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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:23 am 
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This request via FAH 619;
I'd like to know if someone has any
other angles/whereabouts of this particular aircraft or if
the AAF S/N is known
Thanks for your help,
Lone Eagle

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:44 am 
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Boy you guys are really doing it to me...I'm at work, yet here comes all this Walt stuff...!

P-63 is 42-68895, beat-up fuselage only, ex-Buffalo NY; probably still at Soplata's but I can't be sure.

S.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:49 am 
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i never got up close to the 36, but i heard it was a p-47 stashed inside. better than a cracker jack prize!!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:20 am 
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That's not a P-63, it looks like one side of his P-82.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:02 am 
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A2C wrote:
That's not a P-63, it looks like one side of his P-82.

The object in question is the item ringed in the photo, and is a Bell mid-engine fighter type fuselage, for certain. The P-82 (nor ringed, to the right) is not a Bell Kingcobra, of course.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:38 am 
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Hi guys,

So I knew there was a picture somewhere of the P-39 being restored (or is it just stored, I haven't heard much in the way progress, anyways I digress) at the Air Museum in Tillamook, Oregon.

I've put both the Soplata picture up as well as the Tillamook one for reference.

Of course the Tillamook example is of the earlier P-39, and the Soplata example is the later P-63, but as you can tell, there are still similarities in the design. Note the two vertical parts in the nose section. Similar, but slightly different. I assume these parts were improved on the P-63.

Lone Eagle wrote:
This request via FAH 619;

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Photo via Silverplate (WIX)


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So there you go, I hope that clarifies things.

Cheers,

David


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:33 am 
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It's the Soplata P-63 fuselage. It was in the B-36 when I was there in 97. However, the XF-82 was outside at this point... never seen both inside before... cool stuff!

Cheers,
Richard

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:37 am 
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Does he still have the B-36?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:43 pm 
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Yup, it is still there. he also has an awesome TBF Avenger.

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 Post subject: Walt's P-63 fuselage
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:29 pm 
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Does anyone that has seen Walt's P-63 fuselage recall the markings? Bare aluminum, military insignias, anything? I've never seen a decent photo of it.

Beyond that has anyone heard Walt tell the story of how he found it?

I've often wondered how he was so often at the right place at the right time. I hope someone has at sometime just sat with Walt with a tape recorder running and asked him to tell the many stories. Hopefully he was the type to keep a written journal and files. I wonder if he had a camera to record some of his recoveries and their transportation.

Are their any Soplata sons (or daughters) that have any vintage aircraft interest?


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 Post subject: Re: Walt's P-63 fuselage
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:40 pm 
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L. Thompson wrote:
Does anyone that has seen Walt's P-63 fuselage recall the markings? Bare aluminum, military insignias, anything? I've never seen a decent photo of it.

Beyond that has anyone heard Walt tell the story of how he found it?

I've often wondered how he was so often at the right place at the right time. I hope someone has at sometime just sat with Walt with a tape recorder running and asked him to tell the many stories. Hopefully he was the type to keep a written journal and files. I wonder if he had a camera to record some of his recoveries and their transportation.

Are their any Soplata sons (or daughters) that have any vintage aircraft interest?


Air & Space magazine ran an article fairly recently about the recovery of Wild Cargo. I saw the issue some where in my house just the other day I'll see if I can find it again.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:56 pm 
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Quote:
Does anyone that has seen Walt's P-63 fuselage recall the markings? Bare aluminum, military insignias, anything? I've never seen a decent photo of it.

Beyond that has anyone heard Walt tell the story of how he found it?

I've often wondered how he was so often at the right place at the right time. I hope someone has at sometime just sat with Walt with a tape recorder running and asked him to tell the many stories. Hopefully he was the type to keep a written journal and files. I wonder if he had a camera to record some of his recoveries and their transportation.

Are their any Soplata sons (or daughters) that have any vintage aircraft interest?


I talked with him on the phone a couple of times, and I asked him the same sort of questions. He said he looked everywhere at every opportunity to collect a plane. He said back then there still was a lot of bureaucracy in getting a plane, and that they weren't very easy to come by. For example he said, there were deadlines to recover the aircraft, and if you were late, they could still be there off limits scheduled to be scrapped.

He also said that to get a plane you needed to pay a $15k fee w/o getting a chance to look at the planes, or something like that and then haul off several. You had a deadline to pay the fee, etc, etc.

He said even a long time ago that the Navy was extremely difficult to deal with, and Navy planes were not as available as Army Air Force.

He said that the $5000 Mustang sales were rare events which happened for a couple of months or even weeks and then were over with.

He said, the first $5000 Mustang sale happened right after WW2, and when several new buyers were killed flying them the program was stopped quickly. After that, Mustang sales were very few until after the Korean War. At that time the sales still happened quickly.

He gave one specific example of how quickly things turned south: He said there was a Spitfire still with flying helmet, maps in the cockpit at a boneyard, and he said he wanted to buy it. The officials basicly said "no" and scrapped it anyway. Much like what happens now.

He said most of his planes were experimental or one off models which were easier to get, because they were directly on the base and not in a disposal area.

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Welcome to the USSA! One Nanny State Under the Messiah, Indivisible with Tyranny, Higher Taxes, Socialism, Radical Environmentalism and a Loss of Income for all. Boy I'm proud to be a part of the USSA, what can I do to raise taxes, oh boy oh boy!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:12 pm 
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I notice he's got a couple F-84s; does he have clear title to them? If so, could one of them become a flyer?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Walter usually cut the spars on his stuff as he does not support flying them. Not sure how many he did or did not cut

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:34 pm 
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mustangdriver wrote:
Walter usually cut the spars on his stuff as he does not support flying them. Not sure how many he did or did not cut


That's not true about him cutting the spars to ground them... he hated any damage being done to his aircraft. It is true that he didn't want them flying again though, as he saw that as a risk to their preservation. The only aircraft there with cut spars that I saw were the very big ones which were de-milled by the government/military.

Cheers,
Richard

PS. The P-63 was in overall olive drab, with a WWII period fuselage insignia.

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