EL CAJON, Calif., Jan. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A group of local students and two master fabricators led by a retired executive have replicated to the last detail a World War II-era aircraft commissioned by The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. The P-40 Curtiss Warhawk, with 7 White 23rd Fighter Group, Burma, squadron markings, better known as "The Flying Tigers," will be displayed in the Museum's new Campaigns of Courage Pavilion inside the Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries, opening in 2015.
On January 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., friends and family of Flyboys Aeroworks, LLC will gather at the company hangar at Gillespie Air Center in El Cajon to see the finished product unveiled and to bid farewell to the subject of 71 weeks and more than 18,000 labor hours of effort. The plane is scheduled to arrive in New Orleans in early February for installation.
Chief Engineer Rolando Gutierrez praises his crew, drawn from the aviation program of San Diego Miramar College and volunteers, saying, "Not only are they a true team, collaborating with one another throughout the project, they also are young in a part of the industry dominated by retired volunteers." The Flyboys crew is both young and diverse. The median age is 26 and the team includes a recently graduated female Airframe and Powerplant mechanic, a rarity, Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, a Wounded Warrior among them, and a diverse group of skilled artisans and metalsmiths.
More than 13,000 Warhawks were manufactured, but this aircraft is one of 32 known to remain. The Flyboys Aeroworks team has painstakingly replicated the P-40 using original blueprints from the Smithsonian, diligent research, and ingenuity when nothing else was available.
"The P-40 Curtiss Warhawk is a highly anticipated addition to our Museum," said Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller, President and CEO of The National WWII Museum. "Soaring overhead in the Road to Tokyo gallery, this stunning aircraft will immediately grab the attention of visitors and will evoke the countless tales of heroism in which it played a key role."
Major support for this project comes from the Irene W. & C.B. Pennington Foundation of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Flyboys Aeroworks, LLC is a collective of Mechanics, Artisans, Apprentices and Engineers devoted to the restoration, reconstruction and conservation of World War II period aircraft and aircraft components. They specialize in restoring aircraft destined for static displays where authenticity without airworthiness is the exhibit's objective. For more information visit www.flyboysaeroworks.com.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Founded in 2000, the Museum celebrates the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served on the battlefront and the Home Front. Call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org.
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Source:Flyboys Aeroworks, LLC