Wife donates late-husband's plane to Eastern Iowa Airport as art

Wood and fabric plane built by former Rockwell Collins engineer

Mary Yeoman donated her late husband's airplane to The Eastern Iowa Airport so that it could hang at the Newbo City Mark
Mary Yeoman donated her late husband's airplane to The Eastern Iowa Airport so that it could hang at the Newbo City Market in Cedar Rapids. (Katie Kuntz/ The Gazette)

NewBo City Market will soon have a 600 pound piece of art hanging from the ceiling's rafters.

The art is a working Flaglor Scooter, a low-powered, light-weight plane constructed of wood and fabric built by the late David Yeoman, who died May 30, 2012 at the age of 75.

"It was very special to my husband, so I didn't want it to go to a museum out of state," said his wife, Mary Yeoman. So she donated it to The Eastern Iowa Airport.

An engineer for 41 years at Rockwell Collins, Yeoman had a love for avionics.

He built the plane in his basement in the early 1970s. It took him four years and $1,200 to finish it, she said, and he took his first flight in the summer of 1974.

Mary said the family home, which Yeoman also built, even has a hanger and 2,000-foot runway that supported his flying hobby.

"This is a first for us," said Heather Wilson, the airport's marketing and communications director, of the donation. "But it's done across the country."

She said the airport was unable to find a home for the plane onsite, but thought hanging it in NewBo City Market was a nice fit since the airport is the market's sponsor.

"It's going to stay (in NewBo) for the foreseeable future," Wilson said, adding that the Flaglor Scooter could eventually move to the airport once the concourse has been remodeled.

But moving the plane on Monday was no easy task. It had to be broken down into three pieces and transported on trailers hitched to the back of pickup trucks. Yeoman's friend Keith Williams headed the group who disassembled, moved and reassembled the aircraft.

After it was reassembled, Yeoman's daughter Jennifer Yeoman Waskow buffed the aircraft and its big brown lettering N88DY, which is the ham radio shorthand for hugs and kisses followed by the pilot's initials.

On Tuesday, it will be hung by a chain motor from the rafters of the market, and the display will be open to the public on Thursday at 11 a.m."It was a labor of love," Wilson said.

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