John Norman has been an airplane enthusiast from a very early age. He built child sized ‘toy’ airplanes (like the one shown below) for friends to play in when he was a preteen … and he began his flight instruction while still attending high school.
During the early 1970’s, he served four years in the U.S. Navy where he was trained as an aircraft mechanic, working primarily on the P-3 Orion ‘sub-chasers’, stationed at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California.
Following his discharge, John completed his aeronautics training; obtained his private pilot license; his A&P license; built his first experimental aircraft; restored several general aviation aircraft as he ventured into the repair and restoration of vintage war-birds; and eventually obtained his Inspection Authorization certification.
This training has led to a life revolving around aircraft of all ages, all shapes and all sizes, in a variety of locations around the world. No matter where the job takes him, John has always returned to the Pacific Northwest where he calls Washington “Home”.
John’s love of wooden, fabric covered, tail-dragger, vintage, aircraft ~ brought two Boeing Stearman aircraft projects into his life while he was employed by United Airlines in the San Francisco Bay area in California during the 1980’s.
Upon returning to Washington, John built his first work-shop. He and his wife set up business building and restoring Stearman wings. The shop was large enough that they eventually expanded into the repair and restoration of General Aviation Aircraft, with the emphasis on those built with lots of wood… wrapped in fabric … and dragging their tails behind them!
Through the years, John has found himself employed:
- As a United Airlines line mechanic ~ eventually teaching blueprint reading, advanced sheet metal techniques and the Section-41 modifications for the Boeing 747; to the newly hired mechanics
- As a mechanic for Firewall Forward ~ a company specializing in the rebuild and restoration of radial engines of all sizes for vintage aircraft, then located at Bay View Regional Airport in Burlington, Washington
- In a civilian capacity for the U.S. Army Intelligence Base at Fort Huachuca, Arizona ~ maintaining their Huey and Black Hawk helicopters, as well as their Mohawk and O-2 Skymaster fixed wing aircraft
- Installing satellite communications systems on Al-Italia’s Boeing 767 aircraft in England and Italy
- As a Quality Assurance Inspector in the Final Body Join section of the Boeing 777 line, and as a Pre-Flight and Delivery Inspector on the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ at the Boeing plant in Everett, Washington
- As the Director of Maintenance for a small air cargo business ~ with a fleet of Douglas DC-3, Beech 18, Beech 99, Twin Baron and a Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner at Paine Field in Everett, Washington
- As the project manager ~ of a Boeing B-17 E-model “Flying Fortress” restoration in Washington state
- Re-building a 14-cylinder BMW-801 engine for a World War II German Focke-Wulf FW-190 in Washington state, and another at Vintage V-12’s in Tehachapi, California for the White 1 Foundation located in Florida
- As the lead aircraft mechanic for a privately held vintage aircraft collection ~ then located in Arlington, Washington
- Restoring a variety of vintage aircraft to airworthy condition, and even a few aircraft and engines for static display around the world
In his ‘spare’ time John has been found collecting … inspecting … repairing … fabricating … and assembling parts for his definitive reproduction of the famed:
that John is building at:
JNE Aircraft, LLC in Burlington, Washington, USA.