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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Warbird Digest
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:29 am 
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I just saw a small reference in the latest issue of Air Classics regarding the existence of a ex Howard Hughes B-25C Serial Number 41-13285. I had no idea that one of the really early models still existed. Does anyone in WIX know anything about this aircraft, and is it going to be restored, and who might currently own it?
What model of the B-25 did the Doolittle Raiders use was that a C Model or not? The B-25C that Iam asking about is suppose to be in the Lancaster, CA. area.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:46 am 
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Probably this one,
http://www.warbirdregistry.org/b25regis ... 13251.html


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:02 pm 
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The restoration was cosmetic, it still has no wings and will never (oops!) fly again.

It remains outside at the collection at Lancaster Ca.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:09 pm 
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Ed Likes wrote:
I just saw a small reference in the latest issue of Air Classics regarding the existence of a ex Howard Hughes B-25C Serial Number 41-13285. I had no idea that one of the really early models still existed. Does anyone in WIX know anything about this aircraft, and is it going to be restored, and who might currently own it?
What model of the B-25 did the Doolittle Raiders use was that a C Model or not? The B-25C that Iam asking about is suppose to be in the Lancaster, CA. area.


Doolittle raid used B-25B's. There is only one B-model survivor, and it's a partial one at that (with Aerotrader). There are a couple of other B-25C's, but both are in poor condition. However, there is also one of the very earliest B-25's built which once served as Hap Arnold's personal transport (40-2168) which is just a B-25 (no model designation). This one still flies regularly with the American Airpower Museum.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:20 pm 
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WallyB wrote:
The restoration was cosmetic, it still has no wings and will never (oops!) fly again.

It remains outside at the collection at Lancaster Ca.

Why is that so? I'd figure this would be a sought after aircraft due to it being an earlier variant. It would fetch a higher price then a J model, right?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 pm 
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WallyB wrote:
The restoration was cosmetic, it still has no wings and will never (oops!) fly again.

It remains outside at the collection at Lancaster Ca.


Just a slight clarification on this: as far as I know there are wings for this aircraft, they were once sitting in the hangar behind the aircraft agaisnt the wall. The wings are just not attached.

Warbird Kid wrote:
WallyB wrote:
The restoration was cosmetic, it still has no wings and will never (oops!) fly again.

It remains outside at the collection at Lancaster Ca.

Why is that so? I'd figure this would be a sought after aircraft due to it being an earlier variant. It would fetch a higher price then a J model, right?


I agree it is unlikely that this bird will fly again. The aircraft has corroded wing attach points and if I recall also the spar. None of which of course are impossible to fix as Aero Trader has built both wing attach points and spar components previously. However, the costs of course of completing this work and manufacturing of the parts (on top of the usual stuff)means that there would be great expense involved in the restoration.

This aircraft is not the best example to restore back to military condition due to all of the executive modifications to the aircraft. The right person would be someone who was interested in the aircraft from the perspective of it's executive history. If someone was goign to dump a ton of money into a military C model the best candidate would be the B-25C 42-32354 in my opinion.

It is probably pretty unlikely we will see a C model fly. Sure, no harm in fantasizing I guess but when it comes down to it someone would have to want a B-25C very badly to take on a project like this and they would have to be ok that the value of the aircraft would likely be around half of the dollars put into it (I estimate it costing $1,000,000 to get it flying and near $2,000,000 to have it back to 100% military condition) when it is completed. There may be a few out there with the money and ambition to do such a thing, but most of them already have B-25s sitting in their hangars.

Ryan


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:32 pm 
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I saw it in May 2009. It is standing on it's gear outside while the wings are stored inside the hangar.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:08 pm 
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rwdfresno wrote:
Just a slight clarification on this: as far as I know there are wings for this aircraft, they were once sitting in the hangar behind the aircraft agaisnt the wall. The wings are just not attached.
That's what I meant, poorly worded on my part. :oops:


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:23 pm 
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Group,

I went by there about a month ago, the fuselage is outside on the gear and the wings are inside. The head of the museum said the plane is currently involved in a trade. They are trading it for several other aircraft for the museum.

