The "Double Vee™" is the only authentic, fully restored aircraft in existence once utilized by the now famous Tuskegee Airmen. This North American T-6, purchased by Steve Cowell of Denver, Colorado in August of 1997, is currently based at Front Range Airport (FTG). During the course of the purchase the purchase, Steve researched the aircraft's history through the United States Air Force Historical Research Agency located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
None of the plane's ten previous owners had ever known of it's unique history and when a phone call came nearly five months after Steve purchased the plane, it was a complete surprise. That phone call from TSgt. Byrd at the USAF Historical Research Agency was followed by a letter and a copy of the aircraft's log confirming the unique history of the aircraft Steve had purchased. According to the Sergeant, and official Air Force records, this very well may be the last flying aircraft utilized exclusively by the Tuskegee Airman during World War Two! Ever since recieving that phone call which set the plane's restoration research into high gear, Steve has been referred to as the "Accidental Historian".
The aircraft, originally a "C" model manufactured in Dallas in March of 1943, is now a "G" model. It had been converted from its original "C" model configuration in Downey, California in 1951. Steve jokes that he and his aircraft were both nearly on the assembly line in the Los Angeles area at the same time. However, the aircraft's conversion was completed in April of 1951, beating Steve off his "production line" by a margin of 14 months.
In its days as a "C" model, the aircraft was utilized to train the Tuskegee Airmen in the methods of ACM (aerial combat maneuvering) and gunnery. Upon completion of training, many airmen went directly to the P-47 and P-51 as members of the 332nd Fighter Group, utilizing their newly learned skills to make one of the most significant contributions of the war. The story of the Tuskegee Airmen and the extraordinary hardships they endured, were dramatized in a 1995 HBO movie. Double Vee is named in honor of the historic campaign waged during World War Two for African-Americans. It stood for a double, uncompromised victory...a victory abroad against the Axis powers and a victory at home against prejudice.
Steve has meticulously restored the aircraft to its original paint scheme and markings it bore while in service as an advanced fighter pilot trainer at Tuskegee, Alabama. After a three year restoration, Double Vee now tours the country at selected air shows with a unique, historical, educational display second to none.
The demand for the showing of this historic aircraft and it's display is exceeding all expectations and scheduling is limited. Corporate sponsorship opportunities for the "Double Vee" are available.
Check back often for further updated information regarding the "Double Vee", including its air show and appearance schedule, the terrific companies that help support Double Vee and other pertinent information.
The pilot and "Accidental Historian" of Double Vee is Steve Cowell, a mortgage broker and a former B727 Captain. He was also a Consultant/Instructor on the B737 to a major airline. Steve has over 15000 hours of flight experience in 26 different aircraft.