Huntington Man Not Only Rebuilds ''Warbirds,'' He Writes About Them

By Mike Green

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 1, 2010 at 6:55 PM EDT

(Huntington) -- Tim Savage has an exciting life -- a successful computer company in Fort Wayne, and a real fun business at Huntington Airport restoring World War Two warbirds.

"Probably when I was about 10, my dad bought me a model of a World War One fighter that we put together, a little plastic model," Savage recalled. "I think that's what sealed it for me. I've had the passion ever since."

Tim's company restores T-6 airplanes, a fabulous World War Two trainer. Each plane is torn down to the last rivet, nut and bolt and rebuilt from the ground up, including a $45,000 overhaul of the radial engine.

"I love to see old stuff made new again," Savage said. "I love preserving history. I think that's what's exciting about this is we're taking some pretty grungy old airplanes and making 'em look brand new and that to me is pretty neat."

But restoring these old warbirds is only part of Tim Savage's passion. The other part is telling the world about it. Savage is writer, editor and publisher of "Warbird Digest," a beautiful glossy bimonthly publication dedicated to warbird restoration. He launched the magazine three years ago and for a while it was touch and go.

"I knew nothing about the magazine business," Savage explained. "I knew about the warbird business and the aviation business, but nothing about the magazine business. So it's been kind of learning from the school of hard knocks."

"Warbird Digest" talks a little about the history of these magnificent airplanes, but it really focuses on what's happening with them today -- mostly stories about saving and restoring aircraft, like the guy that fished a wrecked amphibious out of a lake in the Bahamas and restored it to flying condition. Or the "Glacier Girl," a P-38 fighter that spent 50 years under a glacier before being rescued and rebuilt.

"These airplanes are what kept our country free in the '40's," said Savage. "And they deserve to be preserved and I think the magazine helps educate and educate kids which is a real passion of mine is keeping young people involved in knowing what happened during World War Two."

The passionate mission of a magazine man who practices what he preaches.

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