Yes, It's Rare...
The Octave Chanute
Aerospace Museum in Rantoul (IL) is launching a concerted effort
via the World Wide Web to generate support for the restoration of
the North American Aviation P-51H Mustang on display at the
[Note: this machine was built in 1944, which makes it a "P"
rather than an "F" -51H, more a distinction than a difference
The Mustang is one of only five 'H' models known to
remain in the world, and years spent as an outdoor display
has taken its toll on this once-fine aircraft, which is currently
wearing Massachusetts ANG colors.
Headed by museum volunteer Norm Meyers, the Mustang Restoration
Project allows Mustang enthusiasts from all over the world to
participate in the restoration process.
Through donations of
money, parts, supplies and expertise, the ultimate goal is to
return this aircraft to as close to its original condition as is
Additionally, Norm hopes to collect documents, photos and
stories from the men and women who built, maintained and flew the
'H' Mustangs to save the history surrounding this, the last front
line piston engine, single seat fighter employed by the US Air
Donations of books, manuals, vintage parts, and expert
restoration advice constitute another major area for
Appeal to Aero-News readers:
Director Jim Snyder told ANN he'd, "love to get a new canopy on it
-- it doesn't need to be a 'flyable' canopy." The machine won't
take off -- it still belongs to the USAF, and "Our loan agreement
with the Air Force says it will never fly again. We want them to
And although it's not going to fly again, the Merlin under the
cowl is complete, and is slated for restoration.
With the power of the Internet, the project hopes to reach
aviation enthusiasts from around the world and invite them to
become part of the restoration team.
Corporate and Organizational sponsors are being sought to help
in this project and aviation websites are participating through
links to the project site.
Donors can receive frameable certificates for their
participation as well as being honored on the web site and on a
permanent display within the museum. Sponsors can participate
through site sponsorship, and contributions of parts or material
supplies and services.
The Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum is a non-profit aviation
museum located on the site of the former Chanute Air Force Base in
Rantoul (IL). As the largest aerospace museum in Illinois, O.C.A.M.
is challenging itself to become a world-class facility.
Inquiries are welcomed.