Curatorial and Restoration Updates

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Curatorial Updates

The Exhibits team continues to touch up all exhibits on the gallery floor with topical cleaning care while placing a few graphics additions to add more relevancy to the information that is missing or perhaps somewhat inadequate as it exists.

Since the last newsletter, the Museum has taken possession of a Lockheed S-3B “Viking” aircraft from NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. The aircraft, built for the Navy, is a twin-engine, carrier borne, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare vehicle that served the Navy well for more than twenty years in two configurations. NASA acquired the aircraft from the Navy and outfitted it with the appropriate electronics to conduct experiments in aeronautical communications, atmospheric analysis, environmental surveys and more. The aircraft was delivered to Gillespie Field by NASA Glenn Chief of Air Operations, James Demers and his co-pilot, Al Micklewright, were all three were welcomed by a crowd of about 200. The Viking is on display at Gillespie Field.

Restorations Updates

The H-1 Hughes Racer project may well have received a nice shot in the arm recently when warbird restoration professional Dave Teeters visited the Museum basement. Fascinated by what he saw, we told him about the Racer project and a few of the difficulties we face going forward. Dave, whose shop can virtually build a P-51 from scratch, without a moment’s hesitation, proclaimed, “I can help.” He has volunteered his entire team of aviation professionals to computer draw the parts we need and to then fabricate them in his shop. The components to which he refers are the wing and tail fairings as well as the engine cowling and tail cone. These would be extremely difficult to create on our own. Thank you Dave.

At Gillespie Field work continues to progress nicely on the Aeronca L-3. The entire aircraft has been covered and the interior is taking shape. Engine tear down and inspection will follow on soon, required since it has been approximately 10 years since it was last run.  Accessories and necessary firewall forward components are being gathered and certified for flight.  We are not a long way away from flying what will become the Museum’s flying ambassador.

While it is our intention to hang the Wright Flyer in the Museum Rotunda just as soon as possible, difficulties in finding that talented volunteer to sew the fabric on the flying surfaces has been a challenge. The damaged wing has been repaired as required leaving only covering to finish the aircraft. At that point it will be transported to Balboa Park for final assembly and positioning in the Rotunda.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

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