P51 Restoration Project - Ongoing

The following photo series is of a P-51D-20NA being restored with painstaking historical accuracy right here in Bemidji , Minnesota. AirCorps Aviation, started by a former club member began work on Sierra Sue II in 2011 and is set to finish her in the fall of 2014. This Mustang rolled off the factory floor on November 25th, 1944 and was accepted by the AAF on the 27th. She is a combat veteran, one of only about 20 Mustangs that survive and can make that claim.

She was piloted by Lt. Robert Bohna of Raymond, California during the war and later served with the Swedish Royal Air Force and the Nicaraguan Air Force. After that she was purchased and returned to the US to be modified in search of a new piston powered air speed record. David Allender, the American who bought her, was unsuccessful in that endeavor. Sue was sold to a Minnesota doctor, Roger Christgau and flew in the airshow circuit for over 30 years.

She is planned to debut in flying trim in late September, 2014 at a memorial gathering for Dr. Christgau.

A book, detailing her history, provenance and restoration has been written by club member Chuck Cravens and is due to be out in the coming few months.

Chuck Cravens

Click on photos for larger version!