Restoration Projects Overview

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The San Diego Air and Space Museum maintains a vital restoration department, staffed by volunteers who possess great skill and who are extremely dedicated, who build and restore a wide range of aircraft, from gliders to space vehicles. Many of our volunteers come from aerospace companies within the San Diego region. The quality of the Restoration Department is nationally recognized, as demonstrated by their work for the National Museum of Naval Aviation and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. These experts make it possible for the Museum to return many historic planes to exhibition quality. Many of the aircraft require an extensive amount of work before they can be exhibited on the Museum floor. Even though the aircraft may never be flown, preservation includes returning many of them to airworthy condition. With very old airplanes, especially those that have been exposed to the elements for some time, this is a challenging task. Restoration often requires great ingenuity in finding rare drawings, photographs, and other documents needed to return an airplane to its original condition. They have restored many planes in the past which are on display at the Museum in Balboa Park, and at the Gillespie Field Annex, such as the F-102 Delta Dagger, with its bright red tail markings of the 317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the Alaskan Air Command. Currently, the Air and Space Museum is making an exact reproduction of the Bell X-1, and the Hughes Special 1B Racer.

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