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Restoration Projects

Preserving 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 for a list of parts needed by the Restoration Division Chief.

Restoration Photos

Restoration Videos

Thomas Morse S4C Scout Restoration at the National Museum of the USAF 2020-2021
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Video by Ken LaRock
Oct. 27, 2021 | 13:06
Aircraft restoration video and interview with museum restoration specialist Casey Simmons.

The Thomas-Morse Scout became the favorite single-seat training airplane for U.S. pilots during World War I. The Scout first appeared with an order for 100 S4Bs in the summer of 1917. The U.S. Army Air Service later purchased nearly 500 of a slightly modified version, the S4C. Dubbed the "Tommy" by its pilots, the plane had a long and varied career.

Tommies flew at practically every pursuit flying school in the United States during 1918. After the war ended, the Air Service sold them as surplus to civilian flying schools, sportsman pilots and ex-Army fliers. Some were still being used in the mid-1930s for WWI aviation movies filmed in Hollywood.

The Tommy on display was donated to the museum in March 1965 by Capt. R.W. Duff, Miami, Fla., and restored by Aero Mechanics High School, Detroit, Mich. The museum's restoration team spent about two years restoring this aircraft which is now on display in the Early Years Gallery as of Oct. 28, 2021.
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  • Current Projects
    The Restoration staff is currently working on the following projects. Use the menus to view project information and click on the thumbnails below to view larger images.