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Posted: 10/9/2004 6:06:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:08:21 PM EDT
Say it isn't so - does anyone have more info?
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:08:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:08:42 PM EDT
LINK PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:09:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:10:18 PM EDT
Link nothing, I can see the smoke from my front poarch, this totally SUCKS!! Man I hope the planes are saved.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:10:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:12:44 PM EDT
Just saw the local news. They said that the members of the YAF saved a B-25 and a C-47 by pushing them out of the hangar. Saw what looked like an F-102 outside the hangar lit by the flames, so presumably all the aircraft weren't in the hangar at the time. Guess we'll find out in the morning what planes were lost.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:13:56 PM EDT
I saw the smoke for a while, and thought it was the hippies in Ann Arbor doing some more stupid crap. I got home and turned on the radio and about had a heart attack. Man I hope the planes are ok. THe Yankee lady is awesome, my buddy got to ride in it when he had cancer. They let him stick his head outside while in flight for a picture. This really, really, sucks.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:16:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:17:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:17:42 PM EDT
Damn ...that sucks!
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:17:58 PM EDT
holy shit batman, those are national treasures, hope they all survive!!
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:19:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:

Originally Posted By danno-in-michigan:
Just saw the local news. They said that the members of the YAF saved a B-25 and a C-47 by pushing them out of the hangar. Saw what looked like an F-102 outside the hangar lit by the flames, so presumably all the aircraft weren't in the hangar at the time. Guess we'll find out in the morning what planes were lost.

Was the F102 burning, or just basking in the horrible glow?

The airplane that looked like an F-102 wasn't burning, just lit up by the flames.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 6:20:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:23:07 PM EDT
TV reported that the B17 was safe and that a B25 and C40 had been hand pushed from the hanger. The hanger and other contents(not specified) were lost. Short video clip showed a couple of jets outside undanaged.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:27:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:30:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:34:30 PM EDT
museum director was quoted as saying that workers noticed smoke in the rafters and started pushing aircraft out. The hanger was a wood construction and a known fire hazard. It was going to be replaced in a year or 2.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:37:22 PM EDT
fuckin sucks.

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:47:33 PM EDT
Nothing up on their website yet either. www.yankeeairmuseum.org/

Damn shame.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 7:51:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 8:04:46 PM EDT
This makes me sad.

I saw it on FNC.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 8:05:26 PM EDT
that blows
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 10:35:42 PM EDT
Wooden hanger, spring for the deluge fire suppression system.

Originally Posted By jerry48430:
museum director was quoted as saying that workers noticed smoke in the rafters and started pushing aircraft out. The hanger was a wood construction and a known fire hazard. It was going to be replaced in a year or 2.

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 10:41:25 PM EDT
Lets hope for the best... this is terrible...

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 10:47:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/9/2004 10:52:36 PM EDT by KA3B]

The Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run has suffered a devastating fire on Saturday October 9th. The hangar/museum is a complete loss.

Fortunately nobody was hurt in the fire. While the hangar is completely destroyed, the three priceless flyable aircraft Yankee Lady (B-17), Yankee Warrior (B-25), and Yankee Doodle Dandy (C-47) did make it out of the hangar. The Stinson was not in the hangar at the time. Yankee Doodle was literally pushed out by hand just in time.

As most of you know, the museum floors & rest of the hangar contained an immeasurable amount of history, artifacts, equipment, and several ongoing restorations.





Sunday, October 10, 2004
Air museum fire destroys vintage planes, artifacts
Three aircraft saved; Willow Run facility's loss as much as $7 million

By Judy Lin / The Detroit News

An immense fire swept through the Yankee Air Museum in Van Buren Township late Saturday, destroying vintage aircraft and aviation artifacts, including the wooden World War II-era hangar that housed the museum.

Three aircraft — B-17, B-25 and C-47 — were pulled from the hangar before flames engulfed the building, but another four or five aircraft, as well as the museum’s library, were lost, said museum President Jon Stevens.

Stevens, who estimated the museum’s loss at between $5 million and $7 million, said museum officials will meet today to discuss rebuilding efforts.

The hangar, which has been cited in the past for fire and structural safety concerns, is at Willow Run Airport and owned by the Wayne County Airport Authority. Airport officials could not be reached for comment.

Seven fire departments responded to the 6:30 p.m. fire, which also damaged two other buildings, said Kathleen Jensen of the Van Buren Township fire and police dispatch.

No one was injured and the cause of the fire is not known, authorities said.

“It’s a terrible loss, not only for us, who have put so much time and our hearts into that place, but really it’s a loss for southeast Michigan and the aviation world,” said museum member Raymond Nickels.

In recent years, museum members have been trying to raise funds to correct fire and safety problems at the 63-year-old hangar.

The airport was built by Henry Ford to produce World War II bombers.

A 2001 report, commissioned by the museum, had cited fire and structural safety concerns at the hangar, saying that working airplanes still had fuel inside them and the hangar needed a drainage system in the floor. The report said the building lacked a fire-suppression system and proper fire exits.

