Work continues on the Bell X-1 reproduction in the basement at Balboa Park. The fuselage is nearly complete and the wings are taking shape at this time. We fully expect to have the aircraft ready for hanging in the Museum’s rotunda before Christmas. It will, of course, be painted in the colors of “Glamorous Glennis,” the X-1 flown into the history books by General Chuck Yeager. It is worth noting that the X-1 made 49 flights prior to its most famous, when the sound barrier was finally broken.
Likewise, the Hughes H-1 racer project is moving ahead at full steam. Operating without plans has made the task of building this historically significant reproduction much more difficult, but our very talented volunteer, Paul Hudson, has created working drawings for many components and with his enormous help, we expect to continue the process in earnest.
At Gillespie Field, work has begun on the restoration of the very rare Boeing FB-5 biplane fighter. It will likely take more than three years to bring this project to fruition, and we are actively seeking additional volunteers to assist on the project. If you know of anyone with mechanical skills and the will to contribute to the museum, please send them our way. Also in the news from Gillespie Field, the Thursday Convair alumni crew continues work on the restoration of a T-34B “Mentor” primary trainer. Erasing years of abuse from the elements is a big task on an airframe such as this, but most of the corrosion has been removed and we are getting close to paint on this very desirable addition to the collection.