The Virginia Aviation Museum, which has operated on Richmond International Airport Property since 1991, will close at the end of the month.
In a brief statement, the museum, home to a collection of 38 aircraft, said it will charge no admission until it closes June 30. The museum building, a hangar that was built in 1987, has “reached the end of its useful life,” the statement says.
Chrissy Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the state museum, said attempts to find a new location over the past several years have been unsuccessful and that problems with climate control and the structure itself have forced the closure.
“The building itself was originally a temporary facility,” she said. “That building was never meant to do what it does today.” Last year, about 13,000 people visited the museum, and Caldwell said attendance wasn’t a factor in the decision to shut down.
Troy Bell, a spokesman for Richmond International Airport, said the museum had operated under a lease with the airport and that airport officials were notified of the planned closure last week.
“It wasn’t a surprise,” Bell said, adding that the building “would require a lot of repairs going forward.”
The museum says its collection of aircraft, which includes reproductions of the Wright brothers' aircraft, civilian planes from the 1920s through the 1980s and military aircraft ranging from a 1917 SPAD VII fighter to the F-14 Tomcat, the jet made famous by the 1986 film “Top Gun,” will be relocated and preserved, though a new location has yet be determined.
Found it here:http://www.richmond.com/news/article_2e ... 40e15.html
Military Aircraft on Display:
1917 SPAD VII, Prized Fighter
The SPAD VII was one of the best fighter planes of World War I. The Museum’s SPAD VII, B9913, was manufactured in 1917 and was one of 19 British-built SPAD VIIs sent to the US Army’s Rockwell Field Pursuit Gunnery School in San Diego in 1918 to serve as advanced fighter trainers for the US Air Service.
1918 Standard E-1, Advanced Trainer
The Standard E-1 was a U.S. World War I pursuit trainer powered by a 100-horsepower Gnome B-9 or an 80-horsepower Le Rhone rotary engine - both engines drove a fixed-pitch wooden propeller. The Museum’s Standard E-1 was manufactured in 1918 and is powered by an 80-horsepower Le Rhone rotary engine. Air Shannon spent eight years restoring the aircraft to its current condition after Sidney L. Shannon Jr. found this airplane in a barn near Dayton, Ohio, in the early 1950s.
1917 Curtiss Model JN4-D Military Trainer Jenny
The Curtiss JN models - also known as the "Jenny" series – were used by the US Army as observation planes and trainers during World War I. The Museum’s Curtiss Jenny was built in January 1917 in Buffalo, NY. Powered by a 90-horsepower, 8-cylinder, water-cooled engine, this airplane is capable of a maximum horizontal speed of 75 mph.
1970 Vought A-7D Corsair II
The A-7D Corsair II is a single seat, light attack aircraft. Originally designed for the U.S. Navy, 459 A-7Ds were built for the US Air Force from 1968 to 1976. The A-7D achieved excellent bomb-deliver accuracy due to its automatic electronic navigation and weapon-delivery system. The aircraft weighs 39,325 pounds when fully loaded with a maximum speed of 663 mph! The Museum's A-7D flew with the 192nd Tactical Fighter Group and is on loan from the USAF Museum. (Serial #70-966)
Douglas A-4C Skyhawk
The US Navy used the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk for many years as a front-line light attack-bomber. The A-4 prototype, or Heinemann's Hotrod as it was sometimes called, was first flown on June 22, 1954. Early A-4s carried up to 5,000 pounds of missiles, fuel tanks, rockets, and gun pods, on three stations. The A-4 was also used by several foreign nations including Argentina, Australia, and Israel.
Grumman F-14D Tomcat, Navy Air Superiority Fighter
The F-14D Tomcat is a supersonic, air-superiority fighter. The Museum’s F-14D bureau number 164346, Block 170, was delivered to the Navy on February 2, 1992 and saw combat on board the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Tomcat 164346 was last flown on September 15, 2006, when it was delivered to the Virginia Aviation Museum by pilot Lt. Roy Gordon and RIO Lt. Bill Frank.This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation at Pensacola, Florida
1927 Pitcairn Mailwing PA-5, Purpose-Designed Mail Aircraft
The Pitcairn PA-5 was the first in the Mailwing series - designed to carry airmail and cargo. The Museum’s Pitcairn Mailwing PA-5 (N3835) was built in 1927 and purchased by Colonial Western Airways of New York in 1929. Universal Aviation Corporation, American Airlines, Central Airlines and Robertson Aircraft Corporation later operated this aircraft. Air Shannon purchased the aircraft in 1957 and restored it in Eastern Air Transport colors in 1972.
