To celebrate the contributions of military personnel by honoring and supporting them using a highway-adapted vintage C-119 “Flying Boxcar” fuselage repurposed as a traveling Alaska and military art gallery, performance venue, and museum.
We are still looking to acquire a Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar aircraft. We will be removing the wings, tails, engines, and landing gear, and then we will mount the fuselage on an International school bus chassis with a diesel engine and auto transmission. The cockpit will remain intact. Once it is mobile, and has been renovated with such upgrades as a new paint scheme, polished aluminum, and nose art, we will drive it to venues air shows, air races, fairs, VFWs, AMVETS, American Legions, VA hospitals and Veterans Day Parades as a traveling coffee bar and art gallery. We will be donating to other nonprofits that promote veterans and their service to our country.
We are currently researching the history of many of these planes, from which we will find out how and where they served and to which units they were assigned. We are also researching their history after removal from government service. Through this research we will develop static interpretive displays. In addition, we will document the plane’s resurrection into a rolling attraction. The panels will be on display and the video can be used to promote veterans and the Military, particularly the United States Air Force, as well as for a documentary. The fuselage will don a new paint scheme, polished aluminum, appropriate banner, and even nose art.
The 60-foot fuselage will be refitted and mounted onto a forty foot school bus chassis. Additional axles will be fitted for stability. Engine and transmission will live in the nose gear well.
The usable parts of the wings, tails, engines, props, and landing gear will be sold, recycled, or repurposed to help fund the project. No scrap aluminum will be sent to recyclers but will be smelted by us.
When finished, it will have DOT-approved steering and highway-safe controls. The controls will be engineered for removal, so while on display, veterans can take a trip down memory lane and visitors can experience the plane as it was.
John Will, President: served in the United States Air Force as a KC-135 mechanic, has large aircraft operations experience, and holds a current FAA dispatchers license. He is an audio-kinetic sculptor and lives in Eagle River, Alaska.
Jim Morris, Vice President: an accomplished Alaskan artist specializing in airplanes, and has worked both as an engine machinist and an airframe machinist and lives in Anchorage, Alaska. (sunjamstudios.com)
Promote the military and a piece of USAF history by telling the story of the C-119s and this particular aircraft, both in its Air Force days and its civilian life, and to honor all veterans who have served our country,
Promote local artists, Alaskan ingenuity, the entrepreneurial spirit, repurpose, recycle, and sell parts to help fund the project. All aluminum not used to build the Rolling Boxcar (i.e. wings, tails, and tail booms), will be smelted down into aluminum ingots and made into jewelry. This way, people can purchase an actual piece of the aircraft (a far better fate than becoming beer cans).
Film the entire demolition and build phase of the project as a documentary to show the efforts that went into the plane’s resurrection. The film will highlight all who have assisted in this ambitious venture. We have contacted film companies with enthusiastic responses.
We hope to finish the project by fall of 2018. We foresee our maiden voyage as a trial run in the great state of Alaska, visiting supporters, veteran organizations, and military bases before venturing down the highway to tour the lower 48 states.
A special "guest navigator" opportunity will be made available to a select number of donors who are also capable of helping send updates from the field to help us keep our Facebook page and website current with real time updates as to where the Rolling Boxcar is and where it is headed. After a two or three day leg of a journey, these guest navigators will be responsible for their own trip home.
Inside visitors can view or purchase artwork from artists Jim Morris and Meg Anderson. On board they can buy Alaska roasted coffees at the coffee bar and smelted jewelry from the gift shop. We are even in the middle of designing a sound stage between the two open clamshell doors to have bands play when desired. This deck section will be stowable when not in use.
Veterans that flew in these aircraft can be photographed in the pilot’s seat, as the cockpit will look as it did in its flying days. Their stories can be shared and documented on the spot for future visitors.
A typical “gig” will consist of showing up at an event like an air show, veterans' BBQ, or other events. The cockpit will have all of its “rolling down the road” equipment removed (by quick disconnect) to restore it into an airplane's cockpit. We will reconfigure the fuselage and open the clamshell doors at the rear to let people inside.
At the end of each event, the cockpit will be reconfigured with steering wheel and all the other controls to make the Rolling Boxcar roadworthy. Artwork will be stowed and our next guest navigator welcomed aboard. Within an hour we can be rolling toward our next event.
Only 1,100 C-119s were built, and those remaining deserve our respect. Most have been shot down, crashed, abandoned, or are on static display at various air museums, Air Force bases, and even cemeteries for war dead. Without resurrection or repurposing, these planes are destined for the scrap heap.
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Rolling Boxcar, Inc is a 501c3 Non-profit corporation.
All donations are tax-deductable