From B-25s to a Bleriot XI, and from the Doolittle Raiders to the WASP, The Restorers offers a glimpse into the world of historic aircraft restoration.
With striking aerial footage, the series brings the stories of warbird and vintage planes to life and showcases the passion and dedication of the veterans, technicians, historians, and enthusiasts working to ensure that antique planes are not confined to the static chapters of a textbook.
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Where to Watch
The five-episode series airs Thursdays, March 12-April 9, 2020 at 8 p.m. on CPTV Spirit.
“Living History,” Premiering March 12
“Living History” details those who are committed to keeping history alive. A group of Commemorative Air Force volunteers fly Japanese Zero replicas to recreate the attack on Pearl Harbor at airshows; ordinary citizens pay to experience training and a mission on board a B-24 bomber… to drop dummy bombs on target; and folks travel to Frederick, Oklahoma to learn how to make WWII-style paratrooper jumps out of a period C-47 trooper plane. Featuring William Guarnere from the 101st Airborne – Easy Company.
“Aircraft Recovery,” Premiering March 19
This episode explores what it can take to recover vintage aircraft that have been abandoned by time. First, visit a group who excavate captured WWII enemy aircraft out of the ground, where they were buried 70 years ago… in Indiana. Then, meet a group of volunteers from Michigan who travel to the Alaskan wilderness to recover a B-25 Firebomber that crash landed in 1969.
“The Aviatrix,” Premiering March 26
“The Aviatrix” centers on the theme of women aviators in history and the determination they embodied to be allowed to fly. Follow the stories of a restored Travel Air biplane used by Louise Thaden to win the first cross-country Women’s Air Race in 1929; a group of students at a Texas community college who are working to restore female aviator Jackie Cochran’s Twin Beech, using it as vessel to tell the story of women in aviation; and an Ohio restorer who rebuilt a WWII Stearman biplane that served at Avenger Field in Texas, where the Women’s Air Service Pilots (WASP) were trained.
“Aviation Destinations,” Premiering April 2
“Aviation Destinations” highlights aviation vacation destinations where you can experience historic aircraft. Travel to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to experience the Wright brothers’ first flight by flying in a replica Wright Glider. Then, visit the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York, where restorers have rebuilt a number of vintage aircraft, which they use to put on Flying Circus-type airshows. And finally, travel to Chino, California to experience the Planes of Fame Air Museum, including an aviation graveyard, a restoration hangar, and many rare restored aircraft. Plus, one of the museum’s many history programs on the Vietnam War with UH-1 Hueys is highlighted.
“They Were All Volunteers,” Premiering April 9
In 2010, an extraordinary event took place. Each year the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders from WWII have a reunion to remember their mission and their leader, Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. For their 68th reunion, 17 B-25 bomber crews from all over the country gathered to honor the Doolittle Raiders. This episode follows a B-25 Mitchell bomber from Minnesota as her crew participates in the Doolittle Raiders Reunion/B-25 Gathering in Dayton, Ohio.
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