By Douglas J. Kohlan, DDS; 23 April 2002

Six years ago I would have been totally mystified if someone had asked me about a World War II aircraft called a Fairey Firefly. I might initially have pictured a small homebuilt or kit plane, but those types of aircraft had not been realized in the 1940's. Instead I learned that the Firefly was a rare British warbird in its fighting days, and it has attained acute rarity in today's collections. My introduction to this aircraft is a story that I feel is worthwhile relating, and I hope the Firefly will be much better known and understood in the future. So I will share with you the story of an aircraft and its owner that will certainly draw much interest in the months ahead.

Well it's hard to know where to begin as I write this story of my journey. One often times has preconceived notions about how something is to be or how it is to turn out, but in the case of restoring the Firefly I could never have guessed.

My first recollection of the Firefly was in an article in the spring of 1974 when the Canadian Firefly was featured on the cover of Flying Magazine. I remember being entranced with the aircraft, but never had an opportunity to see it in person let alone see it fly. A chain of unusual predestined events followed in my life that all lead to the inevitable purchase and restoration of WB518.