Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Greetings all!

We are moving our Blog to     We will be re-posting some of our old posts from here on blogger on our site blog to build content. I'll be posting plenty of new as well. Thanks for checking in and we'll see you over on the new site!



Monday, August 20, 2012

Stinson Update

We are in full swing on the Stinson projects at RARE Aircraft. We anticipate getting into cover and paint very soon on the SR-8 and V-77. This week we will be performing pre-cover assembly of the two and then we're off onto cover/paint.

Those that follow know from previous posts that the V-77 will be a custom R-985 powered airplane that bears no resemblance to its military roots. Wings are ready for cover and the fuselage is just about there. Every piece and part of this aircraft has been addressed. With the wings completely gone through and coated we're now completing new fuel tanks since the old were riddled with corrosion.

A new boot cowling and firewall was fabricated to make accommodation for the Pratt & Whitney R-985 on the front end. A Serve-Aero mount is being utilized for this installation.

Fuselage is all ready for cover. 

Wings are all fresh and ready to cover once the new tanks get installed.

The SR-8C is right next to the V-77 in regard to progress. Presently interior panels are being made for the upholstery to be installed. The seats are currently being upholstered and headliner is to follow. Wings are complete and the aircraft is ready for pre-cover assembly. Cover and paint to follow. This airplane will be black with red trim and gold pin.

SR-8 Panel all new again.

Wings are freshly coated and getting prepped for mating to the fuselage for pre-cover check.

Everything has been gone through and is fresh. All wood, hardware and appointments are new.
 New doors, trim and glass.

All new wood and sheet metal are on the fuselage and tail feathers.

Coming next is a Stinson SR-9F which will be a full re manufacture. We're excited to have the opportunity to have a hand in bringing back this rare R-985 powered Reliant which there are only five listed on the FAA registry. Also soon to be available for restoration and remanufacture is a SR-10C which was an All American Aviation mail aircraft. We hope to have the SR-10 on site late September. We'll post updates and photos of the SR-9F as things progress. Thank you for taking the time to have a look.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shipping a Stinson and our Gullwing Fling

This week NC16164, a Stinson SR-8E, was containerized at RARE Aircraft for shipping to France. RARE Aircraft performed an Annual inspection on the Stinson as well and provided brokerage services. The team really pulled together and made another solid containerization. By preparing high quality welded fixtures and framework in advance it was possible to load and completely secure this beast in a little over two hours.

Over the years RARE Aircraft has performed one or more of the following to several Stinson Reliants;  brokered, maintained, performed major repairs to and restored. Below are photos of most of them. RARE Aircraft currently has three Stinson Reliants undergoing our remanufacture process to soon add to the list. Its been enjoyable to have the airplane around that initially got the Redman family enthused about antique aircraft in the beginning. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

F-7 Video

We're going to try and produce a short video series of RARE Aircraft restorations this summer. Here is one of the Kocourek Waco. The slideshow of the trip this ship made west last month is in production and should be up next week. Thanks for checking in.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Waco Cross Country

What a way to kick off summer. As mentioned in the last post a two ship Waco Cross Country adventure went down over a 17 day period. Ship #1 N29904 departed Wausau Wisconsin the evening of May 13th. Over the next 2.5 days N29904 worked its way to Las Vegas Nevada where ship #2 N29352 was roosted up. We met for lunch in Kingman Arizona and flew into Vegas as a two ship for a couple days of R&R. After Vegas is was to Los Angeles where time was spent flying the city taking in the sites. With several stops and a few detours for sightseeing along the way we worked our way north to Portland Oregon and then east homeward bound.

Ship #1, N29904 piloted by Keith Kocourek recorded 4,739 Miles, 40 Airports, 47.9 hrs flight time in 17 days with zero mechanical discrepancies. Ship #2  piloted by Ben Redman recorded 36 hours flight time experiencing one mechanical discrepancy, a leaky brake line on the right side. Both aircraft were remanufactured by RARE Aircraft Ltd.

