I work for the public television network here in Vermont, and back in 1980 I
had the opportunity to actually get a ride in a B-25. We did a story on a
young dairy farmer and aviation freak up here who found the remains of a
Mitchell B-25 in a field somewhere in Virginia. It was a rotting mess and
beyond hope, but he hauled it home and rebuilt it in his barn by himself.
Sound's kind of familiar doesn't it? Two years later he told us it was ready
to fly - come on down and get a ride. I did stop and think "hey we're going to
fly a homemade airplane - without parachutes" but there was no way I wasn't
The B-25 is a two-engined, medium bomber designed to take-off from smaller
runways. Doolittle's raid on Tokyo was with B-25s actually launched from an
aircraft carrier. Our ride was slow and lumbering, but beautiful, and LOUD.
Yowza! Forty-five minutes later, after buzzing the Green Mountains at the
height of fall foliage, we were back on the ground.
The owner campaigned it at air shows for a few years and then sold it for some
big bucks. He continued to move up in class (sound familiar) and even built and
flew a MIG21 for a while.
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