Air, space artifacts make way to new home in Va.

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2014 at 7:05 pm •  Published: January 23, 2014
Advertisement
;

So far, 8,000 artifacts have been relocated from the Smithsonian's outdated Garber facility in suburban Maryland to the new site near Dulles International Airport in Virginia. They're being moved one by one around the nation's capital. At the current pace, all the small artifacts are to be installed at the new site by 2018, along with about 1,500 medium-size artifacts.

Larger artifacts will have to wait until additional buildings are constructed by 2030, depending on funding. In total, 39,000 artifacts still must be moved in the years to come.

The Smithsonian's aerospace hangar has grown to become Virginia's most-visited museum. When it opened 10 years ago, there were just 348 artifacts on display. Now there are more than 3,000, including the space shuttle Discovery and the Enola Gay B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Japan in World War II.

Visitors can also look down on the massive restoration hangar to see ongoing projects.

The first major restoration effort in the new facility is the preservation of a U.S. Navy Helldiver dive-bomber plane used against Japan in World War II. Another plane that survived the Pearl Harbor bombings is among the next projects. Conservators carefully disassemble each piece, document their work, repair damage and corrosion and reassemble each plane.

"I hope the main thing visitors see is the extent of detail that we work on," said restoration specialist Anne McCombs. "We literally pay attention to every screw, every piece of hardware."

___

National Air and Space Museum: http://airandspace.si.edu

___

Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat