Santa Barbara resident Robert Regan, known as “the Auto Detailing Teacher,” has been selected for the second time to join the elite team which will clean and “detail” two historic aircraft at Seattle’s Museum of Flight: the original Air Force One aircraft used as a “flying White House” by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon; and a rare WWII B29 Bomber known as T-Square 54.
Regan was part of the team of 30 highly qualified detailers from across the country, coordinated by Renny Doyle of Attention to Details, who first worked on Air Force One in 2008. Attention to Details, and its affiliates like The Auto Detailing Teacher, donate their time to help preserve historic aircraft and other forms of vehicles across the globe.
Doyle notes, “Robert was a valuable member of our team in 2008 and has chosen to be a team leader this year due to his outstanding work, a strong work ethic, and his background in education. He applies his skills as a teacher to detailing and he is a total professional.”
“I am thrilled to donate my time and skills to preserve such wonderful pieces of history,” says Regan. “Air Force One is displayed outside, and exposed to Seattle’s wet weather. We will spend a lot of our efforts getting its bare aluminum back to its shiny mirror finish. I’m especially excited about working on the Bomber, which has special challenges of its own.”
This year’s projects are estimated to take a total of 1,500 to 2,000 man-hours by the team of more than 40 (it would take one man nearly an entire year of work to complete the jobs solo). The team will use 2,000 microfiber towels; 1,000 terry cloth towels; some 2,000 feet of plastic sheeting; over 5,000 feet of extension cords; 200 polishing pads; plus gallons and gallons of cleaner, polishes and paint protective sealers.
Since 1996 when Air Force One was granted to the Museum of Flight, more than two million visitors have stepped aboard the “flying Whitehouse” that carried Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon and other national and world leaders. This first presidential jet plane, a specially built Boeing 707-120, is known as SAM (Special Air Missions) 970, but carried call sign “Air Force One” when the president was aboard.
The B-29 Superfortress revolutionized World War II-era bombers, enabling long-range missions over Japan. Two modified B-29s dropped atomic bombs in Japan, another carried Chuck Yeager and the Bell X-1 rocket plane aloft for the first supersonic flight in 1947. The Museum’s B-29, known as T-Square 54, flew 37 bombing missions in the Pacific with the 875th Bomb Squadron, 498th Bomb Group. It was later converted to an aerial refueling tanker for the Korean Conflict.
The Museum of Flight (www.museumofflight.org) is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, attracting more than 400,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s collection includes more than 150 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the Red Barn® —the original manufacturing facility of The Boeing Co.