February 24, 2018

Taylorcraft BL-65 Showpiece

1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 N27652

When Jake Bilstad purchased his 1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 (N27652) in 2001 at Spinks Airport in Fort Worth, Texas it was in need of some serious attention. It was just a big pile of parts. It last flew in 1970, then it was disassembled for restoration. 

When I first met Jake he passed me in the hallway at work. He had a bag full of parts over his shoulder and I caught site of the large diameter tachometer. So I just had to ask what it was for! Being a former Taylorcraft owner myself I knew it might be from an early model Taylorcraft. Over the years Jake and I exchanged emails as I checked in on the progress of the rebuild.

The slow but steady rebuild was finished in 2013. Jake said he loves flying it “It performs really well with the C85 engine.” When asked what the biggest challenge was in the restoration Jake said “Finding the time, space, and money to finish it.” The logbooks told a story that took the history all the way back to 1940. It spent most of its life as a trainer at a flight schools based in Minnesota and Wisconsin. As the photos featured here show it is now a pampered cream puff based in Gainesville, Texas. 

(All photos via owner Jake Bilstad)




February 4, 2018

Lockheed 12 For Sale

This beautiful example of a Lockheed 12 (NC25628, Serial Number 1286) has come up for sale in early 2018. One of about a dozen actively flying Electra Juniors, this is a rare opportunity to purchase a Lockheed. I was fortunate enough to see this example at Oshkosh 2014 when seven were in attendance for AirVenture. Like many early Lockheed this one served as an executive hauler for an oil company having flown for Humble Oil Company.

NC25628 at Oshkosh 2014

Three of the seven Model 12s at Oshkosh 2014

Lockheed 12 brochure
Text from the advertisement on barnstormers.com

1940 LOCKHEED 12A • $595,000 • HISTORICAL AIRCRAFT FOR SALE • Classic 450 HP R-985 P&W twin. Right engine- 33 SMOH and left engine- 75 SMOH by Kenmore Air Harbor. Landing gear overhauled with new jack screws and gearboxes. Factory installed 50 gallon auxiliary fuel tank- 250 gallons total. Factory installed and functioning engine fire extinguishing system. Humble Oil Company corporate aircraft 1940-1963. Outstanding Antique Transport Aircraft- Oshkosh 2004. One of the "Magnificent Seven" featured at Oshkosh 2014.Featured in March 2017 Air & Space Magazine.Own a piece of aviation history. • Contact John T. O'Keefe, Owner - located Winthrop, WA USA • Telephone: 509-322-1630 . • Posted January 22, 2018

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