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ULTIMATE RESTORATIONS: The Lysander: Canada's Unsung Hero

Two Lysanders in position for a World War II mission behind enemy lines.
Courtesy of Vintage Wings Museum
Two Lysanders in position for a World War II mission behind enemy lines.

Airs Monday, February 23, 2015 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

KQED presents a new eight-part series, ULTIMATE RESTORATIONS, featuring the spellbinding restorations of irreplaceable masterpieces. ULTIMATE RESTORATIONS showcases the rescue and restoration of some of the most valuable mechanical icons of the Golden Age (1880-1940), a high point in innovation and craftsmanship. The series, hosted by Bob McNeil, tells the spellbinding stories behind eight of American history’s greatest historical and engineering treasures — the world’s largest pipe organ; a surviving 1920s fire engine; a “fish car” designed to transport live fish by train; a priceless carousel; a World War II spy plane; one of the first U.S. yachts to round Cape Horn and a famous steam locomotive. The passionate restorers and committed craftspeople discuss the challenges associated with reviving these massive icons to their original glory: moving huge pieces of equipment, salvaging from sea-floor beds, searching for rare parts, and dealing with complicated mechanical systems.

The Sergeant Clifford Stewart Westland Lysander IIIA

View a photo slideshow about the Lysander airplane and read more about the history of this remarkable multi-role aircraft by Vintage Wings Museum in Ottowa, Canada.

You can follow @VintageWingsCan on Twitter.

"The Lysander: Canada's Unsung Hero" - Of the 3,000 Lysander airplanes built in World War II, only three have survived, even though it was the first airplane in the war to shoot down a bomber. At the Vintage Wings Museum in Ottowa, Canada, restorers reconstruct this priceless spy plane from the fabric-covered fuselage to the machine guns in its wheel spats so it can once again demonstrate the unique landing and take-off capabilities that saved hundreds of lives.

The Lysander: Canada's Unsung Hero Trailer