WAAAM celebrates history Saturday

Rare Piper, disassembled Model T will be stars of the show

From wings aloft to nuts and bolts on the hangar floor, expect plenty to see on Nov. 10 at Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum.

The monthly Second Saturday event will feature talks and Q&A sessions with master aviator and restoration specialist Tom Murphy, who piloted the Curtiss Pusher off the rooftop of the Multnomah Hotel (now the Embassy Suites) in downtown Portland in 1995. This was the second time such a flight was preformed; the first was in 1912.

Each Second Saturday, WAAAM volunteers roll out selected antique cars or planes for a flight or drive.

This month WAAAM’s fly-and-drive plans include the 80-year-old biplane Waco UBF, at 10:30 a.m., and the 75-year-old Piper J3-P, at noon.

The Piper J3-P is powered by a three-cylinder radial engine that produces a roaring 50 horsepower, and is described by Newman as “super-rare.”

At 12:30 p.m., WAAAM brings back its “Model T Build Up Challenge.” A team of volunteers will whip together a Model T in just minutes.

Visitors to the Oct. 13 WAAAM Traffic Jam were the first to see the WAAAM “Dream Team” turn a pile of parts into a running auto.

“We’re keeping the past alive,” Newman said. “Our volunteers invite you to share in this living history: restoring, fixing, flying, driving.”

Tom Murphy will speak at 11 a.m. on “Flight off the Rooftop” and at 1 p.m. on American Aircraft Restorations. Murphy is also a master craftsman in aircraft restoration, according to Newman.

“The passion he has for aviation is something you must hear. On this Second Saturday not only will he share his experiences of the ‘Flight off the Roof’ but also his time spent on the 1917 Jenny here at WAAAM as well as the currently under restoration and one-of-a-kind Model 70.”

WAAAM has announced it received a $54,000 grant from the Ludwick Family Foundation for the restoration of the museum’s early Curtiss Pusher-style aircraft to flying condition.

Founded in 1990 by Arthur and Sarah Ludwick, the Ludwick Family Foundation is a philanthropic organization committed to assisting a broad array of groups that are working to make a positive difference in the world.

“The project will allow a group of volunteers to work alongside a restoration team and learn the skills required to restore early aircraft. We have much to do and much to learn,” Newman said. Anyone with an interest in being involved in the project should contact Donna Davidson at 541-308-1600 or donna@waaamuseum.org.

This aircraft has enjoyed a storied career, according to Newman. It has been owned by Billy Parker (test and stunt pilot) and Paul Mantz (stunt pilot in the film “Flight of the Phoenix” and technical adviser to Amelia Earhart).

“We expect to have this restoration completed in one year,” Newman said. “Thank you to all who have stuffed dollars in the jar to keep this project alive. With your continued support and help and the new grant monies from the Ludwick Family Foundation we will see this aircraft fly again.”

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