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Long-Awaited A-26 Restoration Plans for Oshkosh Arrival
March 08, 2022 – A warbird restoration a quarter-century in the making is scheduled to join the world’s largest annual gathering of warbirds at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2022, as a rare Douglas A-26 Invader is readying for test flights in California.
EAA Director Emeritus Kermit Weeks, EAA 52310, owns the aircraft, with its restoration a long-term project since it was damaged by Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992. It was trucked to Aero Trader in Chino, California, in 1997 to begin the long path back to airworthy status.
EAA’s Jim Busha captured video of the airplane’s engine run-up and initial taxis before flight testing begins. It is a restoration that has long been anticipated and discussed. EAA member Steve Hinton, EAA 181203, will test fly the aircraft, and if those flights are successful, plans are for the airplane to make the trip to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2022.
The aircraft (S/N 41-39401) reportedly saw wartime service with the 9th Air Force and served with the Van Nuys Air National Guard before beginning civilian use as N3457G Whistler’s Mother. The former glass nose has been replaced with the original-type hard gun nose. The restoration is being led by EAA Warbirds Hall of Fame members Carl Scholl, EAA 184061, and Tony Ritzman, EAA 393289, who are the co-owners of Aero Trader.