Getting ready for display

An F-15 fighter jet is coming to the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot.

Don Larson, president of the museum board, said the plane will be coming to the museum from Minot Air Force Base where it has been located for several years, but first it has to be demilitarized, also known as demilling.

The 5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron the Spittin’ Kittens at the Minot base used to fly F-15s. The air museum already has a T-33 trainer.

The air museum also is waiting to get an F-106 Delta Dart like the F-106s the Minot AFB squadron used to fly. That plane is coming from the “boneyard,” where planes go when they’ve flown their last mission, at Davis-Monthan AFB at Tucson, Ariz.

All three of these planes were flown by 5th Fighter. The squadron was at the Minot base for nearly 30 years, from early 1960 until the unit was deactivated here in early 1988. Before the air museum will get the F-15, Larson said equipment to help remove the engines from the plane will be coming from Great Falls, Mont. He said several people at the Minot base have volunteered their time to do the demilitarization process.

He said removing the engines is a requirement of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio. The museum is pursuing getting at least one of the engines for display purposes, Larson said.

He figures the plane will be arriving at the air museum in late summer or fall when it will be towed down the highway.

Larson said the F-15 was flown to Minot AFB several years ago, but funding wasn’t available for plans there to use it for a static display.

When the air museum gets the plane, he said they plan to repaint it in 5th Fighter colors. Currently the plane has Florida Air National Guard 125th Fighter Wing insignia.

He said he anticipates the F-106 will also be arriving sometime this fall. That plane is being demilitarized in Arizona.

He said the air museum recently received a quote from the contractor who will disassemble the plane after it is demilitarized, load it onto two flatbed trailers and then bring it to Minot. It will take two trucks to bring it to Minot.

The air museum and Minot AFB also will each be receiving a B-52 model for static display. John MacMartin, president of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce, said the models will be installed sometime in the next several weeks and dedicated in the fall.

All 11 World War II planes with the Texas Flying Legends Museum that are at the Minot air museum for part of the year, were at 2013 AirVenture Oshkosh, the air show held July 29-Aug. 4 at Oshkosh, Wis.

Larson said three of the planes just returned to the Minot air museum. He said three went on to Maine. The others will be the Fargo air museum for several days before returning to Minot until later this fall when they will go to Houston, their winter home.

“Most of them will have a presence here until we close in October,” Larson said.