XP-82.......

and other stuff up in the air
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XP-82.......

Post by D.R.H. » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:10 pm

I just stumbled across this video...........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQP0IHH3FTs
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Re: XP-82.......

Post by Ben Dover » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:54 am

Been following that, fantastic story about rebuilding and remanufacturing when money is no object. It will fly soon and be up for sale.
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Re: XP-82.......

Post by Monkeyboy » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:23 am

I was a volunteer for Walter Soplata for about 15 years. He had only one fuselage for that airplane. He did also have the very first Allison powered F-82E Twin Mustang that was nearly complete. I used to shovel snow off of the wings of it, Corsairs, a B25, TBM' s and a Skyraider prototype. Very interesting man. He had a vision of saving many very rare aircraft from the scrappers. So this is bitter sweet for me. He is greatly missed. Amazing restoration.

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Re: XP-82.......

Post by Ben Dover » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:26 am

Didn't he convert a school bus into a flat bed to haul his treasures?
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Re: XP-82.......

Post by SGT Fish » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:27 am

yes he did use a school bus. And I really didn't like him growing up as he always was described as a selfish old man that wouldn't sell any of his planes. Turns out he saved lot of planes that would otherwise be destroyed, just kinda sucks that he let them rot for so long and it took his death for many to be sold. I believe he has a chopped up B36 in the yard too.

anyone been by his place lately? is there still a big collection or did everything go after his death? I can't imagine everything being sold to collectors or I'd think I would have heard about it


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Re: XP-82.......

Post by Wolfman » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:04 am

The XP-82 was suppose to fly into EAA Airventure at Oshkosh Wi. this summer but did not make it. Not sure what the issue was. Hope it got resolved. Be great to see it fly !
Seeing pictures of the "collection" reminds me of other "collections" I have seen over the years.
Also reminds me of the old joke.
A farmer heard a noise in his barn and went to check it out. When he opened the door, there was a young boy with a pitch fork, feverishly forking a pile of manure from one pile to another.
The farmer ask, " Boy! What on earth are you doing ?? "
The boy, wiping sweat from his brow, looked up with a big grin and said, " Sir, with a pile of manure this big, There has to be a pony in here somewhere !!
It is sad that it took the collectors passing to get the pile moved.
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Re: XP-82.......

Post by Monkeyboy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:53 am

He used the school bus to haul the F7U Cutlass.....engines and all. The story goes that he got thrown in jail over night cuz of the load. When the captain showed up in the morning and found out what was going on he told officers to get him back to his bus and escort him out of the state. Walter had hundreds of stories.

I work about a mile from the house. A few things have gone and they are in the process of sorting and organizing for a sale. And as a side note, for those people that say he just let them rot, when they restored the rare, 1 of 10, F2G super corsair they were supposed to restore it for static display. It was in such a preserved state from Walter strategically painting and applying used oil that they restored it for flight. Tragically the airplane crashed with the owner/restorer within the first few flights. This is why he restrained from letting anything go due to the possibility of being lost forever.

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Re: XP-82.......

Post by clintm20 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:58 am

The last of the Soplata collection is being sold off right now. In my opinion he did a great service to history by collecting and preserving these aircraft as best as he could. Most of them would be long long gone to scrap if it were not for his passion. He had been selling off aircraft for years before his passing so the often repeated information that he never sold anything is completely incorrect. Even if it were true it's his stuff and he can do what he wants with it. Some items left will probably eventually go to scrap. The B-36 remains for example. Less that a third of the aircraft exists, it cannot be restored. As far as I know the prototype Skyraider is still available. It looks complete. Now is your chance if you want something.
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Re: XP-82.......

Post by SGT Fish » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:32 am

thanks for the update. and yeah I have a much different view now. And realized he had been selling off select few aircraft to collectors while he is still alive. Hopefully people like Kermit Weeks buy the stuff up and restore it to share it with the world.

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Re: XP-82.......

Post by Wolfman » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:12 am

Excuse my joke if you took it differently from the point I was trying to make.
What appears to be a pile of junk, can often hold many wonderful secrets.
I have had friends that had what appeared to be " junk yards " from the outside, but once inside, it was more like a playground full of treasures.
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Re: XP-82.......

Post by D.R.H. » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:25 pm

Wow guys, I can't believe all the conversation and exchange of information the posting of the video made. Honestly, I had forgotten that I had posted it. Th XP-82 was one of the wonders during my childhood and I thought it was merely 2 P-51's cobbled together, so to speak. After watching the video I had learned a great deal more about it.
I imagine that it will make its' way to the National Championship Air Races in Reno one day to be on display. I hope I am there to see it fly.
Last edited by D.R.H. on Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In Loving Memoriam: George R. Hancock. 20 Mar. 1938 - 11 Jan. 2017. U.S.A.F. 1956 - 1962. R.I.P. Dad.

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Re: XP-82.......

Post by Ben Dover » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:20 am

I have seen one F-82, it was at a 14th Fighter Group open house at Dow Field in 1949. There was a P-61Black Widow at the same event.
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Re: XP-82.......

Post by Conny » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:12 pm

Hate to be a kill joy but, I can see the USAF Museum coming in and claiming possession. Happened once, it can happen any time.
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Re: XP-82.......

Post by D.R.H. » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:47 pm

Not so much of a kill-joy as you think Conny, just more of a practical realist. I just a video on the only B-36 Peacemaker that had been restored to museum quality. It turns out that the Air Force wanted it housed in a building that was to cost $1.5 million. When the money couldn't be raised for the building, the Air Farse walked in, took the airplane and moved it to Arizona.
In Loving Memoriam: George R. Hancock. 20 Mar. 1938 - 11 Jan. 2017. U.S.A.F. 1956 - 1962. R.I.P. Dad.

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Re: XP-82.......

Post by clintm20 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:35 am

It's probably 85% built from scratch so I think the odds of the USAF trying to lay claim to this particular aircraft is slim to none and slim is out of town.
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