International Air & Space Hall of Fame names Class of 2014

SAN DIEGO — The International Air & Space Hall of Fame has revealed its Class of 2014, which will be inducted Nov. 1 at the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Pavilion of Flight,.

This year’s class includes: Joe Engle, astronaut, space shuttle commander and X-15 rocket plane test pilot; Fitz Fulton, test pilot on the XB-70 Supersonic Bomber/B-58 Hustler, Blackbird pilot, considered one of the greatest test pilots of all time; Bill Boeing, Jr., influential preservationist of air and space history; retired Marine General and aviator John (Jack) R. Dailey, director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; The Ninety-Nines, international women pilot fraternity whose first President was Amelia Earhart; WD-40, created in San Diego, that played a significant role in the quest to protect the Atlas Rocket, a world renowned name in lubricants; Roger Schaufele, aircraft engineer and designer, and Bessie Coleman, first African American woman to earn her pilot’s license.

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Newly restored World War II trainer now on display at Air Force museum

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DAYTON, Ohio — A highly-accurate, pristine example of one of the most used trainers during World War II is now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The Stearman PT-13D Kaydet was a standard primary trainer flown by the United States and several allied nations during the late 1930s through World War II (WWII). It represents a family of trainers that also included the PT-17, PT-18 and PT-27, which all used a common airframe and were differentiated only by engine and minor fuselage modifications. All were referred to as Stearman Kaydets.

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Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome kicks off fundraising effort for new Visitors Center

RHINEBECK, N.Y.  — With a goal of breaking ground in November, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome volunteers are hustling to raise funds for a new $150,000 Visitor Center. Plans are now complete for the gift shop, model museum and modern restrooms in one building.

The biggest challenge is the deadline, Dec. 31, 2014. That’s the date set for a $20,000 challenge grant from the Thomas Thompson Trust, which requires $130,000 to be collected by year’s end to receive the donation. A contribution of $50,000 from The Frost Memorial Trust launched the design phase, and new pledges of materials, expertise and cash will ensure the building opens next May in time for the 2015 museum season, officials note.

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NEAM executive director to retire

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WINDSOR LOCKS, CONN. — Michael P. Speciale, Executive Director of the New England Air Museum (NEAM), has announced his retirement as of Dec. 1. He has been executive director for 29 years and has led the museum’s transformation from a small one-hangar museum recovering from the effects of a tornado in 1979, to a major cultural, educational, and historical institution serving a world-wide audience. [Read more...]

World War I drama coming to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

DAYTON, Ohio – Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I as one of the nation’s premier historical aviation events brings the excitement of early air power to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Sept. 27-28.

The World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will feature vintage reproduction full-scale and 7/8-scale aircraft, such as the Nieuport, SE-5 and Fokker Dr. I triplane. Pilots will perform precision flying in the skies above the museum and compete in a flour-bombing competition, with aircraft launching from and landing on the field behind the museum.

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World War I aviation experts featured at museum symposium

Photo: World War I Pfalz D.XII (foreground) and Sopwith Snipe on display at The Museum of Flight. Ted Huetter/The Museum of Flight, Seattle.

SEATTLE — On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, a one-day symposium at The Museum of Flight on Saturday, July 26, brings together the leading experts on World War I aviation to show how recent investigations are revealing surprising new information.

Speakers include Javier Arango, who uses his personal collection of airworthy World War I airplanes in flight programs to chart the real abilities of the ancient aircraft. Other presenters are renowned World War I aviation historians and authors John Morrow, John Ross, John S. Ballard and Richard Hallion.

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Cosmosphere moves forward with revitalization

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HUTCHINSON, Kansas — The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center’s Governing Board approved a revitalization plan  June 16, with major emphasis on informal STEM education initiatives.

The master plan includes significant changes to the mission, programming, exhibits and building layout of the museum. The plan calls for completion in phases over five years, with an estimated total cost of $15 million. It also represents the first major capital improvements since 1997.

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