Around the Airport

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rare Biplane Takes to Air - Updated with Link to First Flight

If you have been reading NORDO News for a few years, you might remember my story of a visit to the Posey Brothers restoration shop. Inside were some of the most incredible flying machines you could imagine. Yet, one in particular grabbed my imagination.
Walking through a door into a dimly lit hangar, before me sitting tall and strong, was a shape I simply could not believe. Having long been a fan of Stearmans, I had often dreamed of finding one particular model thought by most to be extinct, an M-2 Speedmail. And to my surprise, on that day, I had just done so. Completely filling my field of vision was the latest treasure restored by the Posey Brothers, for owner Alan Lopez.
"Bull Stearman" M-2
As you can imagine, my mind raced with questions while my camera clicked off shots. Where did it come from, how long had it been here and how could I have not known about this were a few that come to mind. I’m not sure if I asked them though. My eyes and heart were too enamored with what I was seeing to let my lips ruin the moment. Walking around, over, and under it I just could not get enough. When you see it you’ll see why. This thing is big and it’s different, and I love it.
So what’s the good news? It just flew!
You heard it here. On July 20, 2011, for the first time since 1939, an M-2 Speedmail, also known as a Bull Stearman, took to the air and the report from Alan is that all went well.  If you want to see it, here's the link.  Want to see it in person?  My guess is that you'll see it at Galesburg.

In Alan’s email about the flight, he made a point to dedicate the first flight “to the many people whose talent and toil over many years made it possible”. I think he’s right. Anyone who played a part in bringing this beauty back to life deserves a big thanks.


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