I mentioned last week that we had found the (long thought "lost") original vertical stabilizers from what appears to be both 1979 The Squire Shop and Circus Circus hulls. What we didn't know 100% though was which parts were originally from what boat?
during our research, we could make a argument for each set for each boat.....................so we knew this was NOT going to be easy.
The problem we had in front of us was that all the evidence we collected pointed to there being a "3rd" set of Norberg vertical stabilizer skins built...............but everyone we contacted about this mysterious "3rd set" claims there were only 2 built. We contacted former crew members from both hulls, and they all said they each only had 1 set built for each hull.
However, we had evidence in front of us that shows there had to be a 3rd set.........there was no other explanation we could come up with.
We have the original 1979 Circus Circus skins for the vertical stabilizers in the museum right now.........so try to follow along with us on this one.
One key piece of crucial evidence that coincides with this theory is the existence of "another" set of vertical stabilizers, which appear to have also come from the Circus Circus. But how is that possible if there were only 2 sets built (one for each Norberg hull)?
This "other"set is still painted up in the Z-9 paint scheme configuration, which is an exact match to the previously identified Z-9 horizontal wing (Circus Circus), but that would make them a duplicate set...........right?
Note: The U-77 bought the Circus Circus hull in 1981, repainted it, and then showed up for one race in Evansville where it did not start.
So here's our final analysis...................the Circus Circus either built a backup/replacement set (possible), the Spirit of the Air Force team built a new set, or Norberg Custom Boats had a spare set available (doubtful).
You be the judge.............perhaps someday we'll finally solve this mystery once and for all.
So here is what we have for photo evidence of all known hull versions these "cathedral" wings were used on.
1) U-31 "Circus Circus" (1979-1980)
2) U-2 "The Squire Shop" (1979-1981)
3) U-77 "Spirit of the Air force (1981)
4) U-21 "Miss Island Security Systems (1984)
5) U-7 "Miss Horizon Air" (1986)
6) U-2 "The Squire Shop" display hull (originally built as the U-55 Lincoln Thrift)
7) Z-9 "Miss Canada II (1991)
If you love a good mystery, then this is right up your alley...........hydroplane style.