Exciting New Restoration Projects
In the restoration area of the Museum, the Bell X-1 Rocket Plane is taking shape. Bulkheads from the cockpit aft have been fabricated. Longerons have been attached, and the crew has begun to skin our ground-up reproduction of this historically significant aircraft. While precious little aviation history may be taught in the schools today, our aircraft, when once completed, will tell the story of the Air Force’s pursuit of a sound barrier breaking machine, the heroics of those who flew them---most notably, the first person to surpass the speed of sound, Chuck Yeager, and of the support he received in the process. Now, more than sixty years later, conquering the once thought impossible flight through the invisible sound barrier ranks in importance right up there with the pioneering efforts of the Wright brothers in historic significance.
Work is also progressing nicely on the Hughes H-1 “Racer” ground-up reproduction as well. The wing spars have been under construction for some time now, growing in thickness as layers of wood laminate are added on a regular basis. CAD drawings designating the fuselage, landing gear, tail section, and cockpit have been partially drawn, and our metal workers are beginning the process of sorting out all the necessary components that will be part of the construction process. As is our custom, neither the Hughes nor the Bell will be built to fly, but the authenticity of the construction process will not be compromised.