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Exhibits > Restoration

Restoration DivisionPreserving the Air Force's proud legacy, the Restoration Division restores aircraft and aerospace vehicles to historically accurate and visually striking levels. Division members are well versed in a variety of skills ranging from machine and woodworking expertise to precision craftsmanship in sheet metal and painting. Their knowledge of aircraft spans years of technology -- from World War I fabric covered aircraft to the elite fighters of today's Air Force. 

Restoration workers also maintain the museum's vast aircraft collection, move aircraft into exhibit position and work hand-in-hand with the Exhibits and Research Divisions and museum management on ever-changing gallery displays. The Restoration Division relies heavily on a dedicated, talented cadre of volunteers in accomplishing its mission. 

Click here to watch "From Conception to Reality: Restoration Division" (00:02:55)
Click here for a list of parts needed by the Restoration Division Chief
Watch the Behind the Scenes Tour video (00:04:20)

The Restoration staff is currently working on the following projects, as well as doing extensive planning for the museum's upcoming fourth building. Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images.

B-17F Memphis Belle B-17F Memphis BelleĀ®
The inboard wings have been mated to the fuselage and the landing gear has been lowered for the aircraft to sit on. Sheet metal repairs have been completed on the forward belly. The missing bomb bay door has been completed. In addition, the wing root items are being fabricated and installed and the engines have been installed on the aircraft. Volunteers have restored the tailgunner position and connected the engine controls and accessories. Structural repairs are also being performed on the horizontal stabilizers and the vertical stabilizer has been installed. Click here to view a photo slide show of the Memphis Belle restoration or here for more information and photos

Note: The original Memphis Belle was on static display in Memphis, Tenn., until October 2005. At that time, it was transported to the museum where it is now undergoing restoration. The B-17 with "Memphis Belle" markings seen at many air shows is not the original aircraft.
B-17D The Swoose B-17D The Swoose
Work on this aircraft has temporarily been suspended as the Restoration Division focuses on other top priorities. Visitors may still view this aircraft during the museum's "Behind the Scenes Tours." Click here for more information and photos.

B-52 replica bombs
Replica bombs simulating a weight of 500 lbs are being made for the wing racks of the B-52. 
C-82 Packet
The aircraft has been prepped and painted and markings have been applied. Volunteers have also restored the flight deck and cargo compartment. Awaiting movement to the new fourth building in late 2015. Click here for more information and photos.

The C-119J is being prepped for paint and volunteers are cleaning and restoring the interior cockpit in preparation for the fourth building.
 C-123K C-123K
Work on this aircraft has temporarily been suspended as the Restoration Division focuses on other top priorities such as preparation work for the move of the R&D aircraft. Click here for more information and photos.
Curtiss A-25A rudder
A rudder has been obtained from the National Naval Aviation Museum to use as a pattern to duplicate the missing rudder on the museum's A-25A.  All sheet metal repairs are being fabricated. Click here for more information and photos.

CV-22 Osprey
This aircraft is currently in storage but can be seen during the "Behind the Scenes Tours." The CV-22 will eventually be placed in the Cold War Gallery.

The canopy and windscreen are being fabricated.  

Titan 4B Space Launch Vehicle
The Titan IV is being inspected and inventoried. This space launch vehicle will eventually be displayed in the fourth building.   
Work on this aircraft has temporarily been suspended as the Restoration Division focuses on other top priorities such as preparation work for the move of the R&D aircraft. Click here for more information and photos.

Visitors can see the restoration facility by signing up for the museum's Behind the Scenes Tour offered every Friday throughout the year (with some exceptions).

Click here to view more photos of current and past restoration projects.

Updated April 2014

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