Monthly Archives: September 2013

Museum Receives Grant from Ameren Illinois for Installation of New Archive System

Ameren Illinois presented the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, located at historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport, with a $15,000 check to fund a the installation of a new archive computer system.  Richard Mark, President and CEO of Ameren Illinois, visited the museum today to deliver the award to museum representatives at a ceremony held in the flight simulator bay of the nationally-registered historic hangar.  Following the grant presentation, Mr. Mark was given a ride in the McDonnell Aircraft factory cart once used by company founder James S. McDonnell to drive President John F. Kennedy on his factory tour in 1962.

“The database will be  a cataloging of the museum’s entire collection and library,” said Mark Badasch, the museum’s Director.  ”This will lead to better preservation of artifacts, greater availability to the public as well as, eventually, online browsing of the collection.”  The management of the records associated with thousands of artifacts and many more historic documents and media items is a daunting task.  “Having the information on each item at your fingertips is essential for managing the collection and fulfilling our public education mission,” added Carmelo Turdo, museum 2nd Vice President.  “Implementing this system will be challenging,” Turdo continued, “but I am looking forward to learning a lot more about the collection as we proceed through the installation process.”

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum wishes to thank Ameren Illinois for providing the grant needed for this important project.  Members of the community are invited to visit and lend their talents to continuing the mission of the museum:

Serve the public through preservation and display of historic air and space artifacts and by providing educational programs to foster the spirit of flight in today’s youth and in future generations.

McDonnell Aircraft XF-85 Goblin Wind Tunnel Model Dedicated at Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum dedicated a one-sixth scale restored wind tunnel model of the McDonnell Aircraft XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter during a mid-day ceremony held at historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  The museum hosted a group of retired McDonnell Aircraft employees and guests in the hangar following a luncheon held at the airport’s nearby Spinners restaurant.  Prior to the arrival of the invited guests, museum members set up several displays featuring wind tunnel model parts from various known and unknown aircraft projects in addition to the Goblin model, which was kept under wraps until later in the program.  Here we present an illustrated recap of today’s event:

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum is the custodian of artifacts and memorabilia relating to aerospace activity in the St. Louis, Missouri and Metro East Illinois area.  The museum is located in historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  The museum offers three main galleries of aerospace memorabilia, along with special exhibits including a Lockheed Jetstar corporate jet once owned by Howard Hughes, F-4 Phantom II fighter jet restored cockpit and F-4 cockpit simulator, two working Link Trainers, other aircraft, engines and components.  New members and volunteers are welcome to participate in museum operations and activities.    
Howard Hughes Lockheed Jetstar outside of Museum
Goblin Model (foreground) with Link Trainers 
The museum provided several displays of wind tunnel model parts that will also be assembled and restored in the future.

McDonnell Model 44 wind tunnel model parts
Other wind tunnel parts, likely from McDonnell Demon fighter
The McDonnell Goblin wind tunnel model was unveiled to the invited guests by Museum members Past Curator Jack Abercrombie and Director Mark Badasch.  The model was donated by Rainy and Carol Bell, and restored by Greg Downen of Downen Signs.  Museum President Mark Nankivil presented a framed photo of the Goblin to Greg Downen in appreciation for his work on the model. 

Jack Abercrombie (left) and Mark Badasch unveil the Goblin model
Jack Abercrombie dedicates the Goblin model
Museum President Mark Nankivil (left) and Greg Downen
Museum Past Curator Jack Abercrombie gave a presentation on the development and testing of the McDonnell Goblin parasite fighter prototype.  The 15-foot long aircraft was launched from an EB-29 bomber during test flights in 1948-49 using a trapeze mechanism attached to the bomb bay.  The trapeze operator, McDonnell Aircraft engineer Les Eash, was present at today’s dedication ceremony.  

Jack Abercrombie with the refurbished Goblin model
Jack Abercrombie gives a presentation on the Goblin program
Invited Guests included McDonnell Aircraft retirees
Jack Abercrombie and Les Eash relate Goblin stories
Following the program, guests toured the museum and Irve Burrows, McDonnell Douglas test pilot who flew the F-15 Eagle’s first flight, took the Link D4 trainer for a spin.  

Museum member Bob Dighton and Jack Abercrombie visit with guests
Test Pilot Irve Burrows flies the Link D4 Trainer

Museum Receives Stinson Reliant for Future Restoration and Display

The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum has completed the acquisition of a 1943 Stinson V-77 Reliant (s/n 77-144) that will become a major restoration project in the coming months.  Museum members traveled to Calvin C. McDaniel Field (Pinckneyville-du Quoin Airport) today to retrieve the fuselage with the help of Ken Hartlage of Hartlage Truck Service (the wings, empennage and engine were delivered previously).  The aircraft was donated to the museum by the family of the Late John Johnson, and it will be restored in memory of him and in dedication by his loving family.  The museum will provide periodic updates on the restoration process as it develops.