RUPES Sponsors Team of Volunteers for Restoration of Rare Historical Aircraft

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Companies and detailers from around the country volunteer to help restore shine to one of only two airworthy World War II B24J Bombers.

An all-volunteer team of 35 professional detailers was on site at John Wayne International Airport in Santa Ana, California for a restoration and preservation detail of the iconic “Witchcraft” B24J Liberator Bomber owned by the Collings Foundation. The World War II era plane is the only remaining example of the over 18,000 built that is still airworthy today.

The project, organized by Jose “Joe” Fernandez of Superior Shine Auto Detail aims to restore, preserve, and protect the historically significant aircraft. When asked about why he chose to coordinate this project Fernandez stated “The B-24 and B-25 represent a very important part of American history. Preserving this B-24 ensures that their story is told.”

Investing over 330 combined man hours the team of detailers, some from as far away as Missouri, used an assortment of RUPES BigFoot polishers to restore a shine to the faded and oxidized finish. For those detailers who already owned polishers RUPES provided full reconditioning of their tools prior to the project to make sure they were in peak operating condition prior to starting work.

“We share Jose’s thoughts on the significance of this plane,” says Chip Case, CEO of RUPES USA, Inc. “Helping his team of volunteers achieve their goal of restoring and preserving this aircraft by factory reconditioning their tools and providing additional support was absolutely our pleasure.”

After the project was completed a select group of World War II veterans, all of whom had spent time in B24J’s during the war, were treated to a flight in the freshly cleaned and polished aircraft over Orange County California.

“Witchcraft” along with numerous other historic aircraft owned by the Collings Foundation visits over 120 cities annually as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour. The tour relies solely on contributions and donations to cover operating costs and ensure the future of these aircraft.

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Dylan von Kleist
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Francesco Ginocchio
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Rupes S.p.A.
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