GREEN: A P-51 Mustang fighter plane soon could be part of the landscape near the southern end of Massillon Road.
The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday gave approval to the Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS museum) to showcase a full-size fiberglass model of the World War II fighter plane on a donated truck axle about 12 feet above the ground.
Depending on wind conditions, the plane, with a 40-foot wingspan, could swivel in place as part of a Memorial Park display. The propeller would be fixed in place and would not spin with the wind.
The exact site has yet to be marked, Planning Director Wayne Wiethe said. He said the site rests on Akron-Canton Airport property in front of the city’s South Annex at 5383 Massillon Road.
The plane would rest at the center of a 48-foot diameter base and would be a minimum of 85 feet east of Massillon Road to avoid conflicts with easements and rights-of-way. It would sit about 48 feet off International Parkway, the entrance road to the military museum.
Wiethe said the display will be great for Green. Commission President Craig Babbitt also praised the project, the MAPS group membership and its service to the community.
Kim Kovesci, the executive director of MAPS, said the display was being created to honor Jackson Township resident Robert Withee and the Ohio Air National Guard unit stationed at the MAPS headquarters in Green.
He added that the National Guard has been offered space on the second floor of the facility to create a National Guard museum.
Kovesci said Withee flew a similar single-seat Mustang in World War II. He shot down four Japanese aircraft, was wounded three times and received two Purple Hearts for his actions.
The display model will be decorated the same as the craft Withee flew, Kovesci said.
Wiethe and Kovesci both said the display could be erected as early as August.
When asked by commission member Robert Chordar about lighting the site, Kovesci said no lighting had been planned. He said that decision lies with Mayor Dick Norton.
George W. Davis can be emailed at email@example.com.