The Work: The Restorers - Season 1
EP 1: Living History
“Living History" details those who are committed to keeping history alive, in the most literal sense. In the story 'Tora, Tora, Tora' a group of Commemorative Air Force volunteers fly Japanese Zero replicas to recreate the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 'Bomber Fantasy Camp' ordinary citizens pay to experience training and a mission on-board a B-24 bomber... to drop dummy bombs on target. In 'Paratrooper School' folks travel from far and wide to Frederick, OK to learn how to make WWII-style paratrooper jumps out of a period C-47 cargo plane.
EP2: Aircraft Recovery
This Restorers episode tells the story of what it can take to recover vintage aircraft that have been abandoned by time. First we visit a group who excavate captured WWII enemy aircraft out of the ground, where they were buried 70 years ago...in Indiana. We then feature a group of volunteers from Michigan who travel to the Alaskan wilderness to recover a B-25 Firebomber that crash landed in 1969.
EP3: The Aviatrix
“The Aviatrix” centers on the theme of women aviators in history and the determination they embodied to be allowed to fly. First, we follow the story of a restored Travel Air biplane used by Louise Thaden to win the first cross-country Women's Air Race in 1929. Then we tell the story of a group of students at a community college who are working to restore Jackie Cochran's Twin Beech, using it as vessel to tell the story of women in aviation. The last story showcases a Restorer who rebuilt a Stearman biplane that served at Avenger Field, where the Women's Air Service Pilots (WASP) were trained. This episode will inspire those who are told they cannot accomplish something, and having the drive to prove the cynics wrong.
EP4: Aviation Destinations
"Aviation Destinations" highlights aviation vacation destinations where you can experience historic aircraft. Featuring three varied stories, we travel to Kitty Hawk, NC to experience the Wright Brothers' first flight by flying in a replica Wright Glider on those historic sand dunes. The second destination is the old time Rhinebeck Aerodrome in NY, where these Restorers have rebuilt a number of vintage aircraft from 1909 up to WWI-era. They use these aircraft to put on two Flying Circus-type airshows every weekend. Finally, we travel to Chino, California, to experience the aviation-world famous Planes of Fame, including an aviation graveyard, a restoration hangar, and many rare restored aircraft. While there we highlight one of their many history programs on the Vietnam War with UH-1 Hueys.
EP5: They Were All Volunteers
In 2010 an extraordinary event took place. Each year the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders from WWII have a reunion to remember their mission and their leader Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. For their 68th reunion, seventeen B-25 bomber crews gathered to honor the Raiders. This episode stands out, as it follows a B-25 Mitchell bomber from Minnesota as her crew participates in the Doolittle Raiders Reunion / B-25 Gathering in Dayton, Ohio.