Texas Aviation Group Works to Restore B-25 Aircraft

The Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is working to restore the Yellow Rose B-25 bomber.

The Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force has a mission to inform and inspire the world by restoring and preserving combat aircraft from the United States and other nations. The organization says that only twenty seven B-25 aircraft remain from the thousands that were built during World War II, and the group’s Yellow Rose is the oldest airworthy B-25J. After an engine failure in November 2017, the group is raising funds to restore the engine through a crowdfunding campaign.

The group is looking to raise the money for the engine repair in 107 days, mirroring the 107 days that were required to plan and execute the Doolittle Raid that retaliated against the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Lieutenant Richard E. Cole was a co-pilot of the lead aircraft during the raid, the last surviving Doolittle Raider, and is acting as a goodwill ambassador for the project.

Yellow Rose has been a part of the Central Texas Wing’s air fleet since 1979, and volunteers have already put in hundreds of hours disassembling the engine and preparing it for repair. The entire operation of this branch of the Commemorative Air Force reminds me of a high school robotics team – the group is made up of volunteers passionate about a singular engineering discipline. The CTW works to raise visibility for the aircraft in the community, raise funds for activities, and grow its ranks. There’s also a great maker mindset at work as engineers and mechanics alike volunteer their time to make sure that their beloved hobby is accessible to everyone.

B-25s are a great piece of aviation, engineering and manufacturing history – it’s inspiring to see the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force work to keep the history alive, functioning and available for the world to see. The crowdfunding campaign ends on March 23 and the CTW hopes to have the Yellow Rose available for airshows during the 2018 season.