John Shue, left, and his son, Scott Shue, of Emigsville, pose Sunday with the 1930 Waco that won the AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 Grand Champion Antique. The
John Shue, left, and his son, Scott Shue, of Emigsville, pose Sunday with the 1930 Waco that won the AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 Grand Champion Antique. The pair run a business restoring planes that started from a personal restoration, evolved into a niche business and has earned them the award at the annual internationally recognized aviation show. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS- PAUL KUEHNEL)
Skeletal remains.

Nine years of meticulous work.

An undying quest for perfection.

That's the formula local artisans followed to restore a 1930 Waco open cockpit biplane, originally built in Troy, Ohio.

The result garnered a grand champion award in the antique category at a prestigious show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Under the direction of Joe Kaminskas of Biglerville, the plane's owner, John Shue and his son, Scott Shue, both of Emigsville, spent nearly a decade restoring the plane.

On Monday, at a private airstrip in Paradise Township, the Shues met with Kaminskas and discussed the process they used to rebuild the antique flying machine.

The plane, like many the Shues restore, started as a "pile of junk," John Shue said.

Kaminskas, who began flying planes in the early 1950's, bought the plane in 1999.

"At that time I was looking for a Waco," he said. "When I was a child I got a stick model of a Waco cabin airplane. That was the first model I finished."

Although the plane took nearly a decade to restore, it was worth the wait, Kaminskas said.

"Oh man. It's wild!" he said.

The Shues used prints from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the plane's old parts as a pattern to rebuild the craft, John Shue said.

"Joe insisted this be as close to the (original factory built) plane as possible," John Shue said. "This is the first 1930 Waco I've ever done. The older they get, the harder it is to find information.


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The plane's wings are made of wood, he said.

"For an old airplane, it flies nice," John Shue said. "You can do loops and rolls and spins, flop around in the sky."

The Shues fabricated a few major parts that were missing on the plane, Scott Shue said.

Additionally, they rebuilt an old fashioned breaking system, he said.

"It's an unusual breaking system, a cable system that was a challenge," Scott Shue said.

Jacob Paules of Jacobus stopped by the airstrip to get photos of the plane, he said.

The photograph shows the condition of the1930 Waco before the Shues began restoring the plane.
The photograph shows the condition of the1930 Waco before the Shues began restoring the plane. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS- PAUL KUEHNEL)

"I was in with a friend. We had a partnership. We had a plane like this," said Paules, a U.S. Navy veteran that served on the U.S.S. Missouri in 1945. "This really brings back memories. It's really great because you fly out in the open."

PLANE FACTS

John Shue and his son, Scott Shue, both of Emigsville, spent nearly a decade restoring a Waco RNF 1930 open cockpit biplane.

Here's a few facts about the biplane:

--- 1,360 pounds: weight of the plane.

--- Vermilion: color of the plane.

--- $4,450: base-price cost of the plane in 1930.

On the blog
- Emigsville's Web site tells fun tales of community's past. Read more at York Town Square.