The Commemorative Air Force announced on Wednesday that it has lost an appeal to hold on to a rare F-82 Twin Mustang that it had operated for many years. Ownership of the airplane will remain with the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, a judge ruled last week in a federal court in Texas. "After countless hours of dedication on behalf of the CAF, our member-volunteers and staff are disheartened by the decision of the Court," said CAF President Stephan Brown in a news release. "The plane has been returned to the USAFM [in Dayton, Ohio] as directed by the District Court in July." The CAF had hoped to restore the aircraft to flying condition, after it had been damaged in an accident in 1987. Before that, the group had flown the airplane for 20 years in support of its efforts to honor military aviation.
The CAF had offered to abandon its plan to fly the aircraft, if the USAF would drop its case and let the CAF keep it, but that offer was rejected. The CAF then pursued the appeal to federal court, but that rejection would seem to be the end of the line for its efforts to change the USAF's mind. If the CAF had been able to restore the F-82, it would have been the only one of its kind flying. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli had some thoughts on this issue following the district court ruling; click here for that blog post and the ensuing discussion.