Have You Seen The Airplane on North 18th Street in Quincy?
I drive by the Quincy Regional Training Facility on North 18th Street quite often and when I do my eyes always seem to gravitate to an airplane sitting there in the back of the parking lot area. It has been there for over a decade and, as my mind does, I wondered just how it got there. So this inquiring mind called the Quincy Fire Department (Q.F.D.) to get the answer. I was put in touch with Captain Mark Bigelow who was kind enough to give me some background on the "plane".
The first thing that Captain Bigelow surprised me with was that the "plane" is actually an old school bus. The nose and tail were constructed afterward as a school bus interior is very much like an airplane. The two men behind the original project were Steven Wiewell and Bruce Oitker. There is also an engine in the front of the plane and there are propane tanks with it to replicate fuel for an aircraft.
The Quincy Fire Department regularly trains for rescue and intense burning firefighting on what they call "The Airbus". The Federal Government mandates training for cities with airports including Quincy and the training facility in Quincy has been officially authorized as an official training ground. Since Sky West has arrived with the jet planes, the Q.F.D. has had to undergo additional training as well.
In case you are wondering , the "airbus" is an all metal structure. So now I and you know!