BuNo 88463

Current Civil Registration Number NX5577N

BuNo 88463 served its entire military term at NAS Jacksonville, FL before being stricken from active service in 1947.  Later that same year it became the first of four Goodyear F2G Corsairs to be acquired for air racing by Ohio native, Cooke Cleland. Cleland flew the plane to victory in the 1947 Thompson Trophy Race, and competed again in 1948-49 but was forced out both years by mechanical failure. 

The Thompson races were cancelled after the 1949 season and BuNo 88463 was sold off to eccentric collector Walter Soplata of Newbury, OH.  Walter relocated the racer back to his farm where it sat outdoors for the next 48 years amidst a vast collection of warbirds, parts, and other aviation related items that he had accumulated over time.

In 1997, Soplata gifted his ‘Super Corsair’ to the Crawford Auto & Aviation Museum in Cleveland.  After two years in storage, the museum trucked the ex-racer to Bob Odegaard’s facility in Kindred, ND during 1999 where work was begun to restore the plane for use as a static display.

Within a few years, the museum was forced to part with the F2G and it was sold to an Ohio-based businessman who has now employed Mr. Odegaard to expand the scope of the restoration and return the plane to airworthy condition.

 

BUNo 88463 1946 - James Strassner Collection BUNo 88463 - Mike Schneider Collection BUNo 88463 F2G-2 E Hartford, CT Sept 1947 - Mike Schneider Collection

BUNo 88463 F2G-2 - Mike Schneider Collection
1947 Thompson Races - Jim Sullivan Collection BUNo 88463 Walter Soplota's Preserve 1976 - Dick Phillips Collection
BUNo 88463 During Odegaard Restoration - Dick Phillips Collection BUNo 88463 During Odegaard Restoration - Dick Phillips Collection BUNo 88463 During Odegaard Restoration - Mint Moore Collection