ERAUMcDlover
Topic Author
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:16 am

How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:51 am

I love old fighters, and actually, all old military aircraft. So say I had some buddies together and got a foundation together to preserve an aircraft, like I would love to have had an F-106, or F-4, or A-4, or heck, even an F-15 here in like 30 years when they're relics. How could one go about doing that? I mean what would it take to make it all desensored, etc. and monitored where this "foundation" could perform on the airshow circuit, like that F-4 out there right now, and those F-104s? Any responses welcome and appreciated, just planning my retirement before i'm out of college.
DL, what a classy lady....Mad Dogs...a classy plane.....USA...just the best all around
 
MigFan
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:50 am

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:17 am

Back home a group of ex-Navy fellows got together along with some investors and created a small museum. They petitioned the U.S. along with other agencies and slowly started to accumulate aircraft.
First were a Huey and Cobra that were written-off by the local ARNG unit. Then the ANG unit donated their C-130 maintenance airframe, and the USAF personnel donated some time. The most impressive networking product was when the USN was retiring their A-6s. The sqdn commander flew the last example to the museum for preservation. The Navy spent some time removing everything, and cut the wing spar. That last action permenantly grounded the airframe. I asked the Commander why he flew the aircraft all the way out to us, and he said he did not want his bird at the bottom of the ocean! It turns out, the rest of the squadron was cut up and sunk as effort to create artificial reefs off the coast of Florida.
The museum's proprietors have used their military connections to make most of this possible. That with patience and lots of time. These aircraft are the people's property, we pay for them...

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
ERAUMcDlover
Topic Author
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:16 am

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:34 am

What about keeping a flying example, for airshows? I mean aren't there F-104s and a F-4 out there? How do you get a flying example, for purely historical flight purposes such as airshows and static displays?
DL, what a classy lady....Mad Dogs...a classy plane.....USA...just the best all around
 
cannibalz3
Posts: 382
Joined: Mon May 21, 2001 2:10 pm

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:34 pm

One story I heard was a guy who used an F-104 to break some records a while back. He was formerly a pilot with the Lockheed program. The US govt. refused to sell him an F-104 (this was apparently when it was still in US service), so the guy hired some of his engineer friends and hit the junkyards. Eventually they managed to scrape together a working, flying F-104. Does anyone know the aircraft I'm talking about?
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2136
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:48 pm

There are 3 F-104's owned by a guy in St.Petersburg, FL. They were sponsored and dressed in WorldTransStarfighters garb, but I've heard that has changed. Anyhow, one single seater and one TF-104 did the shows together, and I showed up to their hangar once and saw a mostly assembled 3rd F-104 there. Sadly, the older of the 2 pilots flying the F-104's died in a plane crash unrelated to the Starfighters.

Don't know if that is what you are referring to, but it was awesome to see that bird fly and hit full burner, and the howl it made when they would 'gun' the engines while taxiing.
 
ERAUMcDlover
Topic Author
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:16 am

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:07 am

thats what I'm talking about, and there is a F-4 out there in Triple Nickel livery, and is flown on the circuit, how do you get these aircraft? or clearance to operate them in a civilian manner like that?
DL, what a classy lady....Mad Dogs...a classy plane.....USA...just the best all around
 
User avatar
vzlet
Posts: 818
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:34 am

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:10 am

Quoting CannibalZ3 (Reply 3):
a guy who used an F-104 to break some records

That was Darryl Greenamyer. He had to eject from it after a landing gear problem.
"That's so stupid! If they're so secret, why are they out where everyone can see them?" - my kid
 
ERAUMcDlover
Topic Author
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:16 am

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:40 am

So is acquiring a plane like that like gettting a surplus truck? Just ask for it, and have it demilitarized, and then does it get tagged as an experimental aircraft, and then thats that?
DL, what a classy lady....Mad Dogs...a classy plane.....USA...just the best all around
 
fvtu134
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:11 pm

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:35 pm

Well what you are asking here is a very complex matter.

Best advice I could give you is to not do it.. because the purchase is usually just the entry ticket and the cheap part... you'll be spending more then you'll ever want. But if you are as crazy as some people are (and as me) and can't resist then prepare yourself for some major headaches.

First of all if you have the funds, then get a flying warbird. The rule is... the cheaper they are to buy, the more expensive they are to operate. Prop warbirds go up to 2M$ (if talking about a Bearcat or a prestine Mustang) while Jet warbirds can be had for as little as 30K $ but you'll have to think that they consume about 400 USG and up per hour (for a single engined, non-afterburning jet)

The F-104 and F4 are some of the most exotic and desirable planes but also cost a fortune to operate and insure. The F4 you may have seen is operated by the Collins Foundation and they have a special permission for the aircraft. You will see that they have quite a history before they got a hold of the F4 and that is probably part of the reason why the Air Force accepted to let them have one.

The "easier" to obtain jets are the L-29's and L-39's. They are fairly recent (the L-39's were produced from middle seventies till early nineties) and easy to maintain. They can be bought in flying condition for about 170K and cost about 1500 USD per hour to operate. That's one of the cheapest options.

