Thursday, December 23, 2010

What a year! Looking back at 2010 I wonder where it all went so fast. Having moved into our new facility at the end of March after breaking ground the November prior made for an interesting time. The move was a feat in itself. Thanks to all for your support and to those who said it couldn't be done, well.......come on by and we'll show ya around.

Personally, I had the joy of another great year with my family doing what we love to do. The best part about working with family, you can say what you want to get things done. The worst part, you can say what you want to get things done...... Working with family and our tight knit group in the shop plays a major role in the creative process. I believe it demands a higher level of standard and pride beyond what can be found in a factory or corporate setting type of shop. Everyone in the shop is an integral part of the process equally important in their contributions to the end product. Each year brings a new set of challenges and accomplishments for our team. I look forward to seeing what we can do in 2011. Immediate family aside we also have our extended aviation family that gets larger every year. I know it sounds cliche to say such because you hear this often with different aircraft manufactures but, we really do gain family in what we do. So many "customers" have become very close to us and a very important part of our lives. So call me a bit bias but I think aviation people are the greatest on earth and that's why its so easy to make such great friends when you play with airplanes.
Looking ahead to next year I'm very excited to see all the great friends we have throughout the industry. Often seeing everyone is only a yearly event but we talk on the phone regularly. The best laughs and memories are made at the shows with you all. I feel very fortunate to call many of you friends and look forward to making new as well. Happy New Year to all!! I'm already excited about the possibilities for 2011!



P.S. One of these days I'll figure out how to get the photos and text the way I want them on this darn thing!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stearman? Really a Stearman?

We've done them before and we'll do them again. Actually my first rib stitching lesson from Dad was on a Stearman wing. This may be somewhat of a surprise since we're known as Waco people. After witnessing and admittedly partaking in some of the lively banter between Stearman and Waco folks I'm sure we'll take a few in the ribs over the one in our shop, um I mean two, oh wait, THREE!?! These things are multiplying! Actually we have two in restoration and one airworthy for sale. To date Wacos are our most numerous restoration however we still do handle airplanes in the other category from time to time. Staggerwings, Stearmans, Great Lakes, a Luscombe or two and I think I see a Howard in our near future.....very near.

The two Stearmans in restoration are quite the contrast. One is a stock Navy N2S-3 that will remain so. The other will be an airshow airplane and is already a notable one at that.

A feature of each will appear on the blog soon. We're looking forward to seeing these well built beloved trainers through restoration.

The N2S-3 arrived last Thursday....

Wrapping Presents the RARE way!

We recently finished an extensive recover and repaint on NC16009 a 1936 ZQC-6 Cabin Waco. This exercise was to bring the aircraft up to standard for our friends in Brazil. The structure, interior and overall quality of this aircraft is excellent. It was restored elsewhere about 14 years ago and the paint that was used was very brittle. A complete recover and repaint was in order and our guys made short work of the process. We also converted the brakes to new Cleveland's, built a new oil tank and tightened up the firewall forward installation.
Once all the work and the export C of A were complete we spent last Tuesday containerizing the C-6 for its trip to Brazil. From quietly residing in a hangar on Washington Is, Wisconsin, to our shop awaiting new owners to Brazil where it will get cared for, flown, and enjoyed regularly. This Cabin Waco doesn't know it yet but, it's going to have a great new life. It will be fun to see it join the F-2 and Fairchild in Brazil! We'll be on hand in Brazil to assemble and fly it soon. With our current weather situation I can't wait!

A short clip sent by the F-2 to let us know all is well.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Genesis of Kilo-7

ZPF-7 - production code name; Kilo-7

We are very fortunate to have yet another customer that fuels the creative process and pushes us to new limits. A remanufactured beyond new standards WACO by RARE with flare. I can't wait until spring to roll this baby out. All new tip to tail with great custom features. All the woodwork is complete and the fuselage build up is underway.

It might get boring around here if we were just putting together another WACO like the last one and the only change ups were colors or the instrument panel. With our list of options and the customer being an integral part of the process we're having a ball! Check back for more progress photos of Kilo-7.

