Wings of the North Air Mail Newsletter Header
Wings of the North Air Mail Newsletter Header
Wings of the North Air Mail Newsletter Header

Wings Quarterly – May 2024

May 27, 2024 | Air Mail, Wings Quarterly


L-19 Bird Dog - photo by Jeremy Dando

Wings of the North is now the proud owner of a Cessna L-19 Bird Dog!  Also known as an O-1, this type of airplane was active during the Korean War and also served as a forward air controller plane during the Vietnam War.  Our Bird Dog, tail number N269TH, was an Oshkosh award winner in 1988 and, after it finishes its annual inspection, will be on display in the WOTN Air Museum. 

This acquisition will help fill the void created by the loss of the airplanes that had previously been on loan to the museum.  With a sweepstakes plane coming soon, and with the BT-15 getting back in the air in the not too distant future, we will be setting up a flight department to manage the “fleet”.  There will be opportunities for a very limited number of our regular volunteers who are licensed pilots to check out in the sweepstakes plane, the Bird Dog, and then perhaps the BT-15.  We will also be looking for volunteers to serve as crew chiefs for each plane and help keep them clean and ready to fly.   


Cessna 140

The 2023 Sweepstakes was a great success with more than 2,000 tickets being sold!  We look forward to exceeding that number in 2024.  Our biggest hurdle was the lack of an airplane to give away!  Last year’s winner claimed the beautiful 1948 Bonanza and took it home to California.  We thought that we found an airplane in South Dakota but the seller was less than cooperative.  Then we found a good candidate at the Lake Elmo airport but it hadn’t flown for a few years and our inspections turned up some major concerns.  It might be our plane for 2025.

We recently found a very nice Cessna 140 at the Fairmont Airport and have purchased it!  It has a current airworthiness certificate and just needs some minor work to make it ready.  The online sweepstakes entry portal should be up and running by the time you are reading this and the final drawing will be September 28 at our fall pancake breakfast!  Anyone who wants to help with the sweepstakes operation will be appreciated.  We especially need the help of a graphic artist!


We have had a fairly steady stream of visitors coming through the museum since we reopened in September.  In mid-February we held a Black History month event and in March we did one featuring women aviators.  Both were very well attended.  We hosted private weekday tours for the Burnsville Senior Center and the Elim Shores senior living home in Eden Prairie.  Recently we hosted the upper Midwest meeting of the Willys-Overland car club who arrived in a dozen very unique automobiles!  In March we were featured on KSTP-TV’s “Must See Museum” series.  The video is available on their web site.

In June we hope to be co-hosting a cook out along with one of the other hangar owners on Sierra Lane.  We will be inviting all aircraft owners and pilots on Flying Cloud to attend.  Hopefully we can spur some sweepstakes sales and perhaps find some more volunteers.  We will also be making appearances at several airport and community events over the summer and need help meeting and greeting the public and telling them about WOTN.  Please consider volunteering.


Repair work is continuing on the flaps with the two mid flaps and one inner flap almost complete. While the replacement of a previous and unauthorized repair continues on the right inner flap. Our focus is to complete this repair and the subsequent assembly, and soon all four flaps will be sent out for fabric covering. Stripping and cleaning of the ailerons is complete. We are now replacing the aileron bracket doublers. These reinforce the bearing arms that attach the aileron to the wing. On the earlier versions these were made from aluminum. We are complying with a service bulletin that requires the original aluminum doublers to be replaced with formed steel, making them much stronger. The process of forming, treating, drilling, and installing these pieces is tedious and time consuming, but it is a process which is necessary to make the plane safer. Stop by on Saturday mornings from 8:00am to noon to see the progress!


We are looking for three or four photographers to form a WOTN Air Museum photo crew.  They would need to be able to attend our events and take photos that could be used on our web site, social media, and local news outlets.  Let us know if you are interested.  Some air-to-air photo shoots are also probable.

We need one or two people to help reinsulate the hangar door in the BT hangar.  The existing, ugly, sagging insulation will be removed, the metal surface cleaned up, and new rigid foam insulation put on with construction adhesive.  We’d like to get this done in the next few weeks but it can be done a section at a time.

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