Aircraft Restoration Services

Our award-winning aircraft restoration capabilities are well-known in the aviation community. Since 1990, we have restored more than 100 warbirds, from T-28s to MiG-17s, and L-19s to L-39s.

Our work has been recognized many times with Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion awards, along with Gold and Silver Wrench awards, at EAA’s AirVenture (Oshkosh, WI) and Sun N Fun (Lakeland, FL) conventions. In addition, we have been recognized with numerous other awards, from all over the country. You only have to walk along the Warbird flight line at any large airshow, and you can pick out Pride restored airplanes. There REALLY IS that much difference in the quality, attention to detail, and true craftsmanship in our restorations.

If you spend much time looking carefully at “newly-restored” warbird airplanes, you’ll notice that some of them are basically in their original, un-restored condition, but with a nice coat of shiny paint. These are easy to spot, and if you purchase one, you’ll always have concerns about the airplane’s true level of safety and reliability. The next, and most common, level of restoration you’ll find are the airplanes which have been restored quickly and with little regard for detail. These are the airplanes on which most of the time was spent painting the cockpits. Many of these are relatively safe, pretty good-looking airplanes, and they’ll probably be fairly safe and reliable.

But there’s an entirely different level of airplane restoration you should know about. Surprisingly, it’s not the result of an astronomically-expensive restoration. It’s simply the result of a different attitude. It’s the result of having PRIDE in our workmanship.

The Pride Difference

At Pride Aircraft, we start with the assumption that a Warbird restoration must result in the best-built, safest, highest-quality airplane that can be produced … period.

We simply will not compromise on the basics of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

A Pride L-39 restoration, for instance, begins with a hand-picked airframe which was imported and carefully stored inside at our facility, until you become the proud new owner. Your plane is then moved to our restoration floor, where the fuselage is mounted in a mobile jig, allowing it to be moved around the shop. The airframe is mechanically stripped to a near-bare state, with all the major systems removed or exposed. We do not remove the old paint at this point, as this exposes the aluminum skin and original anodizing to damage over a period of several months. The basic structure is carefully inspected, and then repaired as necessary. Hoses, tubing, and electrical wiring are replaced or repaired. Hydraulic tanks, engine oil tanks, and accessory fluid tanks are flushed, cleaned, and pressure-tested. New fuel bladders are installed and tested. Certain systems, such as old radios and oxygen systems, are removed entirely, and are replaced with modern, Western systems. Meanwhile, the instrument panels are removed and are either completely overhauled and re-labeled, or replaced with brand-new, laser-cut custom panels, created to suit your needs, specifications and imagination. Wiring harnesses are newly fabricated and the fuselage is primed and prepared for the installation of the various subsystems and components. Canopies are polished and rejuvenated to a better-than new condition. The aircraft is then painstakingly assembled and carefully inspected, calibrated, FAA licensed and test-flown by our professional pilots. After a minimum of 5 hours under our Phase 1 Test-Flight Program, your L-39 is re-evaluated and adjusted or repaired as required. Only then is your custom paint scheme applied by an award-winning local paint facility which specializes in the L-39.

Want something a little different than a stock airplane? We offer a wide selection of  proprietary custom modifications that can add to the utility and value of your aircraft. See our Modifications page for details. We also know that people’s tastes and needs are different. We can work with you to get the results you want, while still maintaining our extremely high level of quality.

Ask any of our customers. A Pride aircraft restoration is the most detailed, reliable warbird restoration they’ve ever owned.

Come see the difference Pride can make in your L-39 or other aircraft, and see why we say:

Pride ... Fly With The Best.

6028 Cessna Drive, Rockford, IL 61109
Phone 815-969-7743 / Fax 815-969-7846

(c) 2009, Pride Aircraft. All rights reserved.
 No part of this site may be duplicated without
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Aircraft storage facility
Our aircraft storage facility, where our aircraft projects are carefully stored until restoration begins.


Restoration floor at Pride
Part of the restoration floor at Pride Aircraft.


Lineup of L-39s
A lineup of L-39s undergoes the Pride magic.


Wings and fuselages on jigs
Wings and fuselages are mounted on mobile jigs, allowing full access and mobility on the floor.


L-39 restoration underway.
Another award-winning L-39 restoration takes shape, as others await their turn.