Stevens said the museum has been trying to raise money for the repairs but hadn’t reached the goal. The report said the building needed between $2.3 million and $3.3 million in improvements.

“Obviously, we had concerns with the old building. We have been working over the last three years to raise money. At this time, we cannot do so,” Stevens said.

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 10:50:13 PM EDT
Damn, just damn.........

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 10:57:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 11:06:32 PM EDT
I hate it when pieces of our history are lost. Friggin shame. Hell, kids barely pay attention to our past now, and without reminders of our history its even harder to teach them. I hope the museum recovers. Watch for donation links.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:41:49 AM EDT
Damned shame. A sad day for aviation.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 3:28:39 AM EDT
That sux.

I see an F-4 Phantom in the 2003 pic. Hope that survived.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 4:23:50 AM EDT

I was driving home and saw the smoke all the way from Fenton.

Link Posted: 10/10/2004 4:24:19 AM EDT
Damn that really sucks
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 6:27:49 AM EDT
I drove by this morning and my favorite glider that was being restored got killed, and a bunch of other stuff that was impossible to move. The Yankee lady was there and she's OK!! Thats Awesome. I love it in the summertime when I'm mowing my grass and she flies over my house. Its so awesome, it looks like you could reach up and touch it.

I can't even tell you how bummed out I am, I hope it wasn't some dumb hippie that started this. I know that they had problems with vandals before with the Bush signs out.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 6:35:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 6:37:08 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]

They are AT AN AIRPORT@?#@$ Airports have lot's of firefighting equpment. Crap.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 6:42:17 AM EDT
When I used to drive long-haul,I used to sleep next to that G.M. plant.The plant was closed,but the parking lots were used as a G.M. junkyard. Cadillac STS's,Corvettes,everything smashed up.Amazing that Kalitta flew DC-8 streches out of Willow Run,as it has rather short runways.BTW,everytime I tried to get to the Yankee museum,it was closed,bummer that this happened.The wood in those hangers is so lod and dry,it does'nt take much,(think an old barn or the old barracks we used in the Army).
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 6:45:18 AM EDT

Link Posted: 10/10/2004 6:52:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 6:52:41 AM EDT by Colt_SBR]
October 10,2004

The Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport suffered a disastrous fire last night that destroyed the historic hangar that housed the museum. The museum staff was able to move the historic B-17, C-47 and B-25 aircraft out of the building, thus saving the heart of the collection. In addition, all the historic aircraft on display outside of the main building were untouched by the fire. While many irreplaceable artifacts, photos and books were lost in the fire, the Volunteers at the museum are thankful that the aircraft collection remains largely intact. Only a small number ofnon-flyable aircraft that were in restoration inside the hanger were lost.

The Yankee Air Museum members, staff and volunteers are determined to rebuild the museum facilities and continue the great work that was begun in 1981 by a small group of visionaries who were dedicated to preserving this important piece of aviation and Southeastern Michigan history.

The Michigan Aerospace Foundation, the sister organization of the museum which was formed to plan and fund future expansion of the museum facilities, will now be working hard to raise the necessary funds to re-build the museum as soon as possible. Working with Willow Run Airport and the Yankee Air Museum, the Foundation will be seeking funding and other help from Foundations, Corporations and Individuals as it works to replace what has been lost.

The Yankee Air Museum and the Michigan Aerospace Foundation would like to ask that anyone with an interest in helping to rebuild the museum, please contact the Foundation.

A help hotline can be reached at 734-483-4030

The following people can be contacted to offer your support:

For the Museum, contact:
Yankee Air Museum President, Jon Stevens 734-637-2117
Yankee Air Museum Vice President, Dick Stewart 734-637-8878

For the Foundation, contact:
Michigan Aerospace Foundation President, Dennis Norton 734-971-2750
Michigan Aerospace Foundation Treasurer, Uary Brown, 734-316-2216

Donations may be sent directly to the Michigan Aerospace Foundation:

Michigan Aerospace Foundation
Yankee Air Museum Recovery Fund
P.O. Box 8282
Ann Arbor MI, 48107-8282

Thank you for your help,
Dennis Norton
President Michigan Aerospace Foundation

I was never there but am sad to hear of the loss.

Link Posted: 10/10/2004 7:05:15 AM EDT
Well, it could have been worse. The loss is devastating but it sounds like the most important pieces in the collection survived.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 7:16:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 7:16:36 AM EDT by anothergene]
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 7:18:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 7:44:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 9:02:44 AM EDT
I saw this last night on the news... what a huge bummer. I am SO glad they saved those planes they were able to... I've seen a B17 a few times in the air recently... I don't know if it was theirs but there aren't too many Flying Fortresses around... I guess they lost some others as well as their library.