If anyone wants more info, I can check back again as the museum is about 5 mi from my house.

Laterrrr
Avn-Tech


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:24 pm 
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As it appeared in '65, along with HRH's A-20 and BT-13.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:25 pm 
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I had a look at it several years ago. At that time it was more like a pile of pigeon crap in the shape of a B25 than an actual aircraft.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:33 pm 
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...1985 pics...

http://www.aafo.com/hangartalk/showthread.php?t=3871


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:20 pm 
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From 2008...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:12 am 
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Okay, this may only be read here by a few, and I just can’t stand it any more. Thirty plus-Decades ago, I read a lot about Howard Robard Hughes and the people that were his most trusted associates.
I also learned a little about this B-25C which many believe was owned and operated by the brilliant Howard Robard Hughes.

Howard Hughes never entered the plane, he never flew the plane.

The only time he actually may have even seen the plane was when he was taxing out in a Boeing jet he was “test flying” in the hopes of Boeing that he would buy a fleet of new Boeing jets back in the day..

Howard Hughes owned the B-25, since he owned the Hughes Tool Company and his money bought the Mitchell, which owned another B-25, which was NL75831 (subsequently N2825B) which was being phased out of service by the Hughes corporation.

N3968C was to be the VIP transport aircraft for Mr. Noah Dietrich who was a brilliant man in his own right, and actually saved Howard Hughes’ butt many times. Mr. Dietrich was the right hand man, the bag man, for Howard Hughes; in fact Mr. Dietrich was the Director-Vice President of the Hughes Tool Company, Director-Chairman of the Board of the Executive Committee of TWA, Chairman of the Board of RKO Pictures, and the Director of Hughes Aircraft. He was trusted by Hughes and carried out the written and telephonic requests of Hughes. Mr. Dietrich was a Company man, believed in and trusted Hughes, who believed in and trusted Noah Dietrich. Mr. Dietrich decided one day, that he needed a later model VIP transport. Without running the purchase of this B-25C by Howard Hughes, Mr. Dietrich bought the plane and had it delivered for refit to VIP configuration. Hughes subsequently saw a bill regarding the B-25Cs new interior, and was told that Mr. Dietrich had authorized the refurbishment of the plane. Hughes went ballistic and blew a couple of jugs because he had not “authorized” a project of which he had no control over. Hughes was a control freak (among other mental disorders). He order his chief mechanic to take the plane the strip where he had his other planes parked (which had to be moved regularly and turned into the wind), and grounded in Culver City, which is where it set until acquired by Antelope Valley Air Museum of Lancaster.

Hughes began to wrongfully distrust Dietrich, and eventually forced him from the company. Hughes was known to favor the Lockheed Loadstar. The Boston Havoc also owned by the Hughes Corporation (also acquired by the Antelope Valley Air Museum), was actually flown by Hughes, but very rarely. The B-25C N3968C was to be the VIP transport of Mr. Noah Dietrich, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hughes empire, but never pressed into service by the corporation.
I’m done now.

Also, thought I'd throw this in fyi
Ron Kistler from his book “I Caught Flies for Howard Hughes”, who was Howard Hughes's security guard/valet/confidante for a number of years. This book does not discuss any of Hughes's business dealings, only his strange lifestyle. There are dozens of hilarious incidents that the author relates. Hughes was already several years into his self-imposed isolation when his organization hired Kistler.

Kistler's first assignment was a harbinger of weirdness’s to come: he had to drive to an airport and watch over an airplane that hadn't moved in ten years. The guard he was to relieve wasn't there to brief him, and as it turned out usually didn't bother to show up anyway. The aircraft itself was corroding, the engines had long since lost their oil, the interior curtains had rotted, and the tires had rotted and had collapsed. The aircraft was simply non-airworthy.


Okay, now I'm done.

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Last edited by gary1954 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:39 pm 
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Whats the story with that *museum* anyway? I've lived just down the road for 16 years, been to the airport more times than I can remember & have not once seen the place open.

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