Bird Aviation Museum
Bird Airplanes
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May 20th through October 5th, 2013 Monday-Saturday, 8am to 4pm

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October 7th, 2013 through May 2014 Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm

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Dr. Bird's Private Collection of Aircraft


 
N481RD is a 1968 Bell 47 (G3B-2) which was modified in 1979 by installation of an Allison 250-C20 turboshaft engine. The work was done by Soloy Conversions LTD, and the engine came from Dr. Bird's Bell 206B, which had been upgraded to a 206BIII. This is a good performer, a fine trainer, and a lot of fun to fly. The tremendous visibility from the Bell 47 cockpit makes this a great search and rescue ship.
     
   
N581RD is a 1974 Bell 206B which has been modified to the configuration of a 206BIII, primarily by installation of a 250-C20B engine, and which has been outfitted as a critical care transport ship. This superb aircraft demonstrates why the Bell Jet Ranger is a legend.
     
 
N381RD is a 1977 Bell IFR 212. Undoubtedly among the cleanest and lowest-time 212s in existence with just under 600 hours total time in service, this ship also has been an important testbed in Dr. Bird's pioneering aeromedical research. It has enough soundproofing that a stethoscope can be used during flight, and is equipped for single-pilot IFR operation.
     
 
N267R is a 1993 model American Champion 8KCAB "Decathlon". Unlike most of Dr. Bird's aircraft this one is largely unmodified, except for the installation of a second airspeed indicator visible from the rear seat in order to facilitate dual instruction, and a glider tow system.
     
   
N281RD is a 1938 Piper J3C-65. Completely restored, equipped with a Continental O-200-A 100 h.p. engine upgrade and Edo straight floats, this one spends the summer on Lake Pend Orielle and the winter suspended from the ceiling in Dr. Bird's helicopter hangar. This plane made the first flights using the "Smartplugs" catalytic ignition system instead of electrical engine ignition.
     
N281RD is a 1938 Piper J3C-65. Completely restored, equipped with a Continental O-200-A 100 h.p. engine upgrade and Edo straight floats, this one spends the summer on Lake Pend Orielle and the winter suspended from the ceiling in Dr. Bird's helicopter hangar.  
N26044 is another 1938 Piper J3C-65, also fully restored, also powered by a 100 horsepower Continental O-200-A, but this one is on wheels. This was Dr. Bird's father's airplane, and is destined to become part of the Smithsonian collection.
     
 
N881RD is a 1981 Piper PA-18-150 "Supercub". Modifications include airframe structural reinforcements, installation of a 180 horsepower Lycoming O-360 engine, full IFR panel, Wipaire 2100 amphibious floats and gross-weight increase and long-range fuel capacity. This is a fine performer and lots of fun!
     
 
N21DB is an Alon A-2, 1967 vintage. Modifications include extra fuel capacity and folding wings. Completely restored in 1991, this one can be trailered with the wings folded, and can be set up for flight in just a few minutes. The A-2 is a well-kept secret and is generally underrated by pilots. Unlike the early Ercoupes from which it evolved, it has independent three-axis flight controls and yields performance numbers comparable to airplanes of much greater horsepower, while retaining its docile handling qualities.
     
 
N103DB is another Alon A-2, a 1965 model completely restored in 1998, but this one is much more highly modified. It's equipped with a 150 h.p. Lycoming engine, fuselage fuel tank, digital engine instrumentation and Unison Industries Lasar ignition system.
     
 
N1179S is a 1972 Schweizer SGS-2-333A sailplane purchased from Silverwood Theme Park after they discontinued giving glider rides at the park. This aircraft is quite basic and is generally in original configuration. Dr. Bird fabricated a custom trailer for transporting the Schweizer.
     
   
N113DB is a 1985 Grob G-109B motorglider of all-composite construction with a Volkswagen engine and composite propeller. While Dr. Bird claims to have no particular favorites among his collection, he does tend to be gone quite a long time when he takes this one out for a flight!
     
