Blog Archives

Andreas Hotea Stearman N54173


“I had only the best experiences and recommend Vintage Wings & Wheels for everyone’s airplane enhancements and repairs.”

Andreas Hotea
Stearman N54173

“I have contacted Ernie the first time in July 2003 to help me with a pre-purchase inspection of a Stearman in Tucson, AZ. Ernie did a wonderful job, found a few minor things to be fixed with the plane and was available for all questions of a Stearman-novice. This was the main reason why I decided to hangar the plane in Hollister – close to Vintage Wings & Wheels. Ernie and his wife Beate are always friendly and make you feel welcome. Both, repairs and necessary paperwork are done very professionally. I had only the very best experiences and recommend them for everyone’s airplane troubles, enhancements and repairs.”

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Built in 1929, this D25 was one of the last New Standard built.  A brief history shows that the airplane was used to ‘smuggle’ Canadian Whiskey  during the prohibition and carried passengers from 1934 to 1941, later to be used as a crop duster until 1964.  The aircraft was sold to the “Flying Lady Museum” in Morgan Hill and was later acquired by Hugh Bikle.

Since the fall of 2006 “The Flying Lady” has undergone a complete restoration to a ‘Better Than New Condition’ by Vintage Wings & Wheels.  She has been returned to service in June of 2014.

Some additional unique features include

FAA field approved Electrical system using a Bendix Eclipse starter and wind generator

FAA field approved Avionics using Becker radio and Sandia transponder

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Custom 450 Stearman – N450SH – “Ol’Harry”

The fuselage was originally renovated by renowned Stearman restorer Harry Halajian with intentions of restoring one more stock Navy Stearman. John Hodgson acquired the fuselage from Harry and consulted with Vintage Wings & Wheels to restore a unique custom 450 Stearman.

The restoration was finished in 2007 by Vintage Wings & Wheels and “Ol’Harry” has received the “Vintage Custom Aircraft Champion award at Oshkosh 2007” and has been awarded “Grand Champion” at the Watsonville Fly-In and Airshow in 2007.

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Travel Air – N3945

This 1926 Curtiss built TravelAir has the original Wright J4 engine installed as well as high pressure tires.


Modifications to the aircraft include:

  • Field approved electrical starting system utilizing an Eclipse Bendix starter for safer starting operations
  • Removal of heel brakes and installation of FAA field approved brake pedal and master cylinder assemblies
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North American SNJ-5C N4082V


This Aircraft is being restored to original U.S. Navy specifications for 1944

Currently the aft fuselage is undergoing restoration including removal of all old paint, repairing and replacing fuselage skin where needed and repairing existing tail hook system for aircraft.

The vertical stabilizer has been installed in a fixture and totally been rebuilt including new skins, leading edge skin, ribs and spars.

Currently the horizontal stabilizer are being restored.


  • 2 seat Tandem WWII Navy advanced training aircraft
  • P&W 600 hp 1340 engine
  • Cruise: 150 to 180 mph
  • Landing speed: 90 mph
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RYAN PT20 – N14984


The Ryan PT20 has been used as a military trainer in the 1930’s.  Originally only 30 PT20’s were manufactured.  This aircraft in one of the only 3 PT20’s still flying.  The airplane is powered by a Menasco Super Pirate D4 engine 134 hp for take-off.

Modifications to the aircraft include:

  • Y150 angle drive starter
  • Re-installations of battery, voltage regulator and generator
  • Engine was removed for re-installation of original optional internal starter gears
  • Reassemble all necessary brackets and bell cranks for overhauled magneto advance and retard
  • New cowling fabricated and new spinner installed to replace damaged original spinner
  • Manufacture radio box on right side rear cockpit with original flex cond...
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Dan Collier Ryan N822PT


“I believe that all of Ernie’s customers will agree that we are very fortunate to have him in the business!”

Dan Collier
Ryan N822PT

“Having a 70-year-old classic plane, I am very particular whom I let work on it. This is one reason why I bring it to Ernie Persich for service. He is usually pretty busy working on one aircraft or another, and when I drop by with a concern or question, he will always stop what he’s doing and give me his full attention with a sincere interest in what I have to say. No problem is too big or small. He usually responds with the proper remedy, or in the very few instances when he’s not sure, he’ll actively pursue a solution or a needed part, and will not give up on it.

Ernie runs his business in a very professional manner and his work is impeccable...

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Helmut Stuerzel Stearman D-EMFL “My Fair Lady”


“Expert knowledge, professional attitude with the charm of a family business.”

Helmut Stuerzel, Bavaria, Germany

Stearman D-EMFL “My Fair Lady”

“After years of desire, I finally fulfilled myself the dream of owning my own Stearman. Although in overall good shape, she needed a light makeover, several spare parts and more than that, I needed good expert advice. With Ernie and Beate from Vintage Wings & Wheels I was lucky to find all of the above in one place. Although there are several thousand miles between South Germany and the West Coast USA, they provided me with a high class service, just like their hangar would be next to mine: expert knowledge, professional attitude with the charm of a family business...

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John Montmorency Staggerwing N9115H

“Vintage Wings and Wheels is the highpoint of professionalism, skill and friendliness.”

John Montmorency
Staggerwing N9115H

“For a few years now, I’ve been the proud owner of a Beech Staggerwing.  During this time, Ernie and Beate have been a tremendous help in keeping my airplane ship-shape in both appearance and airworthiness.  I have complete trust in Ernie’s skill and attention to detail. Many times he’s made a “silk purse out of a pig’s ear” at reasonable cost. Vintage Wings and Wheels is the highpoint of  professionalism, skill, and friendliness.”

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Mark Klein BT-13 N71502


“Ernie is a trustworthy and totally honest business owner.”

Mark Klein
BT-13 N71502

“I have known Ernie Persich for over 20 years now, long before I owned an airplane, he worked on my automobiles. Ernie knows antique airplanes inside and out. There is no better ’round’ engine guy around in Northern California. Complete with all this knowledge he is a trustworthy and totally honest business owner. That’s a great combination for a successful relationship.”

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