A a couple photos of the adventure posted here. Stay tuned for a slide show of the entire trip. Thanks for checking in and for the support of all who made this adventure possible and memorable. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

WACO's Going Cross Country

 These two beautiful F-7's are taking a tour of the Untied States during the next two weeks. Keith Kocourek and Ben Redman will be flying N29904 & N29352 on what Keith has dubbed "a lap around the country". Keith departed Wisconsin yesterday, in his blue F-7 N29904, with an over night at Stearman field (1K1) which he said was a fabulous place to stop. Today he's on the way to Albuquerque. Ben's Waco, N29352 is staged in Las Vegas Nevada. N29352 was the  AOPA Sweepstakes Airplane  in 2003. N29904 was Remanufactured by RARE Aircraft spring of 2011 and it's a stunner. The two airplanes will head to the coast from Vegas and work north to Seattle. Keep an eye out, these two may be stopping into your airport for a visit! Be sure to come by, say hello and see what RARE Aircraft calls "Real History, Remanufactured to NEW Standards". Thanks for taking the time to check in.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012


The guys are pushing both Stinson fuselages to pre-cover completion. With all the small parts replaced, refinished and ready for install you see new trinkets hung among the web of tubes daily. The SR-8 wood work is about complete. The door fitment operation is underway which requires making sure the windows crank up and down smoothly as well as the latch/handle operation. Another time consuming  task is fabrication and fit of the aluminum window frames. Overall things are coming along nicely on these two giants.
As you can see the V-77 has an aluminum stringer cage and a different arrangement of structure overall. Anyone that tells you a V-77 and SR are both Gull-wing Stinsons and basically the same isn't looking close enough! They do share several small parts and pieces but overall both airplanes are quite different.  Although we're not at the high "visual progress" stage of these projects quite a bit has taken place over the past couple of weeks. Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Airplanes are People too!

In 2008 we sold our Bonanza 66A who I often refer to as “Alphie”. I was very sad to see it go. A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves in a position to entertain acquiring another traveling airplane and the search began. Guess who was on the market…. 66A was for sale and still owned by the gentleman we sold her to.

Sunday I picked up 66A in Greensboro NC. 66A still has our small logos on the tail. The pen light was still in the console with the same pen next to it. My “lunch kit” for inflight meals which consisted of handi wipes, napkins and a trash bag was still in the map box. We’re both a little more weathered but still the same. 

    66A and I flew home to Minnesota in just a shade over 6 hours with a true airspeed of 174 knots. Not bad. While watching the earth slip by under the wings and listening to the rumble of the IO-520 a flood of memories came back to me……

    It was in this airplane I first felt like I was flying something of means in regard to its performance. I learned to shoot instrument approaches from my father the way he did in a 747, in actual IMC. My wife gave me recurrent training in this airplane. Jeremy, my brother, and I went on one hell of an adventure and encountered a situation that one most likely does not put in print. 66A carried my best friend home from basic training before he went to Iraq. She picked me up on more than one occasion from a failed antique airplane cross country due to weather or a mechanical and brought me home with a family member at the helm.  It flew my wing on numerous occasions when I was flying something home less than trustworthy. 

      66A has shown us both coasts as well as some of the best sunsets, rises and night sky views one could ever hope to see. The experiences this airplane brought me and what they have taught me is personally invaluable.  Sure, it’s a tin can, Bonanza or a you know what killer to some of you jet jocks or antique types out there. Frankly I kind of looked at it like that for a long time. With time apart and time to ponder its significance to our family it affirmed my appreciation for this old Bonanza. It reminded me of why and how something like his Stearman is so important to our friend Chuck Doyle. It’s the memories. An airplane like this truly becomes a time machine.

     Many of you out there know exactly of what I speak of. Perhaps it’s a car, home or something else of significance in your life. What it is I really intend to illustrate is my saying “airplanes are people too”. Maybe now my friends that don’t understand this silly saying have a little better perspective into my love for aviation.

     Last night I arrived to a full hangar so we put 66A in another hangar. This particular hangar is owned by the gentleman we originally bought her from. See, things that are meant to be sometimes come around full circle before you know they really are meant to be. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Doyles go flying.

Warm temperatures and calm winds made yesterday an ideal day to test fly the Stearman. It was a pleasure to see Chuck Doyle take his Stearman out for a flight.  The first hour is on the tach and we're poised for the second flight once the winds settle down. As the flights continue we will shoot some video and in flight photos to share with you all here on the blog. Thanks for checking in!