In The Winter Of 1946 Skymaster 56498 Soared Over The Midwest Plains Of The United States As It Neared The End Of A 6 000-mile Journey carrying A Very Precious Cargo

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In the winter of 1946, du lịch thác bản giốc Skymaster 56498 soared over the midwest plains of the United States as it neared the end of a 6,000-mile journey, carrying a very precious cargo. 
On board were dozens of British prisoners of war being repatriated from the battlefields of World War Two after the allied victory over Imperial [/news/japan/index.html Japan].
And now it is saving British servicemen again - as former members of the armed forces find camaraderie and new skills as they work to restore the aircraft to its former glory. 
At the forefront of technological innovation at the time, the Skymaster's 4,000-mile range regularly took it from US airforce bases in the Pacific Theatre to the Californian coast, and kynghidongduong.vn occasionally on to [/news/delaware/index.html Delaware], where troops could be brought back home to the UK by ship.
Today, the very same Douglas C-54 type aircraft finds itself on British soil; somewhat more rusted in its 75th year, and facing a £1 million restoration project to see it take to the skies once again.
It is one of only a handful that still exists and had a lucky escape when Allan Vogel, an aircraft broker, spotted it lying in a scrapyard at North Weald Airfield in Essex.
'I was over at the airbase looking at another airplane when I saw this Skymaster standing next to another Skymaster, which had just been totally cut up in to pieces,' recalls Allan.
The Skymasters had been brought across the Atlantic for a Steven Spielberg war epic based on the Berlin Airlift - which several Skymasters were involved in - but when the film didn't come to fruition the planes were left to rust in what would have been their final years. 
She will fly again: The 1945 Douglas C-54 Skymaster that was saved from a scrapyard is undergoing a £1 million refurbishment by veterans and volunteers to return it to its former glory.

Pictured: Volunteers with the plane at North Weald Airfield in Essex
 The planes had enjoyed a service life three times as long as many modern jets, with 56498 taking part in supply drops in Iwo Jima, carrying in US troops to the Korean war, and providing relief during the Vietnam War.

Pictured: The Skymaster crossing the Atlantic in 2002 for a Steven Spielberg film project
In the 1970s, the Skymaster and her squadron took part in relief efforts during the Vietnam War, flying out of Guam and Atsugi and Iwakuni airbases in Japan to deliver supplies and much needed blood for the wounded of the conflict.

Pictured: The aircraft at NAS Iwakuni in Japan during the Vietnam campaign on 13 June 1971
Pictured: Allan Vogel, the former South African police detective who saved the plan from a scrapyard, said he had become passionate about bringing military veterans and engineering students together to complete the restoration project 
The planes had enjoyed a service life three times as long as many modern jets, with 56498 taking part in supply drops in Iwo Jima, carrying in US troops to the Korean war, and providing relief during the Vietnam War.
'I was just flabbergasted these two huge old airplanes were just standing there and one of them was just getting the chop.
Allan, a former South African police detective with a passion for aviation, approached the owner and asked '"do you mind me looking for a buyer for this airplane instead of chopping it up?", and he said "well yes go for it".'
After initial calls to friends didn't provide a backer, in December 2017 Allan created the [ ] and his project to raise money for the restoration was born.
Today, an army of retired military veterans and apprentices just starting out in their careers are working together to change the plane's engines, restore its fuselage, and thác bản giốc prepare it for its first flight in 18 years.
But the monumental task, which has even attracted the attention of an aviation college as a potential partner, comes at a whopping £1 million cost, and the pandemic has put the group severely off track. 
'We only just launched as a charity, and Covid has not been kind to us from a funding point of view,' says Allan.
'Our target this year was £500,000, and we were pretty much on target according to the Charity Commission grants that we applied for.

This would have got our engines done and most of the necessary repairs. 
‘Instead we've probably raised £15-16,000 from grants, and in donations very little, only a few thousand. Each airshow we would go to we would do £2-3,000 easily.'
Skymaster 56498 served in the Pacific Theatre during World War Two, and later returned to service in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts to bring in aid and supplies and return wounded soldiers.

Pictured: The aircraft around 1964 in Vietman, taken by Jon Voss
An army of military veterans and apprentices just starting out in their careers are working together to change the plane's engines, restore its fuselage, and prepare it for its first flight in 18 years.

Pictured: 56498 seen in 1964
The Skymasters had been brought across the Atlantic for a Steven Spielberg war epic based on the Berlin Airlift, but when the film didn't come to fruition the planes were left to rust in what would have been their final years.

Pictured: The planes at North Weald in 2003 for a film about the Berlin Airlift believed to have been called 'The Candy Bomber'
Leading the engineering side of the project is Sam Evans (pictured), an ex-RAF serviceman who worked on Harrier and Phantom jets in the RAF for 17 years before becoming a contractor for several years
But Allan reports that the men and women volunteering are still 'so enthusiastic', with some working in their own Covid bubbles under tight regulations to push the project forwards.
'We've got chaps who are in their 60s, 70s and 80s, veterans, who are working on the plane as we speak.

They stick together, they're local. They go home, they go to the airplane, they go home, that's pretty much it! But they love it.' 
Of the dozen veteran volunteers the most senior is Sam Evans, an engineer and aircraft mechanic who cut his teeth working on Harriers and Phantoms in the RAF for 17 years.
He has taken on a similar challenge before, managing and maintaining his very own Vulcan strategic bomber as it toured the country before being retired.

He called the experience 'absolutely fantastic'.
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news halfRHS" data-version="2" id="mol-20460720-26d2-11eb-a86a-1b47bee2189b" website battle to restore Skymaster military plane