1927 Travel Air 2000, "Old Elephant Ears"
A classic aircraft of the late 1920s, the Travel Air 2000 was one of several planes that replaced the aging Curtiss Jenny and Standard J-1 on the barnstorming circuit. With a range of 425 miles, barnstormers could hop passengers in and out of small fields all day. The versatile Travel Air 2000 was also favored by early, fixed-base operators because it was reliable, easy to maintain and a delight to fly.
1927 Fairchild FC-2W2, Antarctic Research Aircraft
The FC-2W2 was a larger version of the standard Fairchild FC-2W and was powered by a 450-horsepower Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engine. FC-2W2s were used to transport people and cargo in the world's most rugged terrain. Virginia's Adm. Richard E. Byrd used this airplane on his legendary expeditions to the Antarctic - on January 15, 1929, the Stars and Stripes became the first American aircraft to fly over the Antarctic. On loan from the National Air and Space Museum.
1928 Heath Super Parasol, Classic, Home-Built Light Plane
Throughout the 1930s, more than 1,000 of these popular, home-built aircrafts were built with countless personal modifications and variations. Two major versions were available: the standard Heath Parasol with 31-foot wings and the Heath Super Parasol with 25-foot wings. At the time, Heath Parasols were the lowest-priced approved airplanes in the country and the only kit-built airplane eligible for government license. Donated by Dr. E. C. Garber.
1928 Bellanca CH-400 Skyrocket, The One Lindbergh Really Wanted
Famous for their aerodynamic efficiency, Bellancas featured airfoil-shaped wing struts and an airfoil-contoured fuselage. The Museum’s Bellanca (NX237) was built in 1928 as a CH-300 Pacemaker. In 1964 it was salvaged from an Alaskan glacier by Preston Synder and in 1976 converted to a CH-400 Skyrocket. The exterior logo is that of the Columbia, which was destroyed in a hangar fire.
1928 Pietenpol Air Camper and Sky Scout, Ford-Powered Homebuilt
The Pietenpol is one of the best-known homebuilt airplanes ever designed. In the early 1930s, complete plans were available for $7.50 from Modern Mechanics and Inventions, and Flying and Glider Manual magazines. More than 30 types of engines power Pietenpols, the most popular being the 40-horsepower Ford Model A, Corvair and 65- to 85-horsepower Continental or Lycoming engines. The water-cooled Model A engine was mounted backward, with the propeller bolted to the flywheel flange. Built and donated by Charles F. Duff.
Brunner-Winkle Bird, Gentle, Honest and Trustworthy
The Brunner-Winkle Bird is a general-purpose biplane with straightforward flying characteristics. Charles A. Lindbergh was so captivated by the Bird he bought one for his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The Bird has outstanding slow-speed performance with quick, short takeoffs and unbelievably short landings. On loan from Dolph Overton.
1929 Curtiss Robin J-1D, Rugged Record-Setter
In 1935 in Meridian Mississippi, brothers Al and Fred Key set a world record in a Curtiss-Robertson Robin - they remained aloft for 27 continuous days! In 1938 Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan flew a Robin on his infamous flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Ireland — he was supposed to fly from New York to California! The Robin (NC532N) was built in October 1929 and completely restored to its present condition by Francis Clore in 1969.
1930 Fleet Model 1, Military Basic Trainer
The Fleet is a brawny ship with stout wings — enough to hold the weight of two full-size elephants or 13,125 pounds! The Museum’s Fleet 1 (N766V) was built in August 1930 and in 1933 it was fitted with a more powerful 125-horsepower Warner engine. Through the years, N766V passed through several owners in New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. She was completely recovered in 1969 and was operated by the Barnstormers Airshows of Hanover Airport in the 1970s. Donated by Lennie Ellis.
1932 Aeronca C-2, The Flying Bathtub
Designed by 1978 Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame inductee Jean A. Roche, the Aeronca C-2 was a first-production aircraft in a 22-year series of Aeroncas. The Aeronca's low purchase price, maintenance costs and comparatively good performance made it a popular aircraft and encouraged private flying during the economic hard times of the Great Depression.
The Museum’s Aeronca C-2 (N11417) was originally built as a C-1, clipped-wing Cadet. With a shorter wingspan and powered by a 36-horsepower Aeronca E-113 engine, the clipped-wing Cadet was 15 mph faster than the standard C-2. In 1932 this plane was converted to a C-2-N — a deluxe sport version of the C-2 Scout. In 1962 this aircraft was rebuilt entirely.
1932 Taylor E-2 Cub, Civilian Basic Trainer
Introduced by C. Gilbert Taylor and William T. Piper, the Taylor E-2 Cub had an enormous impact on civilian aviation. In the design lay the foundation for what eventually became the famous Piper Cub. The E-2 Cub was well behaved in all basic maneuvers and was very popular with small flying-school operators.
