In the late 1940's a man named Walter Soplata began collecting warplanes on some land in Newbury, Ohio, just east of Cleveland. Today, about 30 engines and 50 aircrafts currently lie in the "plane sanctuary." In the 60's and 70's Soplata hosted anywhere from 20-30 visitors every Sunday for a tour of his collection. The collection has been kept relatively secret since Soplata's passing in 2010.

Soplata was a son of Czech immigrants who supported his penchant for collecting by working in a junkyard in Cleveland and, after that, as a carpenter. He managed to amass an impressive collection of rare aircrafts: a prototype North American XP-82 Twin Mustang, an F-82E Twin Mustang with Allison engines, an early Jet Age Chance-Vought F7U Cutlass, and a prototype of the Douglas AD Skyraider series, to name a few.

Soplata never paid more than a few hundred dollars for a plane. One of Soplata's most prized warbirds was a B-25 bomber that he recovered from Lunken Airport in Cincinnati called "WILD CARGO." A man from Louisiana had been using the bomber to fly exotic animals from city to city, and was forced to make a belly-landing in the airport when the landing gear became inoperative.

Check out these eerie photos of the old planes courtesy of Jayson Shenk, 



03/29/2016 12:24pm

What a shame I hope there are plans to save these aircraft or even used them as parts to save other aircraft, please keep me informed.

Darwin Evelsizer
03/29/2016 3:39pm

The XP-82, F-82E,P-47N, FG-2 and several others have been removed and are undergoing restoration to flight status. Mr Soplata was very reluctant to sell any of his planes because he feared that they would be made airworthy and lost in accidents. That is exactly what happened to the very rare FG-2 Corsair.

Chas Spencer
03/30/2016 4:43pm

I would bet anything that the B-25 was once the property of Arthur Jones. Jones was the inventor of Nautilus exercise equipment but earlier in life he used to fly some B-25's to various locations around the world to bring back exotic wildlife he was selling to zoos around the country. He also had a TV series in the early days of television that predated Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom by years.. it was called... You guessed it.. Wild Cargo. There is something about the engines on that B-25 that should make things very interesting. I will have to go back and check my references on exactly what that would be. He later built Jumbo Lair in Ocala Florida where he built a 7000 ft long airstrip to fly his 707's in and out of. He flew 60 or so baby elephants from Africa to the ranch when they were going to be culled on a wildlife reserve. Jumbolair is owned by his ex wife Terri and is now a fly in aviation community.

07/14/2016 3:55am

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08/01/2016 3:38am

Gross! The tragic accident on the plane to the Ohio’s desert. The plane crush so badly. The whole plan converted into the metal pieces. I feel so bad, the pilot must rest in peace. The lots of lives may lose due to this tragic happening.

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10/20/2016 7:28am


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