Update from Museum Curator Terry Brennan:
Women in Aviation Exhibit & Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Work progresses on the design of our new Women in Aviation exhibit, although our efforts have been slowed a bit by the Ripley’s Believe it or Not re-do. Replacing 50% of Ripley’s has given the very successful traveling exhibit new life and while we continue to put finishing touches to it, the exhibit is even more wacky and more weird then before and generating enormous fun for the whole family.
The department has begun preparations for our participation in the Concours d'Elegance auto show that will be held on Sunday, April 13th in La Jolla. This will be our fourth year participating in the event, and this should prove to be very memorable as we are trailering a newly acquired Bowlus Baby Albatross sailplane to the very shores of the Pacific where it first flew from the Torrey Pines Glider Port more than sixty years ago. This beautiful machine ought to be the hit of the show.
In addition to Curatorial support, Education is to be provided their own spot by the show committee to educate and entertain the children that will be on hand for the event.
Aviation Artists Annual Exhibition
Once again, beginning April 27th, the San Diego Air & Space Museum will host the American Society of Aviation Artists Annual Exhibition. The very best names in aviation art will be on hand with nearly 100 stunning pieces of original artwork hung in a juried competition. While the exhibition and symposium lasts only a week, all this very special artwork will remain on display in the Museum for approximately six weeks thereafter for all visitors to view and appreciate.
Restoration Projects & Updates
Our talented woodworking volunteers continue to make headway on the Hughes H-1 Racer wings. Last week, for the first time, they began to apply skins to the wings between the spars. While this may not sound like a monumental event, it follows months of grinding and sanding to achieve the perfect contours that will carry through to the finished wing.
It has been slightly more difficult on the sheet metal side of the construction process, however. We have found it difficult to secure a reliable volunteer or two to help with the fuselage design program so necessary for effective shaping and riveting. Over the past few weeks we have finally found the help we will need and we should get back on track shortly with fuselage construction.
At Gillespie Field there is no slowdown as the volunteers there continue their efforts on the virtual ground-up Boeing FB-5 biplane fighter build. It’s all hands on deck for this project as metal workers and woodworkers team up to piece together this very large 1927 aircraft. We have had to manufacture many parts from crude and sometimes nearly unreadable prints, but all remain optimistic that a couple more years ought to be all that is required to complete the project.