Returning from Oshkosh 2007 Taken as airplane was brought to 00V (now KFLY) for first time   Taken just after new paint job  

Taken by John Scott during return from Oshkosh 2007. Gil's Thorp was the camera ship. Taken as the airplane was brought to 00V (now KFLY) for the first time. Mom & Dad painted it this way in 1965. Kinda faded by this time, April 2003. Linda took this shortly after the new paint. Gene Kear did the work.
I painted my airplane in 2003: David Griffiths owned a '56 too for awhile, and he painted it in 2005:
New Paint Rollout, October 2003 David Griffiths' new paint, June 2005 (click on images) ... interesting to compare Griffiths' airplane to the original paint on my airplane. (btw, lots more interesting 'wagon photos on this youtube posting.)

N6555A A little history on this airplane ...

So, you're asking whether it's really true that this airplane has been in the family since 1960? I gotcha covered. Here (below) are two pictures of the airplane before it was painted in 1965; that is, this is the original factory paint job. On the left, I believe this unfortunately blurry photo was taken at PHL/Philadelphia. Note the C-47 with the turbine conversion in the background - not too many of those aircraft had been converted when this picture was taken. Note the fading already in progress, and the red horizontal strip on the rudder. We flew back east in summer 1961 to visit my Aunt, who had a 1956 Bonanza (N4478D) she kept in a hangar at PHL, that's where I think this photo occurred. (I looked at the old log, the 180 logged 41 hours on that trip back east.) On the right, that's me and my parents at Monachee Meadow airstrip (click on the link, then search for "August 1943 Mt. Whitney", and scroll down half a page) in the High Sierras. The log says late May 1960 so I was not yet 5 years old. I distinctly remember this weekend; it may be my first real cogent memory. My parents were rock stars! Interesting strip, it was about 1800 feet long with a mountain at one end. According to the Freeman abandoned airfields site, Ted Sarbin said that the Tunnel Meadows airport was closed when the Wilderness areas was established; Monachee probably closed at the same time. According to a forum entry, the airport nonetheless was in good condition still in 2011. Here is a BackCountryPilot forum entry with more detail. It appears that there were actually two strips at Monachee. From the description, it is East Camp, the one remaining in reasonable condition, that we flew into way back when.

Anyway, these two pictures below are nearly 1MB in size apiece. These are actually from a couple slides Dad found for me when we got to thinking about painting the airplane using the original paint pattern.

Mom sent me these two photos, I believe taken by Lou or Judy Divone from the cockpit of Old Charlie, of Mom and Dad in formation with them somewhere over the Commonwealth of Virginia. So that's the paint job "in the middle" while it still was in pretty good shape (though the photos are pretty old - before the Cleveland brakes so pre 1978, those are the speed covers over the original Goodyear brakes.)

More Pictures

We hope you have enjoyed the extremely short tour.

Other interesting 180 links: