2002 Reno - National Aviation Heritage Invitational

Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy
Grand Champion
Fairey Firefly
Owned by: Captain Eddie Kurdziel of Del Mar, California
Restored by: Q.G. Aviation of America, Fort Collins, Colorado
Purchased as a project in 1994, the Firefly was fully restored by Q.G. Aviation of America, Fort Collins, Colorado, which dedicated over 40,000 hours to its completion. The aircraft's Rolls-Royce Griffon 74 engine boasts 2,500hp and was overhauled by Vintage V-12s, which incorporated Mk 58 engine heads and cylinder banks.

The Firefly was configured and painted to represent an aircraft of 817 Squadron of the Royal Australian Navy aboard HMAS Sydney as operated during the Korean conflict. It was authentic from interior equipment to external stenciling. The Firefly is a carrier borne, two-seat, low-wing monoplane originally designed for fighter reconnaissance and radio interception duties for the Royal Navy. Designed and first flown in 1941, the Firefly's combat debut was in 1944 against the German battleship Tirpitz. In all over 1,700 Fireflies were produced, with the last finishing military service in 1956.
National Aviation Hall of Fame
People's Choice
Fairey Firefly
Owned by: Captain Eddie Kurdziel of Del Mar, California
Restored by: Q.G. Aviation of America, Fort Collins, Colorado
The public was awed by the beauty of Captain Eddie's 'Fairey Firefly'. Former astronaut Captain Eugene A. Cernan, USN (Ret.) presented the awards along with sponsors James M. Guyette, Rolls-Royce North America, Don Lopez, Deputy Director, Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) and Ron Kaplan, Deputy Director, National Aviation Hall of Fame.
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