SNB Twin Beech Unit: CAF Lake Indiana Wing Location: Indianapolis, Indiana Progress: 60% Expected Completion: Spring 2017
The Indiana Wing is working to restore its SNB, the U.S. Navy/Marine variant of the civilian Model 18 Twin Beech. This airplane served in three major wars – World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War. The old warrior will need an engine overhaul, new fabric and flooring, along with items required to convert the airplane from the experimental airworthiness category to the standard category.
N4207 was manufactured in 1943 by Beech Aircraft of Wichita, Kansas, as a Navy/Marine SNB-2. In 1954 is was remanufactured by Beech and designated by the Navy to a model SNB-5P, a photoreconnaisance trainer. It was then stationed at two aviation-training facilities and surplused out in 1967, serving as a non-flying maintenance trainer.
The Indiana Wing has already replaced tires, flushed the fluid systems, replaced an oil cooler and rebuilt a carburetor. The wing is hoping to raise $16,000 towards a total project cost of approximately $60,000.
To fly the SNB, the engine will need to be rebuilt, and both propellers will need to be overhauled. All fabric needs replacing, the flooring, supporting structure and two seats need to be located and installed in the old photo bays. The long term goal is to show compliance with a Beech D-18 Type Certificate Data Sheet to obtain a standard airworthiness certificate to allow the aircraft to be operated on the ride program.
Restoring the SNB will allow the Indiana Wing to accomplish the goals of their annual CAF Warbird Expo all year round. This aircraft offers an opportunity to connect to people through the photoreconnaisance history of the SNB, showing how today's 3-D VR headsets, HD cameras, and satellite imagery started with World war II technology. The wing hopes to capture stereoscopic images from SNB events, allowing people to view them through Google Cardboard Viewers.