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 have acquired this Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar aircraft in Battle Mountain, Nevada. We removed the wings, tails, engines, and landing gear and have relocated it to the rebuild site in McArthur, California. We will soon be mounting the fuselage onto an International AmTran 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 like schools, air shows, air races, fairs, VFWs, AMVETS, American Legions, VA hospitals and Veterans Day Parades as a traveling coffee bar, sound stage, museum and mobile classroom complete with instructor and video interpretation. We will be donating to other nonprofits that promote Alaska veterans and their service to our country.
We will be fashioning Rolling Boxcar after aircraft 51-2560 and tell the story of Gamble Chalk One, a plane that so many were lost in. We have access to a historian, and have an interpreter on staff, to tell the story of this tragedy that took place here in Alaska and how it touched the lives of so many so far away. We are researching the event and will contact the 435th Troop Carrier Wing of the USAF for more historical facts. RBC lifetime member Michael Rocereta, author of "Letters from the Globemaster Families" is actually the person that found Gamble Chalk One inside Denali Park and will soon be writing another book about this disaster. We are in touch with many of the family members and are researching the history of many of these men. We will find out how and where they served and to which units they were assigned. Through this research we will develop static interpretive displays to help bring awareness to this terrible event.
In addition, we will document the Rolling Boxcar'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.
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). Some parts will even be used to make another C-119 fly again.
Film the entire re-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 spring of 2020. We foresee our maiden voyage as a trial run in the great state of Alaska, visiting supporters, schools, 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 interpretive panels and artwork from local artists, they can buy Alaska roasted coffee 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.
As we travel to schools on the roadside, our mobile classroom will be complete with instructor and a "plane full" of visual aids to help students learn about Alaska military history.
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 re-purposing, these planes are destined for the scrap heap.
Too many Boxcars have been lost to time, and finding one suitable for our purposes became more difficult by the day. But we are firm in our belief that N5216R, our Fairchild C-119, represents the highest and best use of this permanently grounded, derelict airframe.
We are currently seeking funding for major expenses such as:
This list could go on as this is an ambitious project. All monies spent will be documented and available to donors upon request through our website at rollingboxcar.com.
Donors will be the first considered to be guest navigators. Thank you for your consideration to assist in helping to bring our vision to fruition. Go to the membership page and become a member or for a simple donation, hit the "Donate Here" button below.!
Be sure to leave us your Email address in the "SUBSCRIBE" section below so you can receive a newsletter and notices on upcoming events. Also let us know in "CONTACT" your information so we can get other stuff to you.
Pay for your $30, $50 or $200 membership fee on the "Membership Page" or if you just want to donate, hit the button below.
Sign up to hear from us about what we are up to.
Rolling Boxcar, Inc is a 501(c)3 Non-profit corporation.
All donations are tax-deductible
Tax ID Number: 82-3958388