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Back in Flight
Published: Thursday, July 2, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: The F-105 Thunder Chief fighter jet which was removed last year to undergo major renovations returned to its perch Wednesday evening at the entrance of the Chillicothe Municipal Airport. The aircraft has towered over the entrance along U.S. Highway 36 since 1985.

The plane was painted camouflage with details resembling its original Air Force markings and is set a little differently than before. It is closer to the ground and angled in an upward flight position. The landing gear is also in a flight position.

Photo Courtesy / Chillicothe Municipal Airport

Preparations Made to Replace Jet at Airport’s Entrance
Published: Thursday, June 11, 2009 by Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T News Editor

CAPTION: Paul Weese, an employee of Chillicothe Truck Repair and Towing, uses an acetylene torch to cut about 10 feet off of the top of pylons where an F-105 Thunder Chief fighter jet will be placed.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Work has been taking place at the entrance of Chillicothe Municipal Airport in preparation for the remounting of an F-105 Thunder Chief fighter jet which was removed last year to undergo major renovations. The aircraft has towered over the entrance at Chillicothe Municipal Airport on U.S. Highway 36 since 1985. When it is put back in place, the plane will have a new look — painted camouflage with details resembling its original Air Force markings.

The plane will also set a little differently than before. It will be closer to the ground and angled in an upward position. The landing gear is also planned to be in a flight position. In preparation for the remount, three pylons — on which to place the aircraft — were shortened, one of which will be repositioned. A fourth pylon will be removed. Paul Weese and James Webb of Chillicothe Truck Repair and Towing were doing the work last week, under the direction of airport manager Bill Kieffer, to remove about 10 feet from the top of the three pylons.

CAPTION: The aircraft has towered over the entrance to Chillicothe Municipal Airport on U.S. Highway 36 since 1985 and was removed for major renovations. C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

The aircraft is already painted and is located near the terminal building. Members of the 139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard in St. Joseph provided the services of making repairs the sheet metal and painting the plane. Superior Coatings of Chillicothe was hired to clean the plane's surface. A date for hoisting the aircraft to its new position has not yet been set.

The plane is owned by the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and has been in Chillicothe through a loan agreement for display purposes. It measures 64 feet in length, has a wing span of 33 feet and weighs between 22,000 and 24,000 pounds. The engine of the plane has been removed.

CAPTION: When it is put back in place, the plane will have a new look - painted camouflage with details resembling its original Air Force markings. C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

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