Restoration: Mach 2 Heavyweight Champion
The North American RA-5C Vigilante.
- By Robert F. Dorr
- Air & Space magazine, November 2002
(Page 2 of 2)
The National Museum of Naval Aviation at Pensacola, Florida, identified an RA-5C Vigilante at China Lake, California, that could be salvaged. “The Navy had been using the plane as a target,” Mahany says. The Memorial Committee is now rebuilding the aircraft in a hangar at the Sanford airport and preparing to mount it in an airport park dedicated to the town’s naval aviation heritage. “We’re about halfway finished,” says Mahany. “The committee is working on corrosion control and preparing to paint, and after that the wings and the horizontal and vertical stabilizers will be reassembled. There’s a Vigi reunion here next May, and we promised to have the aircraft ready for dedication.”
The Sanford airplane is number 156632, the 12th from last aircraft in the RA-5C production run. If you flew or worked on Vigilantes, especially 156632, the committee would like to hear from you. Contact Patty Mahany, Sanford Airport Memorial, One Red Cleveland Blvd., Suite 1200, Sanford, FL 32772, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Robert F. Dorr