With regards to obtaining an aircraft :
The US is a pain in the ass with regards to allowing civilians to have heavy metal. Chuck Thornton in California obtained a few T-38 wrecks and rebuilt one aircraft out of them over the course of a few years. Most aircraft are demilitarised before let go (except for some C123's or so) and are completely useless.
This is also the reason why most of the "heavy metal" you will find in the US is actually from foreign air forces. (Danish Drakens and Hunters, Turkish F-100's, Canadian T-33's and a whole load of L-29's, L-39's and Fouga's)

On the other hand, the US has a quite liberal view to aircraft restorations compared to some European aviation authorities. It would be OK to rebuild one aircraft from several hulks as long as all parts pass the necessary tests. In Europe you would need to start with an airframe and a complete service history (that doesn't apply to the older world war two aircraft wrecks)

Also, don't even think that the world out there will be sympathetic to your ideas and ambitions. For every one person that cheers and applauds you, there will be at least 10 others who will try to stop you for a variety of reasons, including ignorance, jealousy, or just because they are scared that they will be associated with you when you make a hole in the ground. Obtaining some of the necessary signatures can be quite a hurdle.

If you want to get into the warbird business, the best advice I can give you is to join one of the organisations that already exists. They already have the structures and organisations and if you contribute a lot of your time and find them some extra funds (somethign which every organisation needs) that will surely not go unnoticed. All these organisations are run by people who love flying and who love airplanes. They wouldn't spend all this time and money if they didn't love it to death. If you are bitten by that same bug and are willing to be around airplanes even if it means washing canopies or cleaning the hangar floor all together (thats how many of the people get into it) then good luck cause there will be many opportunities (including flying)
who decided that a Horizon should be HORIZONtal???
 
columba
Posts: 5205
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 pm

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:20 pm

For old German aircrafts look here www.vebeg.de sometimes you will find Sabres, Starfighters or Alphajets -but mostly not in a flying condition.
I
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
LongbowPilot
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:16 am

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:06 pm

Quoting ERAUMcDlover (Reply 5):
thats what I'm talking about, and there is a F-4 out there in Triple Nickel livery, and is flown on the circuit, how do you get these aircraft? or clearance to operate them in a civilian manner like that?

The guy who is flying it is an Ex-Phantom Jock, who is borrowing the air frame from the air force, and using it as a tool to promot Air Force Aviation at air shows. The catch is it is a DRONE ready aircraft, and supposedly one day it will be shot down. If you look at the aircraft in the center section of the fuselage top, you would see the transmitter/receiver antenna for the drone system
 
columba
Posts: 5205
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 pm

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:17 am

It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:04 am

Quoting FVTu134 (Reply 8):
On the other hand, the US has a quite liberal view to aircraft restorations compared to some European aviation authorities. It would be OK to rebuild one aircraft from several hulks as long as all parts pass the necessary tests. In Europe you would need to start with an airframe and a complete service history (that doesn't apply to the older world war two aircraft wrecks)

That has been changing over the past few years. That is one of the reasons all of the old C-97's, C-82', C-119 that used to be fish haulers up here have gone away.

The punks at the FAA started to raise questions about documentation, approved parts, and maintaince support on those aircraft.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
fvtu134
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:11 pm

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:52 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 12):
That has been changing over the past few years. That is one of the reasons all of the old C-97's, C-82', C-119 that used to be fish haulers up here have gone away.

The punks at the FAA started to raise questions about documentation, approved parts, and maintaince support on those aircraft.

I agree with you for aircraft that were brought into Commercial ops. Same problem is with the Army OH-58's which are basically Bell Jet Rangers. Great aircraft that can be bought for not to much money, but their civil (certified) variant costs about 4x more. They are allowed for some restricted forms of flying but not full commercial ops.
I think the line of this thread was clearly about warbirds and those would not be flown commercially. They are usually flown for "exhibition", demo's, recurrency training (i.e. Fun flying) and so on.
I agree that it's a pity to see those old birds go. I always loved to see some of those Neptune and tracker fire bombers.
FVTu134
who decided that a Horizon should be HORIZONtal???
 
ShyFlyer
Posts: 4698
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:38 pm

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:12 pm

Quoting FVTu134 (Reply 8):
This is also the reason why most of the "heavy metal" you will find in the US is actually from foreign air forces.

Just to further illustrate this, have a look at this link.

Not many US airframes there but you could get your hands on a T-38.  yes 




I lift things up and put them down.
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:03 pm

Technically you cannot buy an ex-United States Armed Forces combat aircraft that is flight capable. If you buy one through the GSA, it will be demilled. All classified items and armaments will be removed and the airframe cut so that it cannot operate. Sometimes aircraft do slip through the cracks such as several A-4s that were sold some time ago. They were sold to another country but never removed and later resold to private owners. Most of the aircraft that operate come from Europe or Canada. Presently there are quite a few airworthy Lockheed fighters there for sale.

As for the regulations, the US is a tough sandbox and unfortunately with some justification. Some high profile accidents regarding privately owned warbirds brought that on back something like 20 years ago.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
DeltaGuy
Posts: 3965
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 5:25 am

RE: How Do Civilians Buy Ex-military Aircraft?

Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:23 am

There's an A-7 Corsair on there for a pretty reasonable price...maybe should go buy a lotto ticket tonight so I can get my own SLUF Big grin

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos