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For Immediate Release:

Group buys ?Flying Boxcar? for Hagerstown museum

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Carolyn Motz
240-313-2777

DAVID DISHNEAU
Associated Press

HAGERSTOWN, Md. ? Hagerstown Aviation Museum planners landed what they hope will become their biggest attraction when they outbid others Wednesday for a Fairchild C-82 ?Flying Boxcar? built in the city in 1945.

This photo provided by the Hagerstown Aviation Museum shows Museum President Kurtis Meyers, left, and Museum Treasurer John Seburn in front of the Fairchild C-82 'Flying Boxcar' shortly after the Hagerstown Aviation Museum purchased it for $140,250 on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2006, in Greybull, Wyo. The museum had solicited public donations to bring the twin-engine, propeller-driven plane back to Hagerstown, Md., where Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. operated for 55 years until 1984. (AP Photo/Hagerstown Aviation Museum, Steve Christiano)

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They bid $127,500 for the 75-foot aircraft at an auction in Greybull, Wyo., said Kurtis Meyers, museum president. A 10 percent buyer's premium will bring the purchase price to $140,250, he said.

The museum had solicited public donations to bring the twin-engine, propeller-driven plane back to Hagerstown, where Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. operated for 55 years until 1984.

?It cost us pretty much,? Myers said. ?We were pretty much at the end of what we could do. It was our last bid, and we got it.?

Myers said the plane, formally known as the C-82 Packet, is in better condition than the two or three others known to exist. The C-82 was used for U.S. military cargo and troop transport, and one was featured in the 1966 James Stewart film ?The Flight of the Phoenix.?

Myers, an aviation historian from nearby Greencastle, Pa., said the next hurdles will be obtaining a Federal Aviation Administration special flight permit and an estimated $10,000 worth of fuel needed to fly the relic to Hagerstown. There, it will be stored outside while the group erects a museum building that it hopes to finish within two years.

The group owns four other old airplanes, but the C-82 is the planned centerpiece of the museum, which will be dedicated to Hagerstown's aviation history.

Myers said the plane was among several C-82s owned by Hawkins & Powers Aviation, a Greybull-based aerial firefighting company that recently ceased operations.

ON THE NET: Hagerstown Aviation Museum

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