MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Six months ago an F-106 Delta Dart arrived on two trucks at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot from Arizona.
Volunteers at the air museum spent the winter months reassembling and painting the more than 70-foot plane, like the ones the former 5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Minot AFB flew and maintained.
“It’s nearing completion,” said Darrel Kerzmann, air museum board member who is retired from the Air Force, and coordinator of volunteers working on the F-106.
The plane will be part of an outdoor exhibit of three 5th Fighter planes: the F-106, F-15 Eagle and T-33, the Minot Daily News (https://bit.ly/1cWus92 ) reports.
On a recent Wednesday night, Kerzmann and several other volunteers - Tim Gebhart, a technical sergeant with the 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Minot AFB, Don Otto with Minot Aero Center, Mike Hill, a military historian and author from Minot, and Arv Pomeroy - were doing a lot of the detail work on the plane. Pomeroy used to work on 5th Fighter’s F-106s and T-33s.
Nearby Dave Smith and Whitney Craig, an airman first class with the 69th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Minot AFB, were preparing the T-33 for painting. Smith was a weapons technician with 5th Fighter. He was with the squadron at Minot AFB during its transition from F-106s to F-15s.
The T-33 has been displayed at the air museum for a number of years.
Other volunteers who have worked on the F-106 are Terry Todd and Steve Brown, both of Minot.
The volunteers have been working on the F-106 twice a week during the past months.
The F-106 arrived at the air museum this past October in two trucks. One truck carried the wings, fuel drop tanks and afterburner. A second truck hauled the plane’s fuselage.
A Blossom, Texas, firm that specializes in transporting warbirds, picked up the plane at the storage site for excess military and government aircraft, better known as “The Boneyard,” run by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, Arizona.
Before the F-106 could be brought to Minot, it had to go through the demilitarization process at Davis-Monthan.
Last year Kerzmann and other volunteers repainted and did other work on an F-15 Eagle.
Fifth Fighter at Minot AFB had F-106 Delta Darts from 1960 until the planes were replaced in the 1980s with F-15 Eagles.
Pads for each plane have been marked out south of the air museum’s main building where the planes will be placed.
The three planes F-106, F-15 and T-33 are on loan to the Minot air museum from the National Museum of the Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.
A dedication of the exhibit is planned for this summer.
Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com
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