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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:34 am 
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any news on the disposition of walter soplata's collection?? granted I live 1 hour from his home but have heard nothing of the disposition of his estate. there are to many questions to ask as to his inventory, but I was especially interested in the Japanese homare or sakea engine that was on a pallet when I was their in 2003. the cutlass, the x prototype skyraider, the b-52 forward fuselage, the b-36..... I could type all day!! I've heard that tom reilly is executor, if true then the estate is in very good hands. I just don't want uncle sam to come their w/ a bulldozer & wrecking ball, followed by the epa, irs, & all of the rest of the alphabet government soup.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:27 pm 
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If I remember correctly, during a Warbird Radio interview, I think I heard Mr. Reilly say that he was NOT the executor, although he had dealt with the family in the past while acquiring the XP-82 there was no formal arrangement in place at that time.

From reading various threads, it sounds like the family still has yet to take any action with regards to the collection. (Well atleast publicly).

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:31 pm 
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I think the only government involment we'll see is the air force and navy museums coming to see if they want to buy anything. They'd be good buyers for these planes as from what I understand none of these planes can become flyers per legal contracts with Solpata stating that if he sells them they can't be flown ever again as he fears them being destroyed which in some ways I agree when that particular airframe is the only one in existence.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:59 pm 
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Previous threads on this subject seemed to indicate that the Soplata family wanted to keep the entire remaining collection together. IMHO, that doesn't seem feasible, as it would require a significant investment in infrastucture to house the collection, let alone restore them to display condition.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:39 pm 
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saxman, I don't think that arrangement would be feasible to uncle sam as there are hazmat issues w/ the collection, maybe some have merit, but many are blown out of context.

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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: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:10 am 
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tom d. friedman wrote:
saxman, I don't think that arrangement would be feasible to uncle sam as there are hazmat issues w/ the collection, maybe some have merit, but many are blown out of context.



HAZMAT SMASHMAT, another bureaucratic - oh don't get me started as it only brings up painful memories of the poor fellow that lost all his vintage instruments to the :axe: EPA

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:56 am 
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They have to get permission from the EPA to sell aircraft from the collection?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:33 pm 
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A friend sent me a video as his dad met Mr. Soplata at an airshow and was invited to see the place. It's about 45 minutes of walking around with Mr. Soplata talking and pointing out some of what he has.
One of the things no one mentions is the aggregate amount of metal stuff he has. Dozens of junk cars, trucks, a school bus, engine cores, etc. There are hundreds of old military surplus desks, chairs, cabinets, shelving, refrigerators, pallets of stuff.
Mr. Soplata had kids, including one of which is an airline pilot. So surely they have a plan. IT's a daunting task. If it were mine, I would load up trailers of the rusty desks, poles, beams, 55 gallon drums, and haul to recycling. Then inventory all the cars and put them on ebay, as is, where is. The motors and tranny may be worth something.. If they don't sell , take to the scrappers.
Many trailer truck loads of building supplies; used beams ,barn planks, doors, used roofing tin, iron sinks. He sincerely intended to build shelter for all his treasures.
Scrap prices are very high now. THey could make a decent living just selling the non aircraft stuff and cleaning the lot up.
Both when Frank Ryder died (WW I collector) and when Tallichet passed a list was circulated of their aircraft, and projects with prices on them . They were long lists but it gave people a chance to know what was still there and how much. By making a list things sell over time, as buyers come forward willing to pay to get what they want. Some items, like the B-36 or P2V are neat but may take a few years for the right buyer to come forward. Interest has to grow.
I saw a lot of stuff you guys have never mentioned, like AT-11's and C-45s. a Cessna 172 and some other civil types.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:32 pm 
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not warbird related, but soplata had some classic cars their too. I remember a few Studebakers stuffed w/ flight manuals. as to the hazmat issues they are as follows....... radium instruments, leaking oil / hydraulic fluid from countless engines sitting for decades. walter dumped oil on a lot of artifacts w/ the good intension of preservation. countless other metals & epa deemed not environmentally friendly. on the other hand, manfredde trucking operated a shipping depot from that location, & it is rumored that they disposed of hazmat material by burial. 1 thing is certain, the cancer rate for residents in that area is unusually high. no finger pointing to soplata or manfredde, but it stems from some source.

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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: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:01 pm 
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Quote:
none of these planes can become flyers per legal contracts with Solpata stating that if he sells them they can't be flown ever again


That's not entirely true. The proviso apparently is only legally binding for the original purchaser from Soplata. If that individual or entity then resells the airplane, the new buyer bears no such limitation. I can't remember the airplane, though I think it was one of the famous air-racing F2G Coirsairs, but Soplata sold it to a university collection, and the university sold it to an individual, who then restored and flew it. (And died in a crash of the airplane, I believe.)

Many others on this forum will recall exactly what airplane I'm talking about, despite my fumbles. (And I'm embarrassed to admit that I wrote about the airplane for Aviation History awhile ago...)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:03 pm 
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F2G Race #74, B-25 Wild Cargo, and a BT-13 have all made it out of the collection and returned to the air.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:08 pm 
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I think Walter just had to collect...I came upon him once at a flea market and he was bidding on unrelated items of non-aviation categories..Another time he had just recently bought bench seats out of a restaurant which were stored in the DC-7 nose..I walked onto his property site another time and he was burning wire in a pot bellied stove outside - but this was before it became illegal...I know he cleaned metal on consignment from salvage yards - one way to recoup losses...Unfortunetly, a lot of paper material was stored in the cars/trucks setting around - no doubt be lost as it turns into pulp. I figure that a plan is afoot, but there are many things to consider and check out before any implementation can take place. The buyers are out there - just waiting it out... 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:51 pm 
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Woodsy Airfield wrote:
I walked onto his property site another time and he was burning wire in a pot bellied stove outside - but this was before it became illegal...


where is this illegal? within the city limits of many cities (if not all cities) but as far as I am aware, it's not illegal to do so out in the county in a rural setting. but I imagine most everything is illegal in California.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:53 pm 
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The F2G was restored by Bob Odegaard. He raced it at Reno in 2011, and died in a crash while practicing for an air show a year later. Very sad.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:24 pm 
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Didn't the XP-82 that's being restored to fly come from the Soplata collection also?

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