The Young Aviator’s B-25J Mitchell Bomber is a scratch-built static replica of the real B-25J bomber, used in World War II. It is built of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy sheet, fastened together with “bucked” rivets, just like “Rosie The Riveter” built warbirds of the 1940’s.
Construction of the B-25J replica began in 2001 in Lakewood, CO, by a family who wanted to build “the coolest treehouse in the neighborhood.” After deep research reading books, visiting museums, and even obtaining a 1944 B-25J Parts Manual, a father and his two sons, ages 9 and 6, built the frame and much of the skin for 1/3 (8 feet, 8 inches) of the replica’s fuselage.
In 2014, Young Aviators (YA), a youth-based extension of Chapter 43 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) continued work on the B-25 in Erie/Denver, CO. The YAs finished the “skin,” completely built the interior & trailer, and transformed the B-25 into a simulator. Teams formed up to complete subprojects:
- Cradle and trailer with lift
- Outside sheet metal
- Inside sheet metal
- Nose & Plexiglas
- Instruments & Electronics
- Flight Controls & Throttle Quadrant
- Flight Simulator Programming
- Sound system & wiring
- Radio & intercom
The B-25 debuted in 2015 at the Wings Over The Rockies Museum (Denver) and later at the 2015 AirVenture aircraft convention in Oshkosh, WI. In 2019, it has been taken to the next level by adding HGTV screens and new computers, enhancing the visual experience of the simulator.