OXFORD — Josh Wardwell’s dream of flying his own airplane got a lot closer to reality by year’s end when several weeks after his story first appeared in the Sun Journal in May, a Sabattus man offered him his own unused plane for parts.

“He told me to grab the whole airplane,” said Wardwell of the generous fellow pilot, who was only identified as “Charlie” from Sabattus.

Wardwell, a 14-year-old Oxford Hills School District student, has been building a plane in the driveway of his School House Road home for the past year using a Rag Wing plane that his grandfather bought for him from an estate in Greenwood that came with no plans.

The teenager raised about $75 by mowing neighbors’ lawns and doing other chores, and set out to track down the plans from the designer. He had to raise another $3,000 to finish the plane with “skin,” an instrument panel and other necessities to get it off the ground with an adapted snowmobile engine.

With the skin, new landing gear with suspension, brakes and an instrument panel all from the donor’s plane, Wardwell said he is well on his way to his first flight.

The plane was 80 percent complete in May, he said. Now, he says it’s 89 percent complete.

The next step: When he turns 15 next April, Wardwell said he can try for his student pilot’s license.

Leslie Dixon, Staff Writer

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