 
N781RD is a 1947 Republic RC-7 "Sea Bee". Extensive modifications include installation of IGSO-480 series engines (Geared, Opposed; Geared, Supercharged, Opposed; and Injected, Geared, Supercharged, Opposed) ranging from 270 to 340 hp, reversing propeller, lengthened wingspan, extended ailerons, modern instrumentation and avionics. Airframe restoration was just completed in 2001. This ship is characterized by excellent water-takeoff performance, superior visibility from the cockpit, and demands coordinated rudder input with all maneuvers.
     
 
N981RD is a 1980 Cessna TU206G with a Soloy Conversions Allison 250-C20 turboshaft engine installation, on Edo 3500 amphibious floats. With full IFR, autopilot, STOL modifications, Wipaire right-front cabin door, super-extended fuel capacity and amphibious capability all build around the rugged Cessna 206, this is a real go-anywhere plane.
     
 
NC901H is a North American AT-6. Dr. Bird flew a similar aircraft as a pursuit transition instructor at Palm Springs. This aircraft is pretty much original except for a few modifications required in order to obtain a civil airworthiness certificate, and installation of modern instrumentation and avionics. It is powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine, making 600 takeoff horsepower and turning a Hamilton Standard steel propeller.
     
 
N11PB is a DeHavilland DHC-1B-2-S5 "Chipmunk" certified in the experimental category and modified by installation of a 200 h.p. Lycoming IO-360 engine, a constant speed propeller and a one-piece sliding canopy. This aircraft was completely restored in 1992. It's fully aerobatic, has beautiful proportions and "flies as good as it looks". Dr. Bird says of the Chipmunk that it "flies like a little P-51". One other testimonial to the DHC-1B design: this is a 1956 airplane with no applicable airframe Airworthiness Directives!
     
 
N181RD is our 1979 Cessna T337H. Modifications include upgraded instrumentation and avionics, Horton STOL, aerodynamic spoilers, Riley wingtip fuel tanks and large-area empennage fairings. This low-time aircraft is one of the finest examples of a great airplane design.
     
   
N2803D is a 1940 Boeing B75N1 Stearman, restored in 1990, powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine and a Hartzell three-bladed propeller. This powerplant, engine mount and cowling are originally a Beech model 18 Q.E.C.A. Other mods include enclosed canopy (which actually improves visibility by lowering the cockpit sides), a smoke system, updated instrumentation and avionics.
     
 
N81RD is the flagship of our fixed-wing fleet. It's a 1977 Riley Turbine Eagle, that is- a Cessna 421C modified by installation of twin Pratt & Whitney PT6A-135 turboprop engines and full-reversing propellers. Full restoration of this aircraft was completed in 1999. Fuel capacity is 340 gallons and endurance is in excess of six hours. Other modifications include full de-ice and electric windshield, vortex generators, upgraded instrumentation and avionics including an Avidyne flight situation display. Extremely smooth and quiet, this pressurized airplane takes off in well under 1000 feet at our elevation of 2300 feet above sea level, and easily cruises in excess of 300 M.P.H. at altitude, with a service ceiling of 31,000 ft.
     
NC4780W is a 1927 WACO model GXE-10. In a GXE-10 like this one Dr. Bird made his first solo flight at the age of 14.  
NC4780W is a 1927 WACO model GXE-10. In a GXE-10 like this one Dr. Bird made his first solo flight at the age of 14. This example has been modified by replacement of the original OX5 water-cooled engine with a Continental W-670 radial engine and installation of modern instruments and radios. The original fixed tail skid has also been replaced with a steerable tailwheel.
     
 
NC291Y is a 1939 Beech Aircraft Company model F-17-D "Staggerwing". Fast, rugged and reliable, this beautiful design represented a revolutionary leap forward in airplane performance and utility, and many are still flying today. Ours is powered by a seven cylinder Jacobs 755 cubic inch radial engine producing 275 horsepower. Enhancements include modern instruments, radios and navigation equipment.

 
Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center
325 Bird Ranch Road. Sagle, Idaho 83860