The P-51D Quick
Silver will again be a popular attraction for Warbird enthusiasts
at Oshkosh this year.
The Quick Silver P-51D Mustang, one
of the most popular warbirds to appear at EAA AirVenture 2007, will make a
return visit to Oshkosh this summer. If you missed it the first time
around, here's another chance to see this special airplane during the 56th
annual convention and fly-in scheduled July 28-August 3.
Quick Silver was a magnet for
warbird enthusiasts during AirVenture 2007, as hundreds of visitors took
advantage of the owners' offer for an up-close look at the airplane. Many
also had the rare opportunity to actually sit in the cockpit. Bill Yoak,
who co-owns the airplane with his son, Scott (Quick Silver's
pilot), says they intend to again allow the same access to Quick Silver
at Oshkosh this year. The line is already forming.
"That's the real reason we want to be
there," he said. "We want to give it back to the American people
by letting them touch it, get in it."
Quick Silver has another nickname:
"The Resurrected Veteran." That's because it was built from
parts of more than 200 Mustangs, including documented parts from aircraft
that flew in every theater in which the Mustang served.
"It didn't start out as an aircraft,
but as a data plate with some parts," Yoak said. More specifically,
the aircraft was recovered from the crash in which Gordon Smith was killed
in 1961. Yoak, president of Aerospace Specialties Inc., of Lewisburg, West
Virginia, acquired all the wreckage for a potential rebuild and spent 14
years restoring it. Aerospace Specialties specializes in aircraft sheet
metal work and has made parts for most of the Mustangs seen regularly at
Oshkosh and other air shows.
Quick Silver has 1,288 original
rivets. The rest are new and done to North American Aviation (NAA) specs.
The parts from other aircraft were completely disassembled and inspected
for airworthiness, then reassembled using fixtures Yoak made. During the
rebuild he made extensive use of the NAA P-51 blueprints, thanks to the
late Gerry Beck, who had transferred them to a set of eight CD-ROMs.
The Mustang then went through a one-month
certificate of airworthiness inspection to ensure it met all NAA specs.
Yoak brought the airplane to last year's Gathering of Mustangs and Legends
event in Columbus, Ohio, again offering up-close examinations as was done
in Oshkosh. He called that "a real rewarding experience" because
Aces, Tuskegee Airmen, and scores of warbird enthusiasts were able to see
This year Yoak plans to again spend the
entire week in Oshkosh (he'll be there opening day if the weather
cooperates), and visitors can expect to see Quick Silver flying
during some of the EAA Warbirds of America air show performances.
"Quick Silver" was the subject
of a feature story written by Ken Dawson
that appeared in the December 2007 issue of EAA's 'Warbirds' magazine.
We've provided a link to a PDF version of that story, which includes
further details on its specifications, the airplane's special paint
scheme, and more.