Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Members see Flak Bait up close

"Rosie" Grace Henninger asks some questions of lead Flak Bait restorer Pat Robinson (foreground) and curator Jeremy Kinney.

 Over 50 Museum members and aviation enthusiasts rode a bus to the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center on April 25 to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the restoration area where the iconic World War II B-26 Flak Bait is undergoing a major preservation effort. The tour was led by lead restorer Pat Robinson and curator Jeremy Kinney.
Tom Jones explains the tiles on the Shuttle Discovery.
On board for the trip was "Rosie" Grace Henninger who was among the first women hired by the Martin Company to work on the production floor.  Grace thoroughly enjoyed the day and kept everyone mesmerized by her recollections of working during the war. Bud Gahs also made the trip and told how he worked on the Martin turret for the B-26 until he was drafted.
Meeting the group in Virginia was veteran astronaut Tom Jones, who  later led the group on a walk-around of the Shuttle Discovery. Tom also has done a lot of research on Flak Bait and wrote about the aircraft in the latest Air & Space magazine.
Joining the group was Dave Pawski, who is leading a group in Akron restoring a B-26. Also B-26 pilot Dave Patrisek was there as was Alex Bailey, a B-26 mechanic.
Steve Swartz was with a group touring the center and put together a PhotoShow of the day, which you can view here.  http://www.photoshow.com/watch/pg5rQ7HV

Members admire the cradle holding Flak Bait's wing assembly.

A look at history

Docent Bill Haugen explains the special tiles on the shuttle. A busload of aviation enthusiasts enjoyed the day November 8 at the Smiths...