AidSpace Blog

Monthly Archives: November 2010

First Aircraft Moves Into Udvar-Hazy Center Restoration Hangar

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This week, the Museum moved its first aircraft into the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hanger in the new wing of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. The aircraft is the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, the same type of aircraft flown by former Museum director, Don Engen during World War II. Designed in 1938 as   …Continue Reading


A New History of the Museum

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Before the recent appearance of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: An Autobiography (National Geographic, 2010) the Museum had two big, coffee-table books about itself. In 1979 Abrams published C.D.B. Bryan’s The National Air and Space Museum, a gorgeous and very expensive book for the time ($75.00—you’d have to triple that to get to current   …Continue Reading


A Blending of Photography and X-Ray

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While spacesuit curator Amanda Young and I were routinely working on photographing the space suits, she was telling me that after a series of test x-rays were taken of the smaller objects such as gloves, boots, and helmets, she wanted to have a whole spacesuit X-rayed. She asked my advice on how the radiologist, Roland   …Continue Reading


Vintage Aircraft Tool Cataloging, Re-housing and Preservation Project

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In the years following WWII the United States and her Allies conducted engineering and flight tests of many different types of captured or surrendered Axis aircraft, primarily from Germany and Japan. Many of these aircraft were acquired by Allied and US technical intelligence collection teams.  It was ordered that at least one of each type   …Continue Reading


Restoring and Preserving Aircraft

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Next year, the National Air and Space Museum will begin restoring and preserving aircraft in the brand-new Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hanger, part of the Phase Two complex now under construction at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.  To treat the aircraft, the Museum applies a philosophy and range of techniques that have steadily evolved through   …Continue Reading