11/25/13 — Historic plane will get refresh

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Historic plane will get refresh

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on November 25, 2013 1:46 PM

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Goldsboro City Council voted to restore and relocate an F-86 Sabre that sits behind the Goldsboro Police Department.

The Goldsboro City Council approved a budget amendment last week to spend $20,000 refurbishing the F-86 Sabre fighter jet on display at the Goldsboro Police Department.

The owner of the jet, the United States Air Force, requested that the jet be refurbished, City Manager Scott Stevens said.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base personnel will refurbish the jet at no cost to the city except materials and transportation of the jet.

Paint for the jet is expected to cost about $4,000 and transportation about $16,000.

The city is expected to transport the plane to the base Dec. 10.

The refurbishment is expected to take about a month.

The city will need to rent a crane to lift the jet over the base fence.

A city flat-bed trailer will be used to transport the jet from the police station to the base -- and then while it travels on base.

"I don't foresee us needing the trailer during this, but if we did, we would need to rent one," Stevens said. "And that would maybe be $200 for the day or so."

In 1993, the jet was rolled on its landing gear into a hangar after being lifted over the base fence, but now the condition of the landing gear is in question.

The jet will be set up in a new location following the refurbishment to leave room for the planned expansion of the police station.

No plans have been drawn up for the expansion, but design is expected to begin within 18 months, Stevens said.

Possible locations for the jet include the Cornerstone Commons area of downtown and near the traffic circle at Ash and Center streets.

"We want to make sure we put it back somewhere that it is well-displayed but is safe for the artifact," Stevens said.

The city is also looking into shifting how the jet is displayed from sitting on its landing gear to having the jet held up by a single pole made to look as if it were flying.

"There would be some different structural issues that we would have to look at with that and talk about the cost with the base," Stevens said. "The jet wasn't made to be held up by a single pivot point."

The city wants to be sure the jet is set up in a way that discourages climbing on it but also looks good.

"Being next to the Police Department certainly helped with that I think, but we can set it up in a way that people know they shouldn't climb on it," Stevens said. "I'm not saying no one ever has, but it isn't easy to get up on it where it is."

The jet has been on loan to the city from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, since 1970. It was last refurbished when it was moved from Herman Park to the Police Department in 1993.