LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A pair of pilots in North Little Rock are chasing their dream of restoring a historic DC-3 aircraft.
The WWII prisoner of war transporter was purchased at a 2006 auction from the State of Arkansas. After bringing it back to the North Little Rock Airport, aviators Bob Partyka and Harry Barrett began work on the plane with the goal of restoring it to original condition.
The plane's history dates back to the mid-1940's when it was built for the Canadians in WWII. It was loaned to the British towards the end of the war and was later used to charter passengers to and from the North Pole in the 60's and 70's.
"We've taken most of the interior out, and we've still got a lot of work to do to get it back to the way it looked in World War 2," said Barrett, who also manages Barrett Aviation at the airport.
The owners said their main goal is to one day showcase the plane for the public. Barrett said he would like to try to form a museum with it and get some donations and keep it flying.
"It's a part of our history," Barrett explained.
At the very least, Partyka said he wants to bring it up to FAA standards, so they can take passengers up in the air.
"I wanna see it fly again," he hoped. "That's what this airplane was born to do is fly."