K-7's wing set ready for cover. New front cockpit access door. New Instrument panels.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Repaint Reporter Volume 69 Number 2: The Waterborne Trend

PPG has been our finish of choice for 20 years. Although we're still capable of doing an old school dope finish the most popular option on our birds is PPG polyurethane. Founded on Roy's vast paint experience, Dan and Jeremy are the two responsible for our final product today. The whole shop pitches in for the entire process leading up to color. We're pleased to be recognized by PPG for our work in the latest issue of PPG Paint Reporter. Below is a link to the publication, you'll find us on page 22.
Repaint Reporter Volume 69 Number 2: The Waterborne Trend

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


We're sure excited to be on the 2011 Goodyear Aviation Calendar!! A huge thank you to Goodyear and all involved with the photo shoot. Last but not least, the Nalbone brothers for their vision and involvement in creating this unique airplane. The calendar is available from the Goodyear Aviation Tires web page or Aircraft Spruce;

It's been tricky keeping this one under our hat, especially since I'm (ben) known to be the big mouth of the family. This panned out at Oshkosh this year. We really had fun with the folks from Goodyear. RARE won't be publishing any of these photos on our site and won't have the calendar available through us but, you'll be sure to see one on our wall.

**Goodyear owns all rights to the image. It cannot be used for any promotional or other commercial purpose without expressed written permission.**

Monday, November 22, 2010

Step Back In Time

We're pleased to be able to share a piece written by our Taperwing Customer Dennis Guentzel of Bozeman Montana. This was recently published in the RNPA, Retired Northwest Pilots Association, magazine, Contrails. Photo credit and layout to Gary Ferguson, story written by Dennis Guentzel, published in Contrails magazine RNPA.

It's always fun to see how customer's "use" their airplane. I think it's safe to say that Denny gets some serious enjoyment out of his Taperwing and maximizes that potential by leaving the local pattern for some adventure. Not only a pilot, he's a bit of a gear head too! Vintage Porsche's, racing boats and owning airplanes have made him quite capable of some heavy wrenching and keeping the Taperwing in tip-top shape. Hope you enjoy this article as much as we did and as much as Dennis does flying his Taperwing!
Step BAck in Time 176

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Web Site Page

We've added a new page to our web site. On the bottom center of our home page is a block you can click on titled; RARE Aircraft Press Releases and Articles. Or go to We will be adding several more over the next couple of months. Thanks for taking the time to visit our site and we hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Web Update

N2279 the EGC-8 has been added to our gallery and featured restorations page. Check back to the RARE Aircraft Web site often over the next few weeks; we're going to be adding lots of updates!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Last Friday we flew the Staggerwing to Tullahoma Tennessee for the Beech Party at the Beechcraft Heritage Museum. The Staggerwing had about 30 minutes of local testing time on it and we found it fit for what it does best, cross country. We left Faribault full of fuel,climbed to 9,500 and set up cruise. With a nice tail wind we made it non stop in 3 hours and 20 min with a average ground speed of 190 kts. Not bad for a 1944 Biplane! Everything performed great and we found the engine to be excellent as it used only two quarts on the way down and left the belly dry and clean. It was great to bring the Stag back to where it came from. This was a nice opportunity to visit and exchange information with other enthusiasts. Our hosts showed us a "big time" with the finest of hospitality. There were Beechcraft airplanes of all models and years present and I must say, what a great group of people. I highly recommend this event to anyone, its first class all the way and one of the best events I've been to in years. The museum is well worth the visit. If your ever in the area be sure to check it out.
We were delighted to find out that David Oreck was going to arrive in his G model Staggerwing that RARE completed in 1994. The paint scheme and paint was designed and executed by the man himself, Roy Redman. This is the last paint job Roy executed completely by himself. It still looks fantastic. We ended up having our new completion and Davids airplane parked next to each other entirely by coincidence! Davids airplane still bears Dads original logo. We enjoyed looking the G over as it has been a few years since we've crossed paths.
David Oreck and Frank Ryder give the thumbs up before departure.

The Travel Air Mystery Ship was on hand and has returned to the museum. This is THE one and it was a real treat to take in. This is a wonderful addition to the collection. This is a great restoration with nice details.

It took me a while to notice the green pinstripe since gold is usually used with red/black. I like it!

Morrison's F17D Staggerwing. Restored and owned by a pair of brothers. It was their fathers airplane.

The local Porsche club stopped in for a visit to the fly in. Lots of shiny cars.

I like to think the cars are looking on at the Stag with envy wishing for wings!
A absolutely beautiful Twin Beech owned by the Parish clan. My favorite airplane on the field over the weekend.

What a trip! We made new friends and caught up with some old friends. Perfect weather, flying and fun. It doesn't get any better! On the way home the batteries conked out on the hand held GPS. Of course no aux power plug in the panel because it wasn't there in 1944! So, I navigated home by RPS, Roy Positioning System. We dead reckoned like we use to when he was teaching me to cross country. As they say, this was one for the books!
Where to next? The Staggerwing goes home to Seattle!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Need to Feed the Beast!

