History Magazine

Newly Restored B-25J Takes Flight

By Sfalcont


On Tuesday, June 7th, the plane will depart on its homecoming flight from Chino, Calif. to its new permanent home. 

The B-25 is a twin-engine medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation, used in a wide range of roles by allied air forces during World War II.  Every aspect of this aircraft has been fully restored to its original World War II condition.

This aircraft is painted in the wartime colors of the 490th Bomb Squadron, a tribute to Arnold Spielberg, the father of film legend Steven Spielberg. Arnold was a member of the 490th Squadron during World War II.

Like all other aircraft found in the collection, this B-25J has a rich history, having served in the US Army Air Forces, Air Transport Command, Air Material Command, and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Additionally, for a period of time, this B-25J was altered to fly as a water bomber, used to quell forest fires throughout Canada, and has since been returned to its original World War II conditions by the Flying Heritage Collection and its restoration team.

The plane will be piloted by Kevin Eldridge. Kevin has been flying warbirds for more than 20 years and holds an unlimited license for “all makes and types” of high performance piston powered aircraft. He is also a Screen Actors Guild member and has raced in the Unlimited division of the National Air Races in Reno, Nevada.

Kevin currently holds the position of Chief Pilot at the Planes of Fame Air Museum, and is actively involved in restoring vintage and warbird aircraft. His most recent completion was a 1947 Luscombe, restored for his wife, Andrea Eldridge, who will co-pilot the B-25J on its trip to the Flying Heritage Collection.

FLY DAY:   The public is invited to see the B-25J take flight at the Flying Heritage Collection’s free Fly Day event on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.


WHERE:   Paine Field – 3407 109th Street SW, Everett, Wash. 98204


The Flying Heritage Collection, founded by philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Paul G. Allen, is one of the world’s greatest collections of rare, legendary World War II-era aircraft.  The Flying Heritage Collection’s commitment to restoring its aircraft to authentic, flying condition sets it apart from other similar collections around the globe. For more information visit www.flyingheritage.com or call (877) FHC-3404.


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