here, but we will need to do some maintenance on it and get it repainted into its military colors before we can begin flying it to air shows hopefully starting next year.

So for all that haven’t seen it yet, why don’t you come on out and see our new combat Veteran.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Air Heritage! We are closed today and enjoying time with our families. We are open the rest of the week from 10am to 5pm but are closed Sunday December 30th and January 1st. If you are looking for an activity for the entire family this holiday season, stop by the hangar for a tour of our museum and our planes. You can find out more info at

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Google recently updated the satellite images in our area. Have you checked out the hangar and planes from above? Air Heritage on Google Maps

We are closed on Sundays but please stop by the hangar Mon-Sat 10am – 5pm to see these planes up close with your own eyes.

Saturday November 10, 2012 is the date for our annual Dinner Dance. Plan to attend and to support our effort to honor all veterans past and present. A catered dinner will start at 5:00pm to 6:30pm. The Swinging BopCat Big Band will start playing at 6:45pm until 10:00pm with an intermission to honor our vets. Please contact us today to reserve your tickets.

$25. 5:30-10:30pm Call 724-843-2820 for further information.

2012 Aviation Appreciation Day
August 11, 2012
Fly-In & Car Cruise
8:00am – 4:00pm

See a variety of airplanes fly-in. Static display of World War II, Vietnam-era aircrafts and artifacts will be on display. Tour the Air Heritage Museum and Restoration Center. Antique car show; kiddie rides and more! Breakfast and lunch served.

Sponsored by:
Air Heritage, Inc
Museum & Aircraft Restoration
Beaver County Airport
Beaver Falls, PA 15010

Greg, Jim and Lee reinstalling the prop on the C-123K

Greg, Jim and Lee reinstalling the prop on the C-123K

Spread for lunch by the ladies of Air Heritage

Spread for lunch by the ladies of Air Heritage

Jim Little, Bill Schillig, Virgil Wyke, Brandon Arnold, Paul Lehuring, Jim Ackley, Don Mansfield

Happy Birthday to Jim Little, Bill Schillig, Virgil Wyke, Brandon Arnold, Paul Lehuring, Jim Ackley, Don Mansfield

Tom, Rich, and Ralph working on the wing for the L-21

Tom, Rich, and Ralph working on the wing for the L-21

I would like to thank Joe Lukus, Dee Lukus, and Lois Wyke for their tremendous work in the PX this past air show season. This effort from their work resulted in a check of $10,000 to Air Heritage delivered by Lois at our January general membership meeting here at the hangar. This will be put in the General Fund to pay for utilities, insurance, and hangar operating bills. Again this took allot of hard work and dedication on their part, so be sure to thank Joe, Dee, and Lois when you see them around the hangar.

Air Heritage’s annual Pig Roast will take place here at the hangar on April 21st. Ralph Zinkham, pig roaster extraordinaire will again this year prepare this delicious main course. Come out and enjoy a good meal, and enjoy the company of family and fellow Air Heritage friends here at the hangar. We need your support with these annual activities fund raisers, and asking that you get your tickets early so we have some idea of how many to prepare for.

I would like to announce another acquisition for the Museum in the form of a Phantom F4C that is located near Wright Patterson AFB Dayton, Ohio. This should take place sometime after mid-April after the military de-milling process takes place. The paperwork battle with the State Surplus people is near completion, the hard part will be taking the aircraft apart so it can be trucked to Air Heritage. If you can help in anyway in this endeavor, financially or physically we could sure use your help.

Bill Schillig
President Air Heritage Museum Inc.

2012 Annual Pig Roast
Benefits Air Heritage Aircraft Restoration Projects

When: Saturday, April 21, 2012
Where: Air Heritage Hangar, Beaver County Airport
Time: 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Price: $12.00 per person

Call 724-843-2820 for more information
Click here for a map

Hangar Update

Over the last 36 hours a lot has happened at the Air Heritage Hangar.

Friday saw the OV-1D being towed into the hangar for its annual inspection. It has already been put up on jacks and will begin to receive the attention it needs to be flying for next year’s air show season.

Today, “Thunder Pig” came into the hangar to begin its own annual as well, after a 15 minute engine run. It too has been put up on jacks and has been prepared for work to begin Monday by having the engines’ cowlings opened and stands put in place as well as interior lighting installed. While it is in the hangar, it will also receive some much needed touch up painting and mechanical fine tuning.

The Pig’s left elevator is nearing the point of being ready to be re-primed and covered in fabric. Once the fabric is on, it will be painted and hung back on the pig.

After the pig was brought in, the right elevator was put up on stands and was completely stripped of all its fabric in one day by 6 of our volunteers! Its next step is to be stripped of all its paint so it can be re-primed and covered as well.

Come on in and visit us and see what all we have been doing to keep this historical aircraft flying.

Air Heritage’s largest problem is manpower. We have a lot of projects and too few volunteers to work on them. The handful of volunteers that do volunteer two to four times a week do a terrific job and I am very grateful for their volunteerism. A lot of decisions I make, or Air Heritage’s Board makes is based on this shortage of volunteers. I am telling you this because of a controversial decision that I made recently. An outstanding member of this organization quit because of that decision. He had arranged for a donation of three or four pallets of aircraft parts that he wanted Air Heritage to accept them. I based this decision on that fact, all the time consuming hours of work it would have taken to transport the pallets, finding space in our already crowded hangar to put them, sorting through the parts, and finding ways to sell them I felt was too much for the few volunteers we have to undertake. I did not want to ask any of our volunteers to stop working on a project they volunteered for, or to become a parts salesman. We did have one individual who spent a great deal of time trying to sell equipment and aircraft parts with no success. Was I wrong to turn down this donation from a devoted member? Call me, or write, let me know what you think, pro or con.

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas, and I hope everyone has a happy and propsperious 2012. I look forward to serving another year as President of Air Heritage. If you have any suggestions, or complaints please feel free to contact me, or any member of your Board of Directors.

Bill Schillig
President Air Heritage Museum Inc.

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