USU grad restores jet warbirds in Brigham City hangar – Cache Valley Daily


John Hammon stands in front of a V-tail French Fouga C.M.-170 he restored.

BRIGHAM CITY – John Hammans is a true jetsetter.

The CEO of Ultimate Aviation LLC, located at the Brigham City Airport, has developed a unique niche in the aviation world. He restores, repairs and maintains military jets, or warbirds. Most are not United States aircraft.

The Ultimate Aviation LCC airplane hangar is stacked with jets Ultimate Aviation is either in the process of restoring or are finished and ready to fly.

The USU Aviation Technology Maintenance Management graduate spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force in their Aircraft Maintenance area.

“I pretty much worked at a desk when I was working as an aircraft maintenance officer,” he said. “I worked on other people’s planes on my time off.”

At his large facility, he has warbirds that are ready to fly, others in different states of repair and some just being maintained. He also has a painting facility near Ogden.

Hammans is one of those guys that can figure out how to fix just about anything.

A Halford turbojet engine built by Rolls Royce sits on the floor ready to be installed in one of the British Vampires.

“Someone asked me if I could fix something once. I had no idea how to do it. I said yes,” he said. “I got a manual and went to work and figured it out.”

Hammans has always had an interest in warbirds and took his career in that direction. His reputation spread, and he has become a force in the jet repair and restore industry.

“Most people want to restore WWII fighter airplanes,” he said. “I wanted to do jet powered warbirds.”

He has several British Vampires in his shop, some have flown in airshows and are in pristine condition and some are in the process of restoration.

“Vampires were developed during WWII but were not used until after the war,” he said. “The British were one of the first countries to develop the jet engine.”

John Hammons likes to fly this WWII era Stinson L-5 that was used by both the British and American forces.

The Vampire is a single engine, twin boom aircraft powered by a Halford turbojet engine built by Rolls Royce.

There are a couple of Russian Mig 15 jets used in the Vietnam War, a Royal Navy Sea Venom ready to fly and a French Fouga C.M.-170 parked in front of the hangar.

Also on display is a Mark 5 jet Provost, a WWII Stinson L-5 and a Yugoslavian Soko Jet.

Hammans not only works in his Brigham City hangar, he travels to different locations to work on jets for people.

“As far as I know, I have the only company in the U.S. that specializes in repairing jet warbirds,” he said. “Sometimes, I go pick up people’s warbirds and bring them here to work on them.”

Hammans folds up the wings of the aircraft, puts the warbird on a custom trailer and pulls them with a pick up.

Ultimate Aviation also doubles as a museum. They welcome visitors to their Forgotten Warbirds Museum under the same roof. Hamman’s partner, Rich Grinnell, also a USU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Science, founded the Forgotten Warbirds Museum.

John Hammas restored and painted this British Vampire and uses it to race at the Reno Air Races held every year.

Grinnell is a pilot for Intermountain Health Care life-flight services.

Ultimate Aviation has warbirds waiting to be rebuilt and Hammans said he is looking for qualified mechanics seeking employment.

For information about the Forgotten Warbirds Museum, contact Ultimate Aviation at (801) 675-0103 or email them at ultimateaviation@gmail.com.

 



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