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B-25 Restoration Coming Along, WWII Donations Requested

May 24, 2018 - EAA’s restoration of North American B-25H Mitchell Berlin Express is coming along smoothly, with the airplane’s second Wright R-2600-13 Cyclone 14-cylinder radial engine returning to Oshkosh last week from Anderson Aeromotive in Indiana following the return and installation of the first engine a few weeks ago.

While there’s still a lot of work left to do on the airplane, EAA Manager of Aircraft Maintenance John Hopkins noted that the big pieces are starting to come together and he hopes to start painting it in the near future.

“We’re nearing completion on the bulk of the work,” John said. “We’ve still got the carburetor to put on, throttle mixture, prop governor, prop cable and that stuff. We sent [the engines] out to Anderson Aeromotive. … They’ve done the ground run break-ins on them. We had them run the carburetors that we had overhauled. We had the two Holley carburetors re-done out in California, had them shipped to Anderson, and then they ran both carburetors on that engine just to make sure that they’re making good horsepower, they’re not detonating or having any lean mixtures or rich mixtures, any issues with it. So when it comes launching out of here with two brand-new engines and two brand-new carburetors, we don’t have an issue and know that it works and it functions correctly and we’re not going to have any surprises when we take off.”

EAA’s restoration of Berlin Express has been made possible in part by the work of a dedicated corps of volunteers as well as a generous group of sponsors, including AkzoNobel (paint), AeroLEDs (lighting), Tempest (spark plugs), PS Engineering (avionics), and Mid-Continent Instruments (avionics). Berlin Express won’t be ready to fly by EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 in July, but John hopes it will be good to go by the fall.

In the meantime, EAA is asking its members to consider making a donation of any World War II-era memorabilia that might be appropriate for the interior of the B-25 that would give the airplane a vintage, wartime feel. John noted that items such as Army uniforms, hats, gloves, oxygen masks, oxygen bottles, goggles, emergency crash axes, flak helmets and jackets, and other assorted memorabilia would be appropriate.

“We want to get the interior with some of that original equipment in it,” he said. “It’s a way to make it more interesting in the inside rather than just walking through an empty airplane. If somebody had something a family member owned and they wanted to honor them in some way, putting it with the airplane would be kind of a cool thing.”

To make a donation, please contact John Hopkins by email at jhopkins@eaa.org or by telephone at 920-426-4875.