By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — Members of the Air National Guard are in Wausau Thursday as they secure a massive military jet into a cradle in Alexander Airport Park.

The vintage Corsair jet weighs in at approximately 13,000 pounds. When the aircraft was operational, the plane weighed more than 39,000 pounds. But the engine, armaments and other heavy equipment was removed long ago from the jet, which was moved in June from its previous home at the VFW.

YouTube video

Securing the plane is the latest step as the park, adjacent to the Wausau Downtown Airport, undergoes a $600,000 renovation this summer, nearly all of which has been funded through donations from individuals and foundations.

After being installed, the aircraft will undergo an exterior restoration. That will likely take place in early spring, before the park’s grand opening.

The park, when finished, will include aviation-themed playground equipment, paved and numbered “runways” that are an exact miniature replica of the runways at Wausau Downtown Airport, information stations that showcase Wausau’s aviation history, aviation education stations and workout equipment for adults.

Some fun facts about the airplane:

  • Steel plane support weighs approximately 9,000 lbs
  • Approximately 30 cubic yards of concrete in the footing
  • The weight of the concrete footing is approximately 114,000 lbs
  • 14 bolts that are each 1-inch in diameter anchor the steel support to the concrete footing
  • The aircraft is 46 feet 1 inch long with a wingspan of 38 feet 8 inches
  • The aircraft’s max operating speed was 663 mph, but will be 0 mph on display

How to contribute

Buy a fixture: Sponsor a picnic table for $1,000 or a tennis court “bang board” for $5,000. Ask about fixtures here.
Donations in any amount may be made to support the revitalization of Alexander Airport Park via the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin.
Photo and video courtesy of Sarah Werth