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Color Success

PPG Aerospace Coatings help bring a fighter jet back to life

PPG Aerospace Coatings help bring a fighter jet back to life.

It was surrendering to high grass and rust, and was buried in Mississippi River mud up to its axles. The once-proud war jet, a Grumman F9F Panther was a forgotten relic tucked in a corner of a Winona, Minnesota runway. Until retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Dan Cherry rescued and resuscitated it-with the help of PPG Aerospace.

PPG retiree Walt Poff, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, learned of Cherry's desire to restore the 60 year-old jet and put him in contact with PPG Aerospace, to provide the coatings and technical help to cover the jet.

After major restoration work was completed, the fighter jet was covered with PPG Aerospace Coatings: DesoGel chromate-free pretreatment, 7755 BE primer, 8800 high-solids, and low-VOC polyurathane topcoat. "PPG's assistance with the restoration was incredible," Cherry said. "The coatings are the authentic color. It's beautiful, durable, and will stand as an important, inspiring reminder for a long, long time. And PPG made it all possible."

Cherry dedicated the restoration project in honor of fellow Kentuckian U.S. Navy Commander Johnny Magda who flew Panthers as the lead pilot of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, but died in action in North Korea in 1951. The jet-now identical to a Blue Angel aircraft-is on display at the Aviation Heritage Park Museum (of which Cherry is president) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

For more information visit www.aviationheritagepark.com