News From the Curator:
The Museum’s facilities department deserves a great big “Thanks” this month for the fantastic job of lighting the grand Transportation Mural. It is truly exciting to view the mural as it should be viewed, well lit, revealing all its glorious detail. Stop by and take a look for yourself!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! continues to delight Museum visitors, as it has for the past few months, enhanced lately with additions including artwork from Dr. Seuss, the enormous animatronic of Robert Wadlow (the tallest man in modern history at 8 feet, 11 inches), and a gallery feature detailing the adventure of Larry Walters, the “Lawn Chair Pilot.” Wacky, Weird, and Wonderful for all to enjoy.
In news from the basement and the restoration shops at Gillespie Field, the Bell X-1 reproduction has been completed and recently transported to El Cajon for finish work. We expect to have it back in Balboa Park, ready to be suspended from the Rotunda ceiling, by about mid-August.
With the removal of the X-1, the basement has been given over to the growing footprint of the Hughes H-1 Racer project. Wing construction continues with the addition of ribs and hardware that will support the airplane’s unusual landing gear, while the horizontal stabilizer and rear fuselage are taking shape in the adjacent area. We expect to be offering updates on this project for several years to come.
At Gillespie Field, work progresses on the restoration/fabrication of the 1927 Boeing FB-5 bi-plane fighter with the huge upper wing nearly ready for covering and the fuselage taking shape, thanks to the skills and determination of the machine shop guys. The Convair Club, is seriously into the reassembly stage of the Beech T-34B Navy primary trainer. When it is completed, it will wear the colors of the Training Command, as it did in the mid-to-late 1950’s.