I haven't been there in probably 10 years. This really sucks.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 9:08:52 AM EDT
I'll try to get some close up pictures of the damage later this afternoon. I have a few friends that should let me get close enough to get digital pictures of the smoldering heap. There were some super cool displays that are gone forever now. If you guys can, please send some money. I am now going to post a link in all of my Egay auctions so more people can see this and donate. Later...
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 9:12:46 AM EDT
i hope buff is ok, i have spent a lot of time there
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 9:47:03 AM EDT
Massive fire destroys Yankee Air Museum
No cause identified; artifacts, 2 airplanes lost

Sunday, October 10, 2004
News Staff Reporters

The Yankee Air Museum, a popular air history attraction at the Willow Run Airport near Ypsilanti, burned to the ground Saturday evening when a fast-moving fire swept through the building, destroying priceless aviation artifacts and two airplanes.

Three of the museum's most prized aircraft - a C-47, B-25D and B-17G restored to flying condition - were saved because the crew of the B-25 had just returned from a flight and was able to move the planes out of the burning hangar.

The fire was reported at about 6:30 p.m. and soon had engulfed the 50,000-square-foot hangar, which was built in 1941 by Henry Ford for the production of B-24 Liberator bombers. No one was injured and no cause had been determined Saturday night.

Jon Stevens, president of the Yankee Air Museum,said the hangar and its contents were a total loss. He estimated the loss at $5 million to $7 million, but said that was a preliminary estimate.

Smoke from the fire could be seen for at least 10 miles and soon traffic on nearby Ecorse Road slowed to a crawl as spectators gathered to watch. Fire departments from Van Buren Township and six other departments responded but could do nothing to stop the blaze. By 8 p.m. only the concrete slab and a few burning pillars remained of the hangar.

An outdoor display of about 20 historic planes next to the hangar was not damaged by the fire.

The 23-year-old museum, which hosted about 100,000 visitors a year, was filled with historic aviation displays, including uniforms, equipment and medals from World War I and World War II, along with a library and displays on Korea, Vietnam, Women in Aviation, and the B-24 Liberator Bomber.

One of the planes destroyed in the hangar fire was on loan from a Dayton, Ohio, air museum; the other was a rare "Bronco" airplane that was days away from being fully restored.

Brian Higgins, marketing director and board member of the Yankee Air Museum, was celebrating his birthday in Plymouth when he got the call about the fire.

"I've aged a little bit more tonight," said Higgins from the site at mid-evening. "The reaction of the (museum) members out here is that we're sad but we'll come back, better than ever."

He said the museum was in the midst of a $55 million capital campaign to build about a dozen buildings, including a new hangar, buildings for storage and restoration of the original 1941 hangar that has housed the museum since the Yankee Air Museum was started by volunteers as a non-profit organization in 1981.

The museum has about 3,000 members from around the country, according to its Web site, and depends on thousands of hours from volunteers to operate the facility. "Volunteers restore, maintain and fly the aircraft, administer the daily business of the museum, keep the facilities maintained, publish periodic publications and conduct fund-raising events and give museum tours," according to the museum's Web site.

Stevens, the museum president, was attending a social event in Auburn Hills when he got a call from one of the B-25 air craft crew members that the hangar was on fire. His first reaction was, "Oh, my God!"

"In some ways we'll start over, but starting over with a lot more than the original founders," said Stevens. "I have too much sweat equity in that place, as do a lot of other good people. We'll figure a way to rebuild it."

Stevens said the crew of the B-25 had just returned from an aerial fall color tour early Saturday evening when they caught a whiff of smoke. Their quick actions to pull the three functioning planes out of the hangar saved the aircraft, which are flown around the country to air shows during the year and as a fund-raiser by selling rides to the public.

"God bless the people who helped get those air crafts out," said Higgins. "They are heroes."

In addition to Van Buren, firefighters from Belleville, Romulus, Pittsfield Township, Ypsilanti Township, Sumpter Township and the airport fought the fire.

At dusk, the hangar was still fully engulfed in flames, which lighted the black, billowing clouds from beneath with an orange glow.

The skeletal frame of the hangar stood for a while before finally collapsing by 7:45 p.m. and the ghostly outline of vintage World War II planes parked near the hangar stood out against the fire.

"We were out in the yard messing around, and my husband said 'Oh my God, Kim, look up at the sky!"' said Kim Ion, who lives on Ecorse Road a three houses away from the airport property. She and her son Matt stood in a neighbor's yard and watched the fire burn as the sky grew darker.

The spectacle slowed traffic to a near-halt on Ecorse and other nearby roads. Motorists pulled off on the shoulder to point and stare. Some fished cameras and video cameras from their cars and others talked on cell phones, pointing and staring. Police lit flares to help guide the crawling traffic.

Sam Pfeiffer of Farmington Hills got a unique view of the fire, as he flew in to the airport from a visit in Traverse City. He was able to land safely around 7 p.m., but said the air space was closed after he landed.

Tanina Foster of Riverview shook her head as she watched the fire.

"The museum," she said. "That's what's heartbreaking."

Link Posted: 10/10/2004 11:46:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
... the other was a rare "Bronco" airplane that was days away from being fully restored. ...


I hope they don’t mean an OV-10!!
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:06:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 199:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
... the other was a rare "Bronco" airplane that was days away from being fully restored. ...


I hope they don’t mean an OV-10!!

Think so. They had one there.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:27:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:51:00 PM EDT
Sad....so sad.
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