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Newly Published: The B-25 in the Backyard

New on our bookshelf:

The B-25 in the Backyard: My Father’s Historic Airplane Sanctuary
Wally Soplata

Only in America could Walter A. Soplata, the son of penniless Czech immigrants, accomplish so much single-handedly saving historic aircraft from World War II and other periods. After a childhood spent building model airplanes while dreaming about having his own airfield, Soplata worked in a large scrapyard taking apart hundreds of warplane engines. Shocked to see a rare engine or sometimes a complete warplane on its way to the recycling furnace, he began collecting whatever he could find and afford. He eventually collected nearly 20 complete airplanes and countless pieces of others. One of his Corsair fighters included the experimental F2G Corsair #74 that won the Cleveland National Air Races in 1947. Among other priceless airplanes he rescued was an experimental XP-82 Twin Mustang, an F-82E Twin Mustang, an X-prototype Skyraider, a stainless steel BT-12, and an F7U Cutlass—Soplata hauled the Cutlass fuselage home by stuffing it inside a junked school bus for its 600-mile journey. The story of a workaholic father and his aviation-obsessed son, this book records the accomplishments of a rare bird, just like the many airplanes he saved.