CAMARILLO (CBSLA.com) — For the first time in more than two decades, a refurbished B-25 took to the skies.

CBS2’s Greg Mills reports it took nearly that long to refurbish the plane that flew during WWII.

The engine sounds a look like’s a bit tough to turn over .But old-timers said it’s supposed to sound that way.

“[It’s been] 71 years, 71 years since I’ve been inside one of those aircraft,” said Verne Horton, a veteran.

Horton says he wasn’t about to miss today.

He flew 43 missions in the B-25 patrols with the Marine Corps in WWII.

“To watch this plane come down the runway it was just an experience. Thank you Marc and your crew,” Horton said.

Marc Russell and his wife are United Airline pilots and daughter Katie is probably going to be a pilot, too.

In 1993, the plane was ferried to the Camarillo Airport Museum from Midland Airport.

Russell headed up the crew that restored the plane to make it air-worthy.  It took 23 years in all to complete the plane.

Yes. 23 years.

“Yeah 23 years,” says Russell, ” nd the team many of them put 15-20years themselves into it.”

A nice crowd was on hand Sunday to watch the refurbished plane make its inaugural flight — as a rebuilt plane that is.

Russell was the crew chief on board and for him, lift-off was a particularly special moment.

The plane left Camarillo, headed out to the ocean and back — about half an hour in all.

Russell and the plane got a nice welcome when they touched back down.

Russell told Mills that approximately 800 of the B-25s were made for Navy and Marine use  — and this one is is the only one left.

The refurbished plane will now appear in air shows. The public will also be able to purchase tickets for a half-hour flight.

Verne Horton will happily sign up to be one of those customers.

 

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