The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum recently received several high-profile aviation artifacts to add to its already impressive collection at its location in historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport. The museum has been preserving and exhibiting local aviation history for over 30 years, and continues to attract donations from across the region. The museum receives hundreds of items each year of all types relating to St. Louis and Metro East Illinois aviation. Additionally, the museum has a world-class archive of media relating to aviation history throughout the world that is regularly used by researchers in their books and professional journal articles. Recent donations include:
Low-Speed Wind Tunnel model of the McDonnell Aircraft 119/220 executive jet prototype of the late 1950′s was donated by the University of Michigan. The McDonnell 119/220 aircraft lost a military contract to the Lockheed Jetstar, and the only prototype was the personal aircraft of James S. McDonnell for a time before being sold to private owners. The aircraft currently resides at El Paso International Airport, TX.
Albatros D.III 7/8 scale replica wings along with plans and materials for the rest of the aircraft were donated by the family of the Late Andrew Smith of the Camdenton, MO area. The wings were meticulously constructed, and the museum will pursue completion of the project with the assistance of other interested parties in the future.
On February 7th, Miriam School held a celebration honoring the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of St. Louis. The 4th Grade Class chose to feature Charles Lindbergh and the “Spirit of St. Louis,” the aircraft Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, in their class project. Jack Nankivil, 4th grader and son of Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum President Mark Nankivil, tackled the subject with energy and focus by researching the history of the “Spirit of St. Louis,” the origin of the aircraft’s name and Charles Lindbergh’s contribution to St. Louis aviation history from the 1920s onward. Jack took inspiration from the Spirit of St. Louis cockpit replica and display board presently on long term loan to the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum from the nearby Missouri History Museum when deciding on his contribution to the project. He then created a replica of the instrument panel, incorporating opening doors with placards describing the various decisions Charles Lindbergh made in equipping his aircraft for its epic journey across the Atlantic. The classroom also included other photos and artifacts on display from the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum’s archives and photo collection to give the children from the other classes at the school an understanding of Charles Lindbergh’s accomplishment.
Well done Jack!