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Rearrangement of the Cold War Gallery

  • Published
  • By Danielle Almeter
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

In January of this year museum staff rearranged the Eugene W. Kettering Cold War Gallery, which opened in 2003, to more accurately reflect the history and mission of the aircraft. The Cold War Gallery features aircraft that span the Cold War years and post-Cold War operations, to include the Global War on Terror.

The Restoration staff realigned current aircraft in the gallery and added the CV-22 Osprey and F-100D Super Sabre, which were previously in storage, said Restoration Supervisor Greg Hassler.

“It was important to get the aircraft in the proper configuration in order to help visitors understand the historical progression of how the technological achievements of that era led to the advanced systems used today,” said Hassler.

The CV-22B, tail number 99-0021, was the oldest Osprey in the Air Force when it flew to the Museum in Dec. 2013.  Since the arrival of the CV-22, it was stored in the museum’s restoration facility awaiting for available hangar space to become available in the Cold War Gallery. That space opened up following the move of the Space Shuttle Exhibit to the fourth building and the completion of the temporary Math Alive! exhibit.

According to Research Division Chief Wes Henry, the CV-22 is an important addition to the gallery and will allow the museum to tell the continuing and significant story of current operations around the world.

“The CV-22 is a tremendous addition to the gallery,” said Henry. “This aircraft was designed for use by special operations forces and its versatility, allowing for vertical takeoff and landing, enables it to be a valuable tool for the U.S. Air Force and our allies.”

The F-100D, previously on display in a hangar located on a secured portion of Wright-Patterson AFB, was used by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds from 1964-1968 and is now located next to the F-16A Thunderbird in that gallery.

Much more is planned for the Cold War Gallery including a recently acquired MiG-23, additional exhibits around the SR-71, and further storylines about Tactical Air Command, Strategic Air Command, and Desert Storm, said Museum Deputy Director Krista Strider.

“Museum staff will continue to develop and install new detailed exhibits in the Cold War Gallery and throughout the museum in accordance with our Exhibit Plan,” said Strider. “With the opening of the fourth building in the summer of 2016 and our plans for additional exhibits and upgrading existing exhibits, we are very excited about what is in store for the future at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force,” Strider said.