The wraps are off on one of the most exciting barn finds in memory. Aussie import and SoCal aerobatics fanatic Leigh Hubner shared with Plane & Pilot his current refurb project on a plane that was located, in parts, in Denver.
The plane was an Extra, but completely disassembled. And when Hubner looked closely, he found that it wasn’t just any extra, but Patty Wagstaff’s Extra 300S that was made famous in Microsoft’s new Flight Simulator ’95 and ’98, which revolutionized home computer flight simulation. Along with a pretty impressive flight engine, Patty presented lessons on how to fly certain manuevers, and Hubner, already a private pilot, was smitten with the plane, the prospects of flying aerobatics himself and whatever the future might hold.
The kismet here is breathtaking, so stand forewarned. Hubner, who is today a director of photography (DP) in Los Angeles, and an accomplished aerobatic pilot himself, found an ad for what he says was “a dusty, dirty Extra project.” The plane had been disassembled and in pieces for 20 years. When Hubner went to look at the project and did a little research, he was blown away. It wasn’t just any Extra (which would have been cool enough); it was Patty’s old plane, N328PW! Hubner referred to it as “a dream plane from my youth,” and “one that can’t be left sitting in pieces.”
There were endless challenges involved but after more than a year of hard work, this piece of aerobatic history looks better than ever! Check out Leigh’s video on the project. And thanks, Leigh, for giving P&P the first look at this wonderful story.