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PPG donates coatings for Air Heritage’s C-47B warplane restoration

Monday, February 12, 2018 3:32 pm EST


SYLMAR, Calif.
"Everybody wanted one. It’s just a great airplane. There’s so much history behind it."

PPG (NYSE:PPG) today announced that it donated aerospace coatings to Air Heritage in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, for restoring a C-47B Skytrain military transport aircraft known as Luck of the Irish. PPG provided DESOGEL™ EAP-9 adhesion promoter, DESOPRIME® HS 7233 high-solids military epoxy primer, and DESOTHANE® HS 8221 high-solids semi-gloss military and defense topcoat for Air Heritage volunteers to paint the aircraft as it looked when it flew its final World War II mission on May 28, 1945.

According to Duane Utter, PPG global segment manager, military coatings and defense products, the exterior of the repainted aircraft not only has been restored to its former glory but also will benefit from technological advancements in coatings.
“PPG is fortunate to collaborate with Air Heritage in restoring this important C-47B plane, and we selected coatings that will maintain the aircraft’s appearance for years to come,” Utter said. “PPG Desoprime HS 7233 primer and PPG DesothaneHS 8221 series topcoat have been used on thousands of military aircraft that are in service globally today. The coatings comprise a very durable system that resists ultraviolet light and fluids, while the primer, in conjunction with PPG DesoGel EAP-9 pretreatment, offers exceptional corrosion protection.”

Paint experts from PPG’s aerospace facility in Mojave, California, mixed the PPG Desothane HS 8221 series topcoat in original Federal Standard colors – dark olive drab for the plane’s upper fuselage, wings and tail; neutral gray for the underbelly; and gray, white, blue, orange, green and red for the markings. Air Heritage volunteers worked from drawings to recreate the historic paint scheme, including the nose art that pays homage to two Irish crew members.

Good color retention for the topcoat was important since the aircraft sits outside several months a year. Due to PPG’s innovative technology, only one coat was needed.
“We’ve always wanted a C-47,” said Greg Werking, Air Heritage’s project manager. “Everybody wanted one. It’s just a great airplane. There’s so much history behind it.”
In addition to coordinating the donation’s logistics, Bill Mitchell, PPG senior sales and market development, Philadelphia Application Support Center, met with the volunteer paint crew and provided product literature and application guidelines. His technical support enabled the painters to achieve a smooth finish.
Air Heritage volunteers continue to work on the C-47B plane, with expectations that it will fly in air shows and have roles in movies and TV shows once it is fully restored.
The Luck of the Irish had a noble mission during World War II that led one Air Heritage volunteer on his own mission to learn its history. Tyler Pinkerton found Capt. Edward “Elmo” Frome, who piloted the plane during the war, and spoke with him and his daughter before his death in 2013. Among the many items his family donated to the museum was his U.S. Army Air Forces 435th Troop Carrier Group’s yearbook, which includes the only picture of the plane Pinkerton found. Pinkerton also connected online with a C-47 historian who provided an electronic copy of Capt. Frome’s squadron war diary that detailed the history of the plane from the time it entered service in September 1944 until its last mission. In addition to the U.S. Army Air Forces, the C-47B has flown with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and Florida’s Lee County Mosquito Control District.
About the Luck of the Irish C-47B Skytrain airplane
C-47B #43-48716 Skytrain troop carrier was built in Oklahoma City in September 1944 and delivered to the Ninth Air Force’s 75th Troop Carrier Squadron on Sept. 30, 1944, in England, where it was based until February 1945. It was flown to France and based there until May 1945, when it was returned to England. From October 1944 to May 1945, it flew 96 flights, including 26 combat resupply missions and 13 combat medical and prisoner-of-war evacuations. Its supply missions included two during the Battle of the Bulge over Bastogne, France, and a mission towing two gliders carrying troops in Operation Varsity over Wesel, Germany, in March 1945, which was the largest single airdrop of troops and supplies in one day. Its final military role was providing military VIP transportation in the 1950s. The airplane was retired in 1972 and stored in the desert for six months until Lee County, Florida, purchased it for mosquito spraying. The Vietnam Huey Pilots Association, which operates a helicopter base across the tarmac from Air Heritage, purchased the C-47B and flew it to the Beaver County Airport outside of Pittsburgh at the end of 2012. Air Heritage purchased the plane in January 2013.

About Air Heritage
Air Heritage of Western Pennsylvania originated in 1983 and became Air Heritage Inc. in 1990 when it opened a 14,400-square-foot hangar at Beaver County Airport in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Fourteen airplanes are on display, including five that are flightworthy. A museum that is open to the public displays civilian, commercial and military aviation-related artifacts. Several aircraft are under restoration, making the museum a true “working museum.” Air Heritage’s goals include researching aeronautical history, aiding individuals and organizations engaged in similar research and education projects, and engaging in the accumulation, restoration and preservation of historically significant aircraft, aeronautical materials and artifacts. Air Heritage is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. To learn more, visit www.airheritage.org.
At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 130 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $14.8 billion in 2017. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.

We protect and beautify the world is a trademark and the PPG Logo is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
DesoGel is a trademark and Desoprime and Desothane are registered trademarks of PRC-DeSoto International, Inc.

Media Contacts:
Audrey Fujimoto
Jean Verlich
JV Communications

Multimedia Files:

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PPG donated aerospace coatings to Air Heritage in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, for restoring this C-47B Skytrain military transport aircraft to its World War II paint scheme. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Pinkerton/Air Heritage)
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Among the volunteers who continue restoring Luck of the Irish are, from left, Tyler Pinkerton, Greg Werking and Dave Messersmith.

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