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Meridian Phantom Jet Undertakes Restoration

The restoration process began today for Meridian's RF-4C Phantom II 67-438 jet. Over the next week, two brothers will be repainting the plane back to its original color.

Committee board member, Danny Smith shared what it means to have the jet back in Meridian:

"It's a dream come true. I mean, you know, when we started the project, I was hopeful that it would happen", stated Smith. "Now that the airplane is here, we're going to start painting on it, making it look like it did when it flew here."

Two brothers, Ethan Scott and Richard Westmoreland travel the world restoring jets like the Phantom.

"I love my job so much, just be able to put hands on this plane in particular, and especially an R4 Phantom; I think that's an amazing accomplishment", expressed Scott. "What I can't wait to do is to see this thing finished. I think it's going to be an amazing project, and it's going to be amazing for the community. I think they're going to enjoy this."

Richard Westmoreland has been traveling non-stop for about two years restoring planes in states from Washington to Florida. Richard says this community has made this project even better.

"Every day they pass by, they'll see a little progress, a little more here, a little more there. Hopefully, in a few more days, they'll see a brand new-looking airplane sitting up here", said Richard. "We've had many people stop by that are driving by. They see that we're doing it and are interested to know. They've wanted to see this plane get restored for a while now. We've had people pull off and talk to us about it. There's one guy that stops every day and tells us we're his hero."

Depending on the weather, the painters expect to finish the painting phase by the end of this week.

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