Plans are underway to add content to the WWI exhibit area in commemoration of the start of the “Great War” 100 years ago. Audio-video components and mannequins in period uniforms will highlight our already superior gallery. The Museum is also talking about creating an exhibit detailing the history of the reconnaissance camera, displaying the Museum’s collection of more than twenty such devices.
We are pleased to report that the Museum’s reproduction of the Bell X-1 rocket plane (flown by Chuck Yeager through the sound barrier in 1947) has been completed and it now hangs in the Museum’s Rotunda. This addition adds a milestone aircraft to the collection of vehicles having achieved major break-thru missions in aerospace history. It is truly gorgeous hanging proudly in our entry hall showcase.
Work progresses on the Hughes H-1 racer in the basement. This is a longer term project that will require a greater measure of skills and patience, testing the talents of our craftsmen volunteers. One day, this magnificent reproduction will grace the gallery floor as the star of the “Classic Aviation” era.
At Gillespie Field, our US Navy T-34B is in the assembly stages and is coming together nicely. Sourcing parts has been a challenge that has slowed us down somewhat, but little by little we are overcoming that issue.
Also at Gillespie Field, work continues on the restoration/reproduction of the Boeing FB-5 biplane fighter from 1927. This unique aircraft construction is demanding, and all of our volunteers will have a hand in it. Parts for the fuselage are being manufactured in the machine shop, the giant upper wing assembly has put the best of our woodworking team to the test, and the weld shop is busy tying things together in the fuselage area. When finished, it will be one of only three of four in the world.