Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yuma City Hall new home to historic Aeronca Sedan AC15 aircraft

Yuma, AZ -More than a dozen handy volunteers are helping get the 1200lb air craft known as "the City of Yuma" hung up in the main lobby of city hall.

This Aeronca Sedan AC15 aircraft was used in a record breaking endurance flight here in 1949 that helped put Yuma on the aeronautical map.  Volunteers say its purpose was to demonstrate the superb flying conditions Yuma has to offer which helped pave the way for the reopening of the marine air corps station.

Woody Jongeward and Bob Woodhouse were the 2 men who set out on this 90,000mile non stop adventure. 

"It flew for 1124 hours 47 days with out touching the ground and ironically 63 years later it has finally come home has been restored and flew in it's 50th anniversary and now it has its home in city hall," says Ron Spencer a volunteer.

The plane had been sold decades ago and later found in another state and repurchased thanks to efforts started by the Yuma Jaycees.  The historic aircraft had been sitting in storage for years until they could find an appropriate place to put it. 

Volunteers say it's not easy putting this piece of history on display. 

"Our biggest struggle as you can see is getting a piece of equipment in here small enough to lift the plane up in the air be low the ceiling and high enough to get into the brace and then setting it into the height of the second floor. We have had to tweak as we go," says Perry Penske a Volunteer.

Penske tells news 13 he's not only helping out to bring history to Yuma, but he is also putting in hours in honor of his father.

"He was on the crew, so when they put the committee together they tried to get as many of the children of the actual people involved because most of the original men have passed away by now," says Penske.

Volunteers say they expect to have the finishing touches completed by next week and there will be an official unveiling in the near future.


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