"Curious? Ask Chris:" Mysterious plane sitting on the tarmac of - WDRB 41 Louisville News

"Curious? Ask Chris:" Mysterious plane sitting on the tarmac of Bowman Field

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --Bowman Field sits on over 400 acres and is the home of a number of single engine planes, some jets, some helicopters. It's an aircraft that doesn't fly that has drawn a lot of attention over the years. 

Faithful WDRB viewer, Lou noticed it. He writes: "There has been a silver airplane sitting at Bowman for 35 plus years. It is visible from Pee Wee Reese. It would be interesting to know the history behind it." 

To get Lou an explanation, Chris Sutter and company went over to Pee Wee Reese Road and starting looking. They found the Lockheed L18 Loadstar. 

"Most of them think it's one of the drug smuggling airplanes," explained Peyton Hoge of Central American Airways. 

Not true. Believe it or not, at one time the plane was the pride of the airport. 

"Back when this was commercial before Standiford got fired up," Hoge said.

In the 1930s to be exact. The L18 Loadstar is a fast plane with 14 seats. That wasn't bad in a time when Judy Garland dominated the charts, but the good times were short lived. DC 3's started popping up at Bowman. The Loadstar then had to be re-purposed.

"A lot of corporations picked them up-- used them for their company airplane," he explained.

That didn't last long either, and the aircraft ended up on the market.

"We sold it to a group in Massachusetts that was going to restore it, but it didn't work," said Hoge. 

That company paid for it, but never bothered to pick it up. 

Today, it's permanently parked and has become a residence of sorts.

"It's now kind of a large birdhouse. They like it a lot. It keeps them dry," Hoge said with a chuckle.

You might be able to guess by the flattened wheels, taped-shut door, and overall dilapidated state that flying isn't possible. So, what's next for the aircraft?

"If we can find a way to take the tail off, wings off, and take it to Lexington-- we'll put it in the aviation museum they have over there. They now have room for it," he said. 

That's the goal, but it takes money and time-- both which fly by.

Question answered. Thanks to Lou! 

Do you have something you'd like Chris Sutter to investigate? 
Here's his contact info: 
Email: csutter@wdrb.com
Twitter: @chrissutter
Facebook: Search Chris Sutter

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