“Aurora” was the Roman Goddess of the Sunrise. “Aurora” also symbolizes new beginnings. With her beautiful red and yellow sunburst wings, Aurora paints a picture of the rising sun as she climbs and dances in the sky. She has also brought a new beginning to Jane by enabling her to relaunch her airshow career and renew her dreams. Thus, there is no other name that is more suited for this amazing aircraft.
Aurora is a beautiful 450 HP Stearman that was acquired from Steve Wagner in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota who meticulously restored the airplane from the ground up.
This monster airshow Stearman is unlike any other on the airshow circuit, and is piloted by Jane Wicker, Rock Skowbo, Bill Gordon, Brian Rosenstein, and Charlie Schwenker. Aside from her one of a kind paint design, her modifications are what set her apart from any other Stearman.
Aurora, is built with all new Douglas Fir spars and Stika Spruce wood. She has a complete inverted fuel and oil system, an extra flying wire, all new birdcages, all new sheet metal, a stainless steel firewall, all new stainless steel cables, and all new control bearings, pulleys, cables and hardware. The wings have 4 equal span ailerons with servo tabs on the bottom and the tail is build with a counter balanced elevator. The crowning jewel is the fuel injected Pratt & Whitney R-985 450 Horse Power Radial engine and customized dual stack exhausts. Because the airshow smoke has been plumbed into both exhausts it produces an excessively large and beautiful smoke trail that sometimes paints duel trails in the sky.
Aurora roars to life and produces 500 HP on takeoff. She claws for the sky soon after the throttle is advanced, making for a very short take-off roll and high climb rate. The distinctive growl is unique to the 450. A large contributor to the roar of Aurora comes from the propeller tips, which reach super sonic speed at full power.
Aurora was completed by two of the best Stearman mechanics in the country. Jim Carlson, (former Red Baron Head of Maintenance) and Ryan Dulas (former Red Baron Mechanic). She is not only a wonderfully built restoration, but was in the best of hands during her completion. The restoration was finished and delivered to Jane on June 25, 2010.