Friday, July 15, 2011

FlyPast 2008-12

The Pima Air and Space Museum continues to grow and evolve in a very positive way at Tucson, Arizona. Since the opening of its latest hangar in June 2007, a number of new exhibits have been installed, and additions to the aircraft collection have been made, fresh restorations have been finished and several long-term projects have moved closer to completion. In preparation for a new exhibition called 'Submarine Hunting', Douglas B-18 Bolo 38-593 was placed on 12ft (3.6m) stands and had its undercarriage retracted to display it in an 'in flight' configuration. This was a tricky undertaking, but it went to plan and the museum personnel are very pleased with the results. Another display is dedicated to the 406th Fighter Group in World War Two. This 9th Air Force Republic P-47 Thunderbolt unit was commanded by Tucson native Colonel Anthony V 'Snag' Grossetta, and has been paid for in full by his widow Maggie Grossetta and family, with help from the 406th FG Association. The exhibit features a number of unique A-2 flight jackets, flight clothing, armaments, souvenirs and pictures of the group at war. The most recent additions to the aircraft collection have been a Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar fighter, one of only three complete examples in the world. This machine is on long-term loan from the National Air and Space Museum and was formerly on exhibit at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington State.