The World War II era airplane that’s been sitting in the Municipal Airport for more than two decades is moving home Saturday to Wichita, where it was built. The Commemorative Air Force will dismantle the aircraft and bring it back to Westport Airport, where it'll be restored and put on display.
The Commemorative Air Force has gotten about 170 WWII-era aircrafts in the air at their restoring dock in Wichita. Although this plane, a C-45 used by the military, won’t fly again, it’ll be restored and put on display.
“We just like preserving history,” said Bill Lindsay of the Commemorative Air Force. “It helps us become the kind of nation we are.”
The airplane itself isn’t worth that much. It’s been in Emporia for about 25 years, and hasn’t flown for most of that time. The airplane was built in Wichita around 1945, and then went to Fort Riley.
The Commemorative Air Force first looked at the plane two years ago, and have since been talking with City Attorney Blase Plummer and County Attorney Marc Goodman to acquire it. The airplane was owned by Emporia, and will now be donated to the Commemorative Air Force.
Lindsay said it’ll cost about $350 to bring the airplane to Wichita. It needs to be partially dismantled, and the Commemorative Air Force is doing the work themselves.
It’ll probably cost another $5,000-$6,000 to restore it. Parts are difficult to find now. Getting it in the air would cost more than $300,000, which is why it’s only going on display.
“We’re glad it’s coming home,” Lindsay said.