Over the past year or so, we have periodically presented reports by Chuck Cravens detailing the restoration on an ultra-rare Beechcraft AT-10 Wichita WWII advanced, multi-engine trainer. As mentioned in the previous articles, the project belongs to the Cadet Air Corps Museum and comprises the remains of several airframes, but will be based upon Wichita 41-27322. The restoration is taking place at the world-renowned AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji, Minnesota, and we now have another update on the progress as it stands so far….
The AT-10 at AirCorps Aviation – Fall 2018 Report
by Chuck Cravens
Work continues on the forward cockpit section. The floor wood has been cut and fitted, much of the skin has been cut and drilled, and the rudder pedals have been assembled.
In October, we had visitors with a family connection to the Beech factory.
Cockpit Section Structure
Visit by Beechcraft factory worker’s son: Bill and Mary Graham
We were privileged to have Bill Graham and his wife Mary visit the shop in October 2018.
Bill is the son of Beechcraft line worker, Elmer Graham. Lois Graham, Bill’s mother, also worked at Beechcraft in the accounting department.
They brought some unique and priceless family heirlooms connected to Beech, including several photo albums, drawings, and a hand carved business card holder made by Elmer of wood scraps from the AT-10 assembly line.
Elmer Graham started at Beech in April of 1942 and worked there until 1948. Lois began a few months later. Because 41-27322 wasn’t received by the USAAF until May 19, 1943, it is certain that Elmer worked directly on our restoration airframe.
According to Bill, “When his folks left Beech for other interests, the company gifted them two picture/ paintings matted and framed. One was an AT- 10 in flight and the other an AT-7A with floats. Each picture is signed by well known artist Eric Sloane. These hung in my parents home all these years until I inherited them. They were proud of their contributions at Beech Aircraft.”
Today, artist Eric Sloane’s work is held in the collection of Sloane-Stanley Museum in Kent, CT and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., which houses one of his major works, the Earth Flight Environment Mural.
Bill and Mary generously left the photos and AT- 10 drawings here to be scanned. Ester returned everything to them on Oct 22nd.
And that’s all for this edition of the AT-10 Restoration Report. Many thanks to Chuck Cravens and AirCorps Aviation for this article. Should anyone wish to contribute to the Cadet Air Corps Museum’s efforts, please contact board members Brooks Hurst at 816 244 6927, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Todd Graves, email@example.com. Contributions are tax deductible.