N45025 has a fascinating history. It starts with her service days. She spent her entire service life at NAS Glenview. My father was a crew chief on N3Ns at Glenview during the early years of the war, so it is likely that my father topped off her oil and changed an occasional spark plug.

According to Richard, she was mustered out of the Navy and only flew for a couple of years, with her last flight in 1946. The disassembled aircraft moved from owner to owner until Richard purchased her in 1975 as a basket case. He has been working on his project for over 35 years!

Owner Richard Unander has taken great care to get zero-two-five as historically correct as possible. Here is a closeup shot from the front during runup. I have to say that this may be the best photograph of an N3N that I have seen. The shutter speed was well chosen to create that beautiful propeller arc, with the sun glinting off of the aluminum of the ground adjustable propeller:

N3N-3 Taxi TestPhoto by Rob McGregor
She returned to the air on July 31, 2013, after being earth-bound for over 65 years! What a great day it must have been to experience the result of those efforts!

N3N-2 Departure 1Photo by Rob McGregor

And for good measure, here is another photo of her on the taxiway after her first landing:

N3N-3 Taxi Back After Successful FlightPhoto by Rob McGregor

The Van Nuys airport newsletter had a nice write-up on the first flight here:

The aircraft was also prominently displayed at the 85th anniversary celebration in August. Here are a couple of photos that an attendee to the open house posted online:

17781778 prop

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Van Nuys Airport Community Relations for providing the great photos. The 3 primary photos are higher resolution, click on each one to enjoy a larger image.