AUBURN, Indiana-There are lots of ways to put it…’Patience is a virtue’, ‘All things come to he who waits’. For a while now we’ve been following Phil Allison’s progress restoring a vintage Stearman biplane at Auburn’s DeKalb County Airport. Eight years after he hauled it home in pieces in a horse trailer, Phil’s project is complete.
The Stearman PT13 was the airplane most American World War Two pilots learned to fly in. Perhaps more than any other aircraft it is responsible for the Allied victory in that conflict. Today vintage Stearman’s are coveted for their history, their beauty and their near flawless flying characteristics. And Phil Allison’s Stearman is especially remarkable, restored so meticulously, so professionally…the FAA inspectors who certified it offered to certify Phil as a professional aircraft mechanic without the years of schooling usually required. As for future projects, Phil’s located the plane he and his father learned to fly in fifty years ago in a barn in Pennsylvania, in pieces of course. Phil says his wife is less than enthusiastic.
“My wife says we don’t need another airplane”, he says, “but when i told here how cool it would be for our grandkids to learn to fly in the airplane their great grandfather and grandfather learned to fly in that sort of softened he up, time will tell.”
Eric Olson reporting out in Your Country.
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