Private company restores historic Vietnam-era aircraft for Air Force in North Dakota

The historic planes displayed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota won’t fit in a body shop, so when they need a dent removal or a new paint job, a restoration team must go to them.

In the summer of 2016, a Vietnam War-era F-101 Voodoo and a B-52 bomber are getting the beauty treatment at the base from Ponsford, a historical restoration company based in Atlanta, and owned by Gordon Ponsford.

Keeping these things restored kind of inspires the next generation, and it’s nostalgic for the old ones,” Ponsford said, carefully taping over numbers on the F-101’s tail.

Meanwhile, restoration tech Sam Oliver used a heat gun resembling a hair dryer to strip away another decal on the body of the plane.

Ponsford’s previous work has included restoring the granite inscription at John F. Kennedy‘s tomb at Arlington National Cemetery and Martin Luther King Jr.‘s Bible, which President Barack Obama used in his second inauguration.

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