1935 Aeronca C-3, Rugged Affordability
In 1931 an Aeronca C-3 was the first light aircraft to complete the grueling 4,858-mile National Air Tour. At Richmond's Byrd Field, in the years before World War II, a C-3 called Little Joe was one of Eastern Airlines personnel's favorite planes.The Museum’s Aeronca C-3 (NC14640) was donated by Kenneth Brugh in honor of William Bayne Grubb of Pulaski, Virginia. Donated by Kenneth Brugh.
1935 WACO Model YOC, Superlative Business Aircraft
The WACO Model YOC is one of the most beautiful cabin airplanes ever built by WACO Aircraft. These custom-cabin WACOs were plush and generally owned by corporations and wealthy sports-pilots. With several different engine choices, the YOC is a well-balanced combination of speed, comfort, safety and reliability. The YOC can be modified to seaplane configuration with Edo twin-floats. On loan from the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society.
1936 Curtiss-Wright Speedwing Model A-14D, Rare, Classic Aircraft
The Curtiss-Wright Speedwing Model A-14D was designed to take advantage of the low-drag, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics-designed radial engine cowling. The Museum’s Curtiss-Wright A-14D (N12329) is the only known A-14D in existence. It was originally owned by the Curtiss-Wright Company and flown by such notables as famous test pilot Jimmy Doolittle and New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. The crest on the logo on the fuselage is one of the Sportsman Pilot magazine personal crests of the 1930s. The W and the eagle are the owner’s personal identifiers. On loan from Allen H. Watkins.
1936 Vultee V-1A Special, Luxury in the Sky
The Museum’s Vultee V-1A Special (NC16099) is the only known surviving V-1AD in the world. When the CAA (the forerunner of the FAA) ruled airliners had to have at least two engines, the V-1As were taken out of commercial service and used as executive airplanes. The last V-1A was built in 1936 for the Soviet government and flown 10,000 miles from California to Moscow.
1937 Fairchild 24 Model G, The Cadillac of Private Planes
The Fairchild Model 24-G was available in the standard 4-seat or deluxe 3-seat version and powered by a 145-horsepower Warner Super Scarab radial engine. Easy to fly, economical to operate and capable of carrying an ample load, the Model 24-G was available as a seaplane on Edo 44-2425 twin-floats. The Museum’s Fairchild Model 24-G (N19123) was built in August 1937 and restored to its current condition in 1984. Donated by Lyall O. Steger.
1938 Stinson Reliant SR-10G, Gull Wing Perfection
The Museum’s Reliant (NC21135) was built for American Airlines and became one of American’s route survey planes and VIP transports. In 1942 this plane, along with 44 other civilian Reliants, was impressed into the USAAF as an UC-81. In 1946 it returned to civilian status for the Virginia Aerial Mapping and Photo Service. In March 1973 NC21135 was completely restored in American Airlines colors.
1941 Bücker 133-C Jungmeister, Aerobatic Prowess
Designed by Carl Bücker for the Luft Sports Bund, the Bu 133 featured excellent control effectiveness and light control pressure. A Bu 133 won the only Olympic aerobatic flying competition in the history of the games at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. After the World War II, the Museum’s Bücker Bu 133 was owned by Count Jose L. Aresti, the originator of the Aresti Aerobatic Shorthand Scoring System. In 1979 Sidney Shannon acquired the airplane and to honor Beverly “Bevo” Howard — one of the most talented acrobatic air-show pilots in America — painted it in its current colors.
1943 Piper J-3 Cub, The Classic Trainer Aircraft
The simple, inexpensive, easy to maintain and fly J-3 Cub is one of the most popular airplanes of all time. Civilian and military flight schools used Piper Cubs as trainers- it is estimated that nearly 75 percent of the pilots serving in World War II received their first training in a Piper Cub.
1946 Ercoupe Model 415, The Average Guy's Airplane
The unusual Ercoupe was a light aircraft popular after World War II. Designed for the amateur pilot by renowned National Advisory Committee for Aeronautic–-Langley engineer Fred Weick, the Ercoupe was a safe, docile flying machine. Between 1945 and 1952, over 5,000 Ercoupes were built; many were sold through the menswear department at Macy's! Donated by Charles Drummond.
1988 Quickie 200 Tri-Gear
The Quickie Q-200 is a two-place, high-performance, composite, homebuilt aircraft. The Q-200’s compact size and efficient design evolved from the original single seat Quickie and the Q-2 kits produced by Quickie Aircraft Company. Q-200s requires between two and five years to build.