Student sculptures fuel fundraiser to help replace Whiskey 7 engine at Warplane Museum


GENESEO, N.Y. (WROC) — The National Warplane Museum showed off their collaboration with the students of the Metal Trades Program at the Mount Morris Career and Technical Education Center for the museum’s yearly fundraiser.

The students created aircraft inspired sculptures. The auction for the sculptures runs from June 1-12 here.

Normally, the fundraiser will help benefit another organization in need. This year its helping the museum itself. So this year, like many things, it’s a bit different.

“When we were asked to consider the Museum for our sculpture project, two years ago actually, then COVID came and everything went dormant,” said BOCES instructor Olie Olson. “This has been a real challenge because many of the project, or pieces, had been started by seniors who graduated.”

This year’s challenge involved taking parts that were hanging around the museum.

“Many museums like our’s we develop an inventory of parts, and some are usable, and some are not,” said Craig Wadsworth, a volunteer with the museum. “So when we invited the school over, we went through our storage area, and we found peieces of engine and other parts of aircraft.”

“They were like ants on a sugar bun,” Olsen said.

Some the displays featured a helicopter, from Nick Lasher and Matt Staho from Livonia, that featured a used heat sink and other metallic parts, to a gnome with a fuselage tip for a hit, and even a scale replica of the iconic Whiskey 7 aircraft; complete with original parts and screws from the plane itself.

“From the table I grabbed the mufflers from the Whiskey 7, and I though those could be used for the engine housings,” said Cole Carney from Wayland-Cohocton.

This tribute is fitting. The iconic warplane actually needs a little tender loving care. One of the engines needs repair.

Wadsworth says the parts and repair comes out to about $85,000.

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