DFW air museum is restoring a piece of Hollywood and Female Aviation history!
A new chapter 40 years in the making…
The Vintage Flying Museum is honored to be chosen by Tarrant County College (TCC) to be the recipient of an historic aircraft donation. The aircraft is Beechcraft Model E18S-9700, Serial Number BA-31 N13JC. This particular “Twin Beech” was the last aircraft owned by famed aviatrix Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran.
The aircraft was being used as a training aid in TCC’s Aviation Maintenance courses. It was discovered when researching the aircraft’s history that Jackie Cochran was its famous previous owner. A dedicated team of TCC volunteers worked hard to restore it, however, the college was unable to provide all the needed support and funding due to policies and regulations. The decision was made to donate the aircraft to a worthy museum and the search began for a new home. After more than a year of going through the process of reviewing proposals and vetting them, TCC chose the Vintage Flying Museum to receive the aircraft.
The aircraft was moved from the TCC Northwest Campus to the Vintage Flying Museum. The restoration process has continued with the help of many of the TCC volunteers working alongside museum volunteers.
- Wing Span: 49 ft 7 in
- Length: 35 ft 2 in
- Height: 9 ft 6 in
- Max Gross Weight 9700 pounds
- Seating: Pilot + six passengers
- Max Range: 1000 nm
- Service Ceiling: 26000 ft
- Performance Rate of Climb: 1850 fpm
- Max Speed: 195 kts
- Power Plant Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-14B – 450 horsepower
The Hollywood Bomber…
In addition to this being the last aircraft that Jackie Cochran owned, she sold it to Merv Griffin, who used the aircraft heavily for him and his guests across the Los Angeles area versus driving. In fact, the aircraft shuttled quite a few celebrities that included Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Leslie Uggams, Gene Hackman, Wayne Rogers, Dinah Shore, Arthur Murray, Dick Carson, Jan Michael Vincent, Marty Allen, Pamela Mason, Doug McClure, and others. Due to its Hollywood connections in addition to Cochran’s military service, the twin beech was given the title the Hollywood Bomber. The project is currently being volunteer-led by Bill Goebel with the YouTube Channel: HangaRatz
This team is set on completing this endeavor with a project milestone goal of being able to conduct the first engine runs by July 2023 to coincide and celebrate with the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in convention. Large portions of the outer sheet metal require repairs or replacement as well as nearly all the steel screws and nuts. The engines will also be thoroughly inspected, but an overhaul of the engines will be done sooner than later if funding can be procured. In addition to the engine and body work required for airworthiness, the aircraft is being updated with new wiring and updated avionics. Please donate to help our restoration please donate to the GoFundMe campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/f/hollywood-bomber-twin-beech-save-it
NOTE: $100 donations will currently earn your name decaled to the aircraft body as a patron. Sponsors are also able to have their business advertised on the aircraft as well…
Other Hollywood Bomber Accomplishments
- Orginially purchased by Williams Brother – Tulsa, OK and flew in both the USA and Venezuela.
- Flown by Arkansas Best Freightways to develop their current US terminal LTL freight business.
- Operated by Central Plains entertain to start up KVOO Tulsa television (Now Channel 2 KJRH)
Women in Aviation
One of the primary goals of the restoration efforts is to utilize the aircraft to help highlight women in the aviation and STEM communities and help drive awareness and interest of new generations of girls and women. The Vintage Flying Museum is planning on campaigning this aircraft at the museum and airshows around the country to showcase the history of ladies of aviation past, present, and future! It is hoped that not only will there be a large female presence during the restoration efforts, but also in the cockpit. The museum hopes to have train and be flown by female pilots.
Jackie Cochran – Aviation Pioneer
Jacqueline Cochran was an American pilot and business executive. She pioneered women’s aviation as one of the most prominent racing pilots of her generation. She set numerous records and was the first woman to break the sound barrier on 18 May 1953.
Here are just a few of her accomplishments:
- Flew in the London, England to Melbourne, Australia race in 1934.
- In 1935, she became the first woman to fly in the Bendix Trophy Race, which she won in 1938.
- Became the first woman to make a blind instrument landing in 1937.
- Set new women’s records during 1939-40, in altitude and open class speed.
- During World War II she was the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean, leading to the formation of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) program for which she received the Distinguished Service Medal.
- Received the Harmon Trophy in 1950 as the Aviatrix of the Decade.
- In 1953, she became the first woman to exceed the speed of sound.
- In 1962, subsequently setting 73 records in three years. She exceeded Mach 2 in 1964.