Newly Acquired B52 Bomber & WWII B29 Bomber Also on Agenda
FORT COLLINS, CO July 9, 2018 ⎯ Fort Collins detailer, Nicholas Vecchio of Sticklers 4 Details, Inc. has been handpicked by Master detailer Renny Doyle to the 2018 Air Force One Detailing Team. It is the 15th Anniversary of the historic restoration and preservation event of America’s most iconic and treasured aircraft. Vecchio and 64 other professional detailers from around the nation hit Seattle’s Museum of Flight July 15–22. In addition to the first presidential jet Air Force One, there is a new airplane on the agenda this year!
Although they will continue their annual cleaning and preservation of the presidential plane on display at the museum, 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, she 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.
Vecchio is trained and certified by the International Detailing Association (IDA) and by Doyle’s Detailing Success. He is a successful detailing business owner in Fort Collins and 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 he was first approached by the Bush administration in 2003 to put his skills to work to save it. It took over 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 area’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,” says Doyle.
“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 Nick has done and I know what he can do. He is one of the best.”
“When I got into the detailing business, I never dreamed I would be participating in such a prestigious project as detailing Air Force One,” Vecchio says. “I am honored by the opportunity to work on this historic aircraft, but I am also thrilled at the chance to work on other iconic aircraft like the WWII B29 bomber, a B52 bomber, the Concord Alpha Golf, and many other museum treasures.”
For more information about Nick Vecchio’s selection to the 2018 Air Force One Detailing Team at the Seattle Museum of Flight, contact him at (970) 416-8313, or Kimberly Ballard at (256) 653-4003.