Daily News

Springfield Detailer to Return to Seattle’s Museum of Flight for Preservation Projects

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield detailer Paul Frasco of Pro and Local Mobile Detailing has been handpicked for the second year by master detailer Renny Doyle to the 15th annual Air Force One Detailing Team. Frasco and 64 other professional detailers from around the nation will visit Seattle’s Museum of Flight July 15-22.

They will continue their annual cleaning and preservation of the first Air Force One on display at the museum, but they will also take their first shot preserving the museum’s newest acquisition, a Boeing B-52G Stratofortress bomber known as Midnight Express. Built in 1960 as a nuclear-armed Cold War platform, it was used extensively during the Vietnam War, and was active during Operation Linebacker II in December 1972, which led to the release of 591 prisoners of war in 1973.

Frasco is trained and certified by the International Detailing Assoc. and by Doyle’s Detailing Success. He makes the weeklong commitment on a voluntary, pro bono basis.

Doyle has spent 15 years restoring the historic presidential jet to its original glory. The plane was a flying Oval Office for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. It was in distressed condition when Doyle was first approached by the Bush administration in 2003 to put his skills to work to save it. It took more than a decade to fully restore the brilliance of the paint and clarity of the bright work (aluminum). Until 2016, the plane lived outdoors on the tarmac, exposed to the elements, requiring a robust annual cleaning, polishing, and protection for its paint and aluminum.

These past two years, the plane has found a home under the museum’s new, open-air Airpark Pavilion. Although it is mostly protected from the elements, it is still exposed to the region’s damp climate and extreme temperatures, requiring a rigorous cleaning, polishing, and application of a paint sealant to protect it from year to year.

Also on the agenda this year is polishing the B-29 Super Fortress, a WWII bomber the team began restoring in 2011; cleaning and polishing the first-ever Boeing ‘Jumbo Jet’ 747; polishing the supersonic Concorde Alpha Golf, which they have been working on since 2014; and numerous other priceless aircraft on exhibit at the Museum of Flight.

“Cleaning something as big as a jet airplane has its challenges, but when you are cleaning aircraft valued at hundreds of millions of dollars and that have such historical significance in aviation history, it requires unique skills and knowledge of paint and bright work not found in most detailers,” Doyle said. “The first time I laid eyes on Air Force One 15 years ago, I doubted whether it could be saved — that is how challenging the project was; however, I see what Paul has done, and I know what he can do. He is one of the best of the best.”

Added Frasco, “to see Air Force One shining in the sunlight from year to year is a testament to our commitment, hard work, and skill. I am proud to be a part of this project the past two years, and I am excited about tackling that B-52 this year. I look forward to many years ahead as a caretaker of aviation history.”

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