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 Post subject: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:08 am 
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Any info on the B-36 that Walter Soplata saved?


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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:26 am 
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Location: Travis AFB
The Soplata B-36 is a YB-36. This was the first B-36 with the dome style cockpit. This YB-36 was later converted into a production RB-36E, and used in the strategic recon role. It was retired to the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio, in the spring of 1957. When the USAF Museum moved to a new location in 1971. Rather than moving the B-36, a bomber variant B-36 was flown into Dayton to be displayed in the new museum. The USAF surplussed the B-36 that was at the original museum. While the B-36 was slated to be scrapped, Soplata saved the B-36, and hauled to his farm. The cut-up B-36 has been sitting outside in the elements laying on the ground since that time.
Nothing happening with the Soplata collection until his wife decides or passes.
more info and pictures
http://www.aerialvisuals.ca/AirframeDossier.php?Serial=74806


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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:32 am 
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Apparently, Mrs. Soplata has passed

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=64677


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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:37 am 
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whats left looks to be in gnarly shape...


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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:09 am 
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As I recall, Mr. Soplata told me that the aircraft was in the process of being broken up by the high bidder. They used caterpillers or cranes that had chains wrapped around fuselage on both sides and then pulled sections apart. Walter managed to intercept this process and save some pieces - mainly fuselage and one wing. The last time he had called me on the subject, he had made 26 trips to Wright-Pat... :(

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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:04 pm 
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ALOHADAVE wrote:
The Soplata B-36 is a YB-36. This was the first B-36 with the dome style cockpit. This YB-36 was later converted into a production RB-36E, and used in the strategic recon role. It was retired to the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio, in the spring of 1957. When the USAF Museum moved to a new location in 1971. Rather than moving the B-36, a bomber variant B-36 was flown into Dayton to be displayed in the new museum. The USAF surplussed the B-36 that was at the original museum. While the B-36 was slated to be scrapped, Soplata saved the B-36, and hauled to his farm. The cut-up B-36 has been sitting outside in the elements laying on the ground since that time.
Nothing happening with the Soplata collection until his wife decides or passes.
more info and pictures
http://www.aerialvisuals.ca/AirframeDossier.php?Serial=74806


It that Mustang fuselage still inside the B-36?


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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:13 pm 
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B-29 Super Fort wrote:
It that Mustang fuselage still inside the B-36?


No, that was actually the one surviving fuselage of the XP-82, that of course was hauled out of there and formed the basis of Tom Reilly's restoration, now nearly completed.


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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:52 pm 
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What is still there? If ANything?

https://goo.gl/maps/8kc749m631H2


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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:41 pm 
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From Woodsy Airfield's photos; this is what Walter had after reassembling the cut-up remains:
Image
If both B-36 crash sites in Canada were scavenged and added to this one, there might be enough to build one last static airframe, but it would be like carving the Crazy Horse Monument with a teaspoon...

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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:43 pm 
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During a visit to Walter's collection, I came upon him attaching huge sheet steel panels which made up the larger portion of the fuselage. I believe the top structure was still in place, thus he had something to attach the siding sections to. As to the wing, once again as I recall, the trailing edge was cut off and I was either looking at a spar or maybe the area where fuel tanks would be inside - don't know. I recall helping him scoot ailerons and flaps around - I think he wanted me to get involved - maybe as a future war story - again don't know... :o

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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:58 pm 
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It's certainly more of a B-36 than I have. Hopefully a good home can be found for it when the time comes.

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"It's his plane, he spent the money to restore it, he can do with it what he wants. I will never understand what's hard to comprehend about this." - kalamazookid


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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:46 pm
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Location: Texas
Thanks for the replies.I hope it gets saved.


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 Post subject: Re: Soplata B-36
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:05 pm 
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Location: Travis AFB
The Travis AFB Heritage Center may be interested in saving at least the cockpit section, IF I can talk the new curator into it. The last curator was very interested in it.
We have nothing of a B-36 at the Heritage Center. They were based at Travis AFB and it would be a good home for it. The forward section could make a good static display and it looks reasonable to move it via a trailer.
I can help volunteer to do it.


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