"Spirit of Igor" Visits Fantasy of Flight
Fantasy of Flight welcomes the wild and wonderful "Spirit of Igor," an aircraft that evokes an age of high romance and daring adventure.
This remarkable and eye-catching Sikorsky S-39 is the only airworthy example of the type and is the oldest flying Sikorsky in the world today. It was painstakingly restored by Dick Jackson, beginning in the 1960s with a hull discovered in the Alaskan bush. Nearly four decades and 40,000 of restoration work hours later, the S-39 flew again.
The "Spirit of Igor" was named for the "Spirit of Africa," an S-39 owned by African naturalists Martin and Osa Johnson, and for Igor Sikorsky himself, a true visionary and pioneer in aviation.
The giraffe spotting on the fuselage is authentic to a specific species. It was projected onto the hull in order for the painting to be completed.
The Johnsons & the "Spirit of Africa"
The aircraft is displayed courtesy of Dick Jackson and will remain in Fantasy of Flight's display hangars for several months. To learn more, visit www.spiritofigor.com.
From a WWII enthusiast: Hey G. Willie, any refurb upcoming on WWII German aircraft?
G. Willie (or "Villie" as he prefers when speaking of German aircraft) responds:
What a terrific question! As it stands, mid-century German aviation is well represented in the collection already. One super celebrity is the Fiesler Storch, which just returned to active service after a period of R&R.
As a matter of fact, the Storch is quite often featured in the Daily Aircraft Demonstration
due to its remarkable flight characteristics as a STOL type aircraft, which translates into "Short Take Off and Landing." In other words, with a cooperative wind, it can take off and land just about anywhere. It can virtually hover... and with a VERY cooperative wind, it can fly BACKWARDS!!!
G. Willie checks out the Fiesler Storch for the Aircraft Demonstration.
Back in the day, the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) realized they had developed something very special, so like proud papas, they took their baby out to show off... at the 1938 Cleveland Air Races. Once the American military got an eyeful of what this remarkable liaison aircraft could do, they rushed to their own drawing boards and came up with the glorious but rare Stinson L-1, the American cousin of the Storch, and the first example of a great unsung hero of the war, the L bird. As it happens, Fantasy of Flight has been working hard to restore one. And you can see the process unfold by taking the daily Restoration Shop Tour.
G. and Paul Stecewycz discuss the restoration of the Stinson L-1.
Now... back to the topic. Future German engineering projects include a really cool Messerschmitt 108 (made by another fine fellow called "Villie") that waits in the bays plus a gorgeous Spanish-built Junkers 52, which is also in line for some restoration-love.