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Geneseo pilot brings 1940s Stearman plane back to life

After nine years of restoring WWII plane, a Geneseo pilot is set for take-off.

GENESEO, Ill. — For nine years Bob Swint worked on restoring a 1940s World War II Stearman plane.

The project is complete, and now Swint is ready for take-off at this year's 50th annual Stearman Fly-in events.

A native of Geneseo, Swint says he took his first liking to air planes as a child after he was introduced by his father.

"When I was a kid my dad flew model airplanes. He built a Stearman model and I specifically liked that," Swint said

Having 8,000 units built between 1941-1945, the Stearman models were the primary trainers in World War II.

Swint says his restored model is "exactly" as one would look if it were sitting on the battlefield.

"I bought it, [when] it was in a barn, completely disassembled and dilapidated," Swint said.

He added the nine-year project included plenty of history research in order to bring the 80-plus-year-old plane back to life.

The wings are made from a wooden frame, string, and a special fabric wrapping which holds it all together. 

"It was quite a time consuming thing, but I really enjoyed it," Swint said. "This one would look exactly in the line of Silver Wings and that's something that I wanted to replicate--one that looked like it was on the field."

Swintz will showcase his Stearman model during the 2021 Galesburg Fly-in events which take place from September 6th through September 11th.