This is the place where the majority of the warbird (aircraft that have survived military service) discussions will take place. Specialized forums may be added in the new future
Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:24 pm
any decisions or news of the disposition on walter soplata's estate?? i believe tom reilly is handling the red tape. my best friend was tagged to be executor originally.
Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:14 pm
So will Walter Soplata's vast aircraft collection go to auction? Will parts of it be posted on barnstormers.com for sale? Any idea as to when there will be a list of all he had? Did he have any Stearman parts as that is what I am looking for. Is there any way to contact Tom Reilly as to what is going on? Keep us posted!!
Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:12 pm
What other kind of aircraft did Walter Soplata have in his collection?
Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:52 am
Anyway to get that list without doing the facebook thing?
I saw Haskin's photos on the other thread for the first time. What a collection. Man, I sincerely hope that some of those aircraft get into the right hands and returned to the skies.
Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:43 pm
Several aircraft have left the collection (prior to Walt's passing), and two, B-25 "Wild Cargo" and the 1947 Thompson Trophy-winning F2G Super Corsair, have been restored to fly; both P-82 Twin Mustangs Walt owned will also fly again. His P-80 Shooting Star is in the Pensacola museum after a nice static restoration, and his FG-1D, O-52 and BT-13 are longterm projects with private owners also.
Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:15 pm
I have always been fascinated by the Soplata Collection. Give the man his due, he saved a bunch of historic airframes from the scrapper!
And he probably had the only CIVILIAN collection of Nuclear Heavy Bombers in the World! I mean how many individuals can say that they own a B-52! Even if it is just a nose section! Wow, just wow.
Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:41 pm
Not just the B-52 nose (and other parts), of course, but also some sixty per cent of a B-36 and the nose of a Handley Page Victor. Interesting point about Walt being a rare private owner of a sort of mixed flight of nuclear Cold War bombers! I wonder, could anyone else besides Walt ever have made such a claim?
Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:01 pm
the victor forward fuselage was at the front of his property, by the house. the b -52 forward fuselage was a world record flight distance holder according to walt, otherwise i don't know the details of that carcass.
Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:20 pm
Yep, the B-52 was a B model, "City of El Paso", which was on outdoor display for over a decade at what was then USAFM; she had made a record-breaking round-the-world flight in the early sixties. Walt got the remains of the B-52B when the museum scrapped the decrepit Stratofort off in 1984...a virtual replay of the B-36 scanario, except this time Walt knew better than to try to go after most of the airframe! (Nowadays I worry about the B-47E at Dayton...replaced by an immaculate RB-47 on display...just as the B-52B was displaced by a B-52D, and the YB-36 by a B-36J...or has the B-47E already been cut up?)
The Victor was the K.2 tanker variant (built as a B.2 bomber) that crashlanded at Mt.Hope in 1986 on arrival in foul weather for that year's airshow. CWH was given the nose and two ejection seats for possible display; they did not choose to keep any of the parts, the bang seats going to two local collectors (one of them me) and the nose was sold to Walt in early 1987.
Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:49 pm
i never got close to the b-36, you couldn't in 2003. i was told that a p-47 fuselage was tucked into the b-36 forward fuselage.... rumor?? i remember being by the wings laying a distance away from the fuselage, their height was up to my neck & i'm 5'9". i was in a section that held the nuke bombs. walt proudly showed me the bomb shackles that were still present!!
Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:37 pm
Every once in awhile I hear the mantra "you can't save them all." Really, it seems to me that there are people out there that will try. I appreciate collections like this the most, because they save the cast-offs when others are not willing to.
Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:18 am
tom d. friedman wrote:i never got close to the b-36, you couldn't in 2003. i was told that a p-47 fuselage was tucked into the b-36 forward fuselage.... rumor?? i remember being by the wings laying a distance away from the fuselage, their height was up to my neck & i'm 5'9". i was in a section that held the nuke bombs. walt proudly showed me the bomb shackles that were still present!!
The Jug fuselage was outside the B-36 when I was there in 2002.
Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:08 am
It seems to me - at least in the past - that the XP-82 half fuselage and the P-63 fuselage were stored in the B-36. As I recall, Walter indicated that he had 20+ trips to Dayton area in hauling B-36 remains back. I believe he also told me that there was a plan by the Casle Air Museum to take on the B-36 remains and make it a 25 year restoration project, but the Chanute Peacemaker became available thus ending that proposition.........Leon
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