A group of about 60 retired McDonnell Aircraft/McDonnell Douglas employees visited the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Musuem last week following their monthly luncheon. Many worked on the Mercury and Gemini space programs, while others worked on missiles and military aircraft made at McDonnell Aircraft and later McDonnell Douglas throughout the Cold War era. The museum has a significant collection of Mercury and Gemini program artifacts, and also features McDonnell fighter aircraft such as the F-4 Phantom II in its exhibits. The museum congratulated the group of accomplished aerospace workers, and presented a personal greeting sent by astronaut John Glenn, third Mercury astronaut and first American to orbit the earth. In the future, the museum will interview several in attendance that day for its oral history program. Among the guests were Norman Beckel, group organizer; Rose Church, McDonnell flight nurse to the astronauts; Joe Dobronski, McDonnell test pilot.
The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and EAA Chapter 64 hosted a successful open house and fly-in Saturday at historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2, St. Louis Downtown Airport. Visitors toured the museum’s aerospace history galleries and viewed the aircraft parked in the hangar and on the adjacent ramp. The F-4 Phantom II fighter jet cockpit and child moving flight simulator were popular, and the pancake breakfast and burger/brat lunch kept everyone satisfied throughout the hot day. Special thanks to all of those who flew in from other home airports to visit with us and show off your aircraft. Another fly-in is being planned for the fall, so look for further details in September.
The Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum is sprucing up its hangar to accommodate its newest display – an F-4 Phantom II cockpit restored by Joe Steimann. The aircraft cockpit, originally from a McDonnell Douglas F-4F stricken from the German Air Force after an accident, is now in the colors of the MO ANG 131st TFW formerly based in St. Louis. Other aircraft on display include a BD-5, 1941 Meyers OTW previously owned by Nikki Caplan, Pietenpole Air Camper as well as several sailplanes and missiles.
Make it your New Year’s Resolution to visit the museum at historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2, St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, IL.
The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum has received a restored F-4 Phantom II cockpit on loan through the spring of 2012. The owner, Joe Steimann, restored the cockpit and nose section of the aircraft to resemble F-4E s/n. 68-0338 flown by the 131st TFW, Missouri Air National Guard, formerly based in St. Louis. The cockpit is actually from a German F-4F that was damaged in an engine fire, and after being used as a trainer was destined to be scrapped. Steimann purchased the remnants of the cockpit and restored it. The cockpit can be seen at airshows and corporate events during the airshow season, but you can see it now at the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum located in historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport. For more information about the museum, please visit http://airandspacemuseum.org/.