Advertisement

Historic plane flying home

August 24, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - The last available C-82 Packet cargo plane is flying home to Hagerstown.

In an auction Wednesday in Greybull, Wyo., the Hagerstown Aviation Museum made the winning bid on the WWII-era plane.

It cost $127,500, but the plane is returning to the town it which it originated, said Kurtis Meyers, president of the museum.

Meyers said it is right that the last available C-82 return to Hagerstown.

"There are still thousands of people living in Hagerstown that helped build it," Meyers said.

Fairchild Aircraft manufactured all 223 of the C-82 planes, also called "Flying Boxcars," in the late 1940s. Fairchild also manufactured the next version of the military cargo plane, the C-119.

During its heyday in the 1950s, Fairchild Aircraft employed more than 10,000 people in Hagerstown.

C-82s earned their nickname because the inside dimensions match those of a train car, Meyers said.

The C-82 sold at auction Wednesday was the last one available in flying condition, Meyers said.

Advertisement

Two other "Flying Boxcars" exist, but they are housed in museums, he said. The rest either were used by the military for testing or scrapped.

Before the plane can return to Hagerstown, B & G Industries, a machine shop in Wyoming, will go over the plane to make sure it is in good condition, Meyers said.

B&G will fly the plane into Hagerstown, hopefully by October, Meyers said.

Fuel for the trip will cost about $10,000 and the museum needs to do more fundraising to cover the expense, Meyers said.

At least 50 people contributed to the auction fund to help buy the "Flying Boxcar," and Meyers does not doubt people will support the effort to fly the plane home, he said.

The C-82 will be on display at Hagerstown Regional Airport, Meyers said. The Hagerstown Aviation Museum hopes to house the C-82 in a museum building that is not yet built, near the airport.

"The ultimate goal is to keep it inside," he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|