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Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:19 pm

Thanks for that awesome post Gary, had no idea!

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:14 pm

Very cool post, Gary. Rings true with what I know about HRH. I consider HRH to be one of US history's more interesting characters, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone - so thanks for taking the time to post up!

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:12 am

Thanks, Gary - guess that explains my photo. Wonder what happened to the BT-13?

The photo was enlarged from a small area of a slide that came from the estate of Otto Sauseng, a German immigrant who worked for Hughes in the '60s. Sad thing was that despite many interesting images in the collection, this and a shot of a P-51 (44-72739) on the Universal Studios backlot were the only airplanes in the big carton of slides I got.

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:35 pm

Hi all,
I' ve been to this place twice over the years and the last time (2008) I found a caretaker, Jim, there. He was living in a trailer on the premisses with his wife. He showed me around, a report is on my website
Jim told me the B-25 was to be swapped with someone who was going to paint it in WW2 colors again; obviously that didn't happen if it is still there.
He also told me an anecdote about this B-25, how Howard Hughes got onboard with his wife (?) for a cross continent flight to the eastcoast; they were forced down by weather or his wife didn't like it and landed sopmewhere and made other arrangements to continue his travel. He left the B-25 and long after someone of the airport inquired with the Hughes company what to do with the B-25 and mr Hughes reaction was 'Oh is that where I left it..?'.
So maybe he did fly in it, however briefly, didn't like it and disgarded it.
History is a confusing matter and I think I just contributed my part ;-)

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:43 am

HRH moved to Hollywood with his first wife Ella Rice before the B-25s.
married actress Jean Peters in 1957 in Tonopah, Nevada,rumored also to have married Hughes on a yacth off Miami, and they returned to Palm Springs sdaid to have visited Las Vegas to meet with Hughes who divorced her in 70, so anything is possible, I only know what I read, and I have been scouring for references.
Both aircraft would fit the time period with Peters to a point,but not including the period when Hughes went into seclusion. he kept all of his women under surveillance by his security staff.

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:07 pm

Anything new to report on this B-25C? Noticed this photo below and read a bit from RuudLeeuw's site below


"Update as read in Scramble magazine (nov.2015 #438):
N3968C was reg'd 19Aug2015 to San Simeon Air LLC (San Francisco,CA).
The aircraft is a very rare B-25C (41-13251), once operated by Howard Hughes; it is to be restored to the corporate transport configuration while operated by Hughes Tool Inc. in 1953.
A bit of history on this unique warbird-gone-executive-
After delivery to the military in 1942 it was sold to the Texas Railway Equipment Corp. of Houston,TX in 1946.
A year later it was registered as N75635, for one Robert harlow of Houston.
The Mitchell went abroad to operate with Fuerza Aerea Dominicana, as FAD 2502, until 1952. It then went through the ownership of two more civilian operators before landing with Hughes Tool Inc. and reg'd as N3968C in Jan.1953.
In July 1974 it ended up here in Lancaster,CA with Antelope Valley Aero Museum.
Neither this museum nor its successor, Milestones of Flight Museum, did much to restore the B-25 one way or another.
Apparently the museum was recently closed and its assets were available for disposal.
It is expected that the restoration of the B-25 will take place on a different location."

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:23 pm

The restoration would seem to be progressing at Ezell - there was a photo I saw on Facebook taken at Ezell's last month, showing the fully paint-stripped cockpit section of the B-25C.

There always seems to be a lot happening at Ezell's - up until just a few weeks ago, they had a total of four Corsairs in the shop at one time (2 restorations, 1 annual, 1 in for repairs), among other projects.

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:27 pm

I believe Kermit Weeks bought it a few years ago.

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:40 pm

Kermit Weeks owns the Hughes A-20 Havoc, which is in storage with Aero Trader. It is a San Francisco based entity (the Hearst family, as I recall) that owns the Hughes B-25C.

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:59 am

I spotted the subject B-25 and the A-20G at the Lancaster Airport (Fox Field) in the late 1980's. They both looked pretty sad at the time.



Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:52 pm

So, it seems it is unlikely that Hughes ever flew in the B-25. What about the A-20?


Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:06 pm

T J Johansen wrote:So, it seems it is unlikely that Hughes ever flew in the B-25. What about the A-20?


I don't know if Hughes flew it or not, but an A-20 owned by Hughes was modified to fly with the XF-11's vertical/rudder. Don't know if he flew that one either (if it was a different airframe than this one)? I've never seen any photos of this set-up - just read about it in several histories of the XF-11 program.

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:27 am

Hughes did fly the B-25, or at least he was on board once. The story was told to me the museum curator/owner or caretaker upon my 2008 visit. Hughes abandoned it while en route, apparently in bad weather, when his female company complained about her discomfort. He landed and left it there; Hughes was reminded of it years later ('so there is where I left it') and seems to have let it go, probably flown back to California by some of his staff.
See the url webpage mentioned at start of this thread.
I don't know anything of the A-20.


Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:26 am

I quote from an earlier WIX posting that gary1954 posted (found here: http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=38927&start=0):

gary1954 wrote: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.

Re: B-25C Restoration Lancaster CA.???

Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:35 am

Thanks Scott,
hope you don't mind me liking the version of the B-25 abandoned mid-West during Hughes honeymoon better! ;-)
The Culver City mentioned is on Venice Blvd in LA? Quite nearby...
Thanks for sharing.
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