The Rebirth of America's Aurora

In 2007 Jane Wicker had a dream of creating an aircraft that would inspire young and old alike. Over the next several years, she and long time friend Brian Rosenstein found the perfect project and Aurora was built. As Jane fulfilled her dream by displaying and demonstrating the aircraft throughout the United States, something fascinating and unexpected happened; Aurora began to capture the hearts and minds of all who viewed her, inspiring awe among the thousands of Jane's fans, and literally becoming America's airplane, not just Jane's. Unfortunately, that dream died on June 22nd, 2013, when tragedy took the lives of Jane Wicker, Charlie Schwenker, and demolished Aurora. Now, through the commitment of Jane's former team members, and the generous donations from people like you, a valiant project has been undertaken to rebuild Aurora and give her back to the people of the world. The intent is to create a flying memorial to the legacy of Jane and Charlie, and continue the aviation inspiration of children and adults through display and aerial demonstration.

Aurora was a beautiful 450 HP Super Stearman that was the culmination of Jane's lifelong dreams and aspirations. Her hope was to inspire all who saw her perform with Aurora to "dream the impossible" and never stop reaching for the sky. Saving Aurora will, literally, keep Jane's dream alive for all who see her fly.

Aurora needs YOUR help to return to the skies. Please click Join Us and consider a donation to help Save Aurora.

join us

Become Part Of Our Team!

Save Aurora is an opportunity for YOU, our friends, family, aviation enthusiasts, pilots, and fans, to help lift Aurora back into the skies. By clicking Donate Now, you will literally be a part of this project.

Everyone donating to Save Aurora will receive a Certificate of Appreciation from the team and have your name placed on our Wall of Donors. Donors contributing $100 or more will be considered VIPs of Save Aurora and have an opportunity to see the plane up-close and personal (including a photograph of them in the cockpit!), and receive an authentic Save Aurora pin.

The top 100 donors will be honored with their names permanently placed on the finished aircraft in appreciation for your generosity.

Assistance in the form of Stearman parts and/or aircraft mechanical expertise to assist with the restoration is also welcome, and greatly appreciated. Any parts donated that can't be used can be sold/traded for parts we need. Please use the contact form at the “Contact Us” link above and let us know how you can help! Some major items needed are: PW R-985 Engine, Hamilton Standard 2D-30 Propeller with -12 blades, New fuel injection system, New Wings, New Center Section, New Fuel Tank, Garmin GPS nav/com, Mode C transponder, Instruments, Seats, Controls, etc...

Corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please use the contact us form to receive additional information.

Thank you for considering a donation to Save Aurora!

Meet The Team.


Where It All Began

Aurora was named after the Roman Goddess of the Sunrise. She began life in January 1941 as a Boeing PT-17 Kaydet for the U.S.Army Air Corps at Rankin Field, in Tulare California. Having trained pilots in the service of her country for 4 years, she accumulated more than 3,000 hours of flying time preparing our brave service men and women to fight in and defend the angry skies over the European and Pacific theatres. In 1945, this majestic and seasoned warbird was sold to a civilian owner where she continued flying in Rochester New Hampshire. She changed hands numerous times over the next few years, and gained her 450hp Pratt & Whitney engine in her service as a crop duster for Simsbury Flying Service in Connecticut, where she flew for 20 years. In 1969, she made her way to Winnie Texas, then West Helena Arkansas in 1978, Baxter Springs Kansas in 1979, Hamilton Ohio in 1983, Inver Grove Heights Minnesota in 2000, and eventually into Jane's loving arms in 2009. With her brilliant red and yellow sunburst wings, Aurora painted a dazzling picture of the rising sun as she climbed and danced in the sky. Aurora had a truly one-of-a-kind paint scheme, and a myriad modifications making her unlike any other Stearman. She had a fuel injected Pratt & Whitney R-985 450HP engine, all new sheet metal, a stainless steel firewall, dual stack custom exhausts, a extra flying wires (for inverted flight), inverted fuel, double pump smoke system, counter-balanced elevators and 2 additional servo-balanced ailerons on the top wings.

Aurora was completed and delivered to Jane on June 25, 2010, by two of the best Stearman mechanics in the country. Jim Calrson (former Red Baron Stearman Squadron Head of Maintenance), and Ryan Dulas (former Red Baron Mechanic). During the bustling air show seasons, current Save Aurora team members Rock Skowbo (fiance/pilot) and Brian Rosenstein (chief/pilot) managed the operation of Aurora. Before the crash that destroyed Aurora, Rock promised Jane that, should anything happen to her, he would rebuild the aircraft to her original specifications. Sadly, he now has a chance to fulfill that promise, and with your help, we will rebuild Aurora and return a warbird to the sky where she truly belongs.

With the wind over Aurora's new wings, and Jane and Charlie in our hearts, we will then be able to continue her dream; to share her love of aviation and return this magnificent warbird to the skies for the people to enjoy.


Here are just a few photos and videos of Aurora and related scenes.


wall of donors

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