First run today! It went well. Need to do a few final adjustments and ready to fly!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This Staggerwing came to us from the Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma TN as N35JM. Prior to being donated in 2003 to the museum it was restored and owned by Jack Munroe. From the Beech Heritage Museum web site;
N35JM was built under a USAAF contract as Beech c/n 6914, and assigned AAF serial 44-76069. It was reallocated to the U.S. Navy as a GB-2 model with U.S. Navy BuNo 23737 and delivered to Station Operations Naval Air Station Seattle, WA on May 20, 1944. Subsequently stationed at NAS Pasco, WA and NAS Tillamook, OR, it was stricken from the Navy on July 31, 1946.
It was sold to a U. S. civilian as D17S NC67737 and was registered in Canada as CF-GLL in 1951. Based in Vancouver and Calgary until May 1975 when purchased by Jack H. Munroe of Brighton, CO and registered as N35JM.
Jack notes that “my interest in airplanes started in the mid-twenties with model-building. Then Lindbergh came to Denver and that was that. I was a kid with a bike and there were three airports within range of our house.” Jack completed an extensive restoration of N35JM with the first flight occurring in 1982. In the October of 2003 Jack donated his D17S to the Staggerwing Museum where he has been a trustee of the Foundation since 1981.
The current owner is based in Seattle so, once again this Staggerwing will end up where it did in 1944.

We found the airplane to be in pretty good shape overall. We fabricated a completely new instrument panel and returned it to original configuration however added dual controls with late style "bow-tie" yokes. A new period correct interior to round out the cabin.

The current owner decided to go with civilian paint and our favorite combination, red and black! The Beechcraft Heritage Museum was kind enough to loan us a original side panel with a perfect Beechcraft Bird on it for a pattern. A bit of a challenge to layout.

We're pretty happy with the paint. Getting the Staggerwing into the booth and being able to shoot the entire fuselage in one session was quite the challenge.

Numerous items were replaced or rebuilt during this restoration. The landing gear received lots of attention and is about as close to factory new as you can get. Once reinstalled the process of rigging and fitting began. Its quite a impressive system considering its age however, a bit complicated.
Were full steam ahead for final assembly phase this week and next and hope to be flying soon. We'll share some more progress photos soon that hopefully show some daylight between the tires and runway!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Oshkosh 2010 was good, very good. We had three airplanes in the Antique-Classic area, all WACOs. EGC-8 N2279, UPF-7 N32133 and ZPF-7 N173E. We had our Top Cub and Carbon Cub present and, gained another UPF-7 during the week. A total of six airplanes at the show made for some work to and from but, it was worth it. We divided our time between Cub Crafters and the WACOs during the week and spent the evenings doing demo flights in the Carbon Cub. Talk about long days at the show! We attended the Waco dinner Thursday and had a great time catching up with several friends. On Saturday we had the unique opportunity to fly in the Goodyear Blimp. What a great ride and impressive flight department. Goodyear holds; the Type Certificate to the Blimp, a certified repair station certificate and has a complete flight department centered around the Blimps that run like an well oiled machine. The hour flight was one to remember and quite an education. It was like riding in a ship at sea. The week ended with many new friends, great face time with old friends and the awards ceremony. We spotted what we believed to be the Grand Champ the second it arrived, Engelskirgers UPF-7 what a beautiful restoration. They indeed took the honors of Grand Champion home that was much deserved. We really enjoyed looking at it. We were fortunate enough to bring some hardware home too! All three WACOs brought home trophies; N2279 Outstanding Closed Cokpit Biplane, N32133 Outstanding Open Cockpit Biplane, N173E Bronze Age Champion Bronze Lindy. We're proud to have earned these awards. Without the owners' vision for these airplanes we would not be here, thank you Mac, John & Lou. Coming soon; F-series comparison Staggerwing progress and ZQC-6 update.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

N32133 Complete

Last week we completed UPF-7 N32133. It's first flight was last Friday. What a great flying airplane. A silk smooth W670 supplied by Air Repair Inc coupled with a light and fairly stock airframe make this bird an absoulute joy to fly. Only a minor rigging adjustment was required and so far there are no other squwaks. Yesterday we took it to Oshkosh along with N173E the ZPF-7 and N2279 the EGC-8. This is the first show for all three airplanes. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Lou and John Nalbones ZPF-7 on a photo shoot over the Faribault MN area lakes. What a fun airplane to fly! Fuel injected Jacobs engine, great panel and tons of show smoke to play with. The team at the RARE shop did a great job on this one. Stay tuned to for more great photos, HD videos of the flight and a cockpit tour.