A B.C. organization is toiling away to reconstruct a WW II aircraft, with the ultimate goal of permitting it to soar through the skies once more.
The undertaking is being conducted by the Vintage Wings of Canada, a non-profit whose mission is to restore old military planes, and foster an appreciation of historical aviation.
The group has managed to reconstruct the fuselage and wings of a P-40 Warhawk, an American-built fighter plane that served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and the British Royal Air Force during WW II.
“It’s a long and challenging job,” said David Rohrer, a Vintage Wings of Canada volunteer and director. “We have to build it from the ground up, starting with the drawings and blueprints and then fabricating the parts. We are painstakingly bringing the P-40 back to life.”
The process of piecing together the aircraft has been underway for the better part of two years, and the Vintage Wings of Canada expects that it will take another couple of years of laborious effort to finish the job.
Rohrer and his team have been able to locate many of the components for the P-40, but some of them are beyond repair and must be manufactured from scratch.
“We have parts from everywhere,” Rohrer stated. “We’ve taken parts from other P-40s, from other aircraft, and from people who have donated parts to us.”
The group is also utilizing modern technology to recreate pieces of the plane that no longer exist, such as 3D printing to fabricate missing pieces.
Once the P-40 is assembled, experts must inspect it before the plane can receive its airworthiness certificate. The Vintage Wings of Canada is hopeful that the P-40 will be cleared for flight in the near future.
“To see the P-40, once again, taking off and flying is going to be a powerful moment,” Rohrer said.
The Vintage Wings of Canada is dedicated to reanimating WW II aircraft, with the goal of keeping the memories of these planes alive and providing future generations with an understanding of their history.
“It’s not just about restoring the aircraft, but about telling the stories of those who flew them,” Rohrer added.
The Herculean effort of the Vintage Wings of Canada to bring the P-40 Warhawk back to life is a labor of love, as it strives to return the storied aircraft to the skies where it belongs.