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Dean Baldwin News

‘Wings of Pride’ Painted by Dean Baldwin

May 19, 2023

The MD83 aircraft, N948TW, was waiting on the tarmac for instructions to depart. The brilliant red and white painted livery glistened in the sunlight, giving the appearance of a new aircraft rather than a 27-year-old, nearly-retired airframe.

The aircraft began to roll down the taxiway toward the runway for departure. The proud employees at Dean Baldwin Painting looked on as the aircraft departed with little fanfare. They contained their enthusiasm to avoid spoiling the surprise that awaited the aircraft at its destination in Kansas City, Mo.

N948TW was originally purchased by the employees of TWA in 1994, and for the next four-and-a-half years, was paid for by the employees, every two weeks, by payroll deduction. The TWA management at the time in a show of support painted the plane in reverse TWA livery and named it Wings of Pride. Even today, there is an overwhelming show of support and pride when former TWA employees speak of this airplane. TriStar History acquired this aircraft from GECAS after its lease expired with American Airlines. TriStar’s intent is to use this aircraft for STEM education for young adults and kids in junior and senior high schools with an occasional support to the Honor Flight System to give lifts from KC to Dulles to honor military veterans. TriStar was created to save and preserve these iconic jet aircraft and re-purposing them to help bring back the “aha” moments that can inspire children and change their lives forever.

On Aug. 7, 2015, the Wings of Pride returned home to Kansas City, brandishing its iconic livery, and was greeted with the cheers of hundreds of onlookers, many of whom were past employees of TWA.