Scott Shue, front, and his dad, John Shue, are restoring a 1940 UPF-7 Waco airplane that they flew across the country when Scott was a kid. The two-seater
Scott Shue, front, and his dad, John Shue, are restoring a 1940 UPF-7 Waco airplane that they flew across the country when Scott was a kid. The two-seater plane was one of only about 600 made between 1937 and 1942. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Jason Plotkin)
Feb. 7, 1975, was a blustery, snowy day.

But that didn't stop Scott Shue from taking his first solo flight in an antique airplane to celebrate his 16th birthday.

"There was 6 inches of snow on the ground," said Shue, now 50. "I'll never forget that day."

Today, Shue and his father, John Shue, are about three years into a project to restore the 1940 UPF-7 Waco plane at their shop in Emigsville.

Their goal is to finish the plane for a Waco fly-in gathering in Ohio next year, they said.

"It's labor-intensive," Scott Shue said of the restoration process. "I've always been flying . . . ever since I was old enough to stand on the seat. I've been around it all my life."

John Shue, who purchased the plane in 1964, agreed it's not easy to find parts to reconstruct an antique plane.

"That's why they don't build them like this anymore," John Shue said. "We haven't strayed from originality."

After father and son completed a seven-year restoration process in 1971, John Shue flew the plane.

Scott Shue recalled that, as a kid, he used a wire brush to strip old paint off the plane's frame.

About a year later, the pair took the plane on a three-week trip, Scott Shue said.

"We slept under the wing every night, rain or shine," he said. "We took photos through the struts of Mount Rushmore. . . . It was a neat trip."

Scott Shue also recalled playing trumpet for Central York High School marching band home football games while his dad flew the plane and towed a banner that read "Go Panthers" over the school's stadium.

Students nicknamed it the "Panther Plane," Scott Shue said.

The plane was last flown about five years ago, Scott Shue said, adding that he and his dad are eager to overhaul the plane and get back in the air.

"It's just neat to have an old part of the family back in the shop again," Scott Shue said.

The Shues’ plane will weigh about 2,000 pounds when the restoration is complete.
The Shues' plane will weigh about 2,000 pounds when the restoration is complete. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Jason Plotkin)

Plane details

Details on John Shue's 1940 UPF-7 Waco that he and his son, Scott Shue, are restoring:

  • Wings are made of wooden frame covered with fabric and painted with aircraft dope

  • Each wing contains thousands of tiny nails

  • The plane will get about 30 coats of paint with many sandings in between

  • When finished, the plane will weigh about 2,000 pounds

  • It will cruise at about 100 mph; it will stall at 58 mph

  • The maximum, never-exceed speed is 215 mph

  • About 600 UPF-7 Wacos were built between 1937 and 1942

    Flying high

    John and Scott Shue won a national award in August for their restoration of a 1930 Waco open-cockpit biplane. They won the grand champion award in the antique category at a prestigious show in Oshkosh, Wis.

    Under the direction of the plane's owner, Joe Kaminskas of Biglerville, the Shues spent nearly a decade restoring the plane.



    Also of interest

    · Photo, info about another World War II plane in York County - Boeing Stearman PT-17.