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 Post subject: Walter Soplata pictures?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:45 am 
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Location: Blue Hills of Virginia
Having been a long time browser here, I am always so impressed at the depth of info that all of you fine folks posess :D I am wondering if anyone has any past or current pictures from what is left of the Walter Soplata collection? I have heard all kinds of things are there in all different states of disrepair, but have never been able to find any pictures. Does he allow people to go in and look at what is there or is it all strictly off limits still? I can't recall the name of the town in Ohio where his things are either (is it Sudbury?).

Thanks for all your help ahead of time...WHAT A GREAT SITE THIS IS!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:51 am 
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Newberry (or bury)

http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Fea1/101-200/Fea182_Walters-Farm_Williams/part1/Fea182.htm

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:18 am 
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it's newbury. yes, his collection is legendary. he's very private. chances are you won't get in unless your well connected w/ somebody on his good list.

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tom d. friedman - hey!!! those fokkers were messerschmitts!! * without ammunition, the usaf would be just another flying club!!! * better to have piece of mind than piece of tail!!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:57 am 
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From 10/06

http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/p ... highlight=


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:56 pm 
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Thanks very much guys...the pics are much appreciated as well as what little info anbody can get! I had heard that he was very private and protective of his things :cry: He could make a fortune just showing off all of his goodies! Where can I sign-up for his "good guy" list :shock:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 4:26 pm 
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6trn4brn--

With a forum name like that, your probable favourite Soplata collection airframe would be the big beat-up tubular thing with the other hulks stored inside it--the former USAF Museum YB-36. It's still there (and visible in the aerial pix on the other thread).

As has been stated by Tom and others, Walt is now exceedingly private; this was not always the case, he used to welcome enthusiast "pilgrims" on a very frequent basis and regale them for hours on end with the stories behind the various airframes. As long as he was sure you were an enthusiast without the ulterior motive of trying to acquire something, he was as hospitable as could be. Too many run-ins with the "other" sort, and with various breeds of officialdom, have sadly changed all that. I'm very glad I managed to visit Walt's twice in the early eighties. Favourite individual memory, from the first visit, was glimpsing the nose of the ex-Cleland/Becker F2G among the treasures (I had heard Walt had owned it but was not sure he still did); I went bugeyed and said "oh wow, you still have that!" and Walt was all smiles, clearly delighted with how delighted I was at seeing the F2G he'd rescued. Eventually I sourced a couple airframe components for Walt up here in Ontario, the remains of a CF-100 fuselage and the nose of a Victor tanker, both of which he apparently still has.

Several "plums" have left the collection. The F2G is with Bob Odegaard for eventual restoration for the Crawford Museum; the P-80 is at Pensacola; one of the Vultee Valiants is with WIXer Dan Jones; the F-82E is in Minnesota being rebuilt to fly by C&P; the O-52 is privately owned and being restored to fly; and one of the Mitchells is flying again with the Jerry Yagen collection.

Always pleased to see another Walt thread!

Cheers

Steve T


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:59 pm 
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I seemed to have found Mr. Walter Soplata's home address. Would it be a good idea to write to him?

This guy has a museum of dreams, thats for sure! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:59 pm 
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I seemed to have found Mr. Walter Soplata's home address. Would it be a good idea to write to him?

This guy has a museum of dreams, thats for sure! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:40 pm 
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no!! do the guy a favor.... save the stamp!!

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tom d. friedman - hey!!! those fokkers were messerschmitts!! * without ammunition, the usaf would be just another flying club!!! * better to have piece of mind than piece of tail!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:12 am 
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Hey there Steve T, you are correct, the Big Stick is my favorite "warbird". I have made the pilgrimage to the NMUSAF in Dayton several times to stare in awe and wonder what it must have been like to have seen her in her element. I had heard that Mr Soplata's B-36 was an earlier model and that he got it when the Air Farce aquired the one at Dayton now. Did Mr Soplata let you take any pictures of his things and if so, would you be willing to share with us? As is the case that I have read so many times, I understand that he is very protective and private with his collection.

Thanks to all of you guys for the info! Seeing the number of times this thread has been viewed, I see that there are a lot of other people like me interested in what is left there :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:33 pm 
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Nathan--

If your letter is only to express appreciation to Walter for what he's done through the years to rescue Warbirds, there's surely no harm in that; but if you're weighing trying to set up a visit, probably best to skip it...

6trn4brn--

Walt did indeed let me shoot pix on both visits; at the time I thought I was taking a lot of shots, in retrospect I wish I'd taken ten times as many. I have long intended to get a sampling of the photos scanned to CD. Out of respect for Walt I would not post them on WIX or elsewhere, but if I do get them scanned I'd be only too pleased to email some privately. If that does happen I'll dig out this thread and "bump" it...You're correct BTW about Walt's YB-36, it was on outdoor show at Dayton for a number of years (in its final service configuration as an RB-36E); in 1971, USAFM got a B-36J in (much) better condition...and scrapped-off the YB. Walt got what was left from the metals man and hauled it home bit by laborious bit. He was furious at the museum for scrapping the YB-36...and I don't doubt he was no less angry when a similar thing happened to the Dayton B-52B, Walt acquiring the nose from that aircraft when it was scrapped-off circa 1985.

Cheers

S.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:38 am 
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that b-52 forward fuselage has historical significance, it's a world record holder for a distance flight. i forget the specifics of the jaunt though. it's laying on it's side at the back of the property, i hardly recognized what it was upon viewing it.

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tom d. friedman - hey!!! those fokkers were messerschmitts!! * without ammunition, the usaf would be just another flying club!!! * better to have piece of mind than piece of tail!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:45 am 
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Any pictures of Walt's B-36 when it was intact and on display at the USAF Museum?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:37 pm 
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Quote:
Walt's YB-36 was on outdoor show at Dayton for a number of years (in its final service configuration as an RB-36E); in 1971, USAFM got a B-36J in (much) better condition...and scrapped-off the YB. Walt was furious at the museum for scrapping the YB-36...and I don't doubt he was no less angry when a similar thing happened to the Dayton B-52B.


Back in the mid '90s I was taking the restoration tour at Dayton, and the had two or three sets of original AT-10 outer wing panels (they're plywood) in the shop. The tour guide told us that the best ones would be incorporated into their restoration, and the rest destroyed to prevent anyone else from having an AT-10..I was stunned! Hopefully, the volunteer tour guide just didn't have accurate information.

SN


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:23 pm 
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Now that really makes me mad. I'm the guy with the other AT-10 parts lacking a set of you guessed it, wings. I would like to see it go to Air and Space, but would they want another wingless airplane?


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