Restoration

SBD Dauntless Update, Early January 2023

It has been a while since our last Dauntless Update, and the eagle eyed among you have likely noticed that the fuselage is still awaiting transport here at the Museum (much to the frustration of the whole team!). The shipping challenges we have encountered have slowed the project down, preventing the fuselage from arriving in…
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Fuel Truck Down to the Frame

2020 seems like so long ago! We located a WWII Fuel Truck in Ohio, and we added it to the collection with a plan to make it serviceable for refueling our airplanes. We contacted the fine folks at Mil Spec Vehicle Restorations in Belvidere, New Jersey (a beautiful town if you ever get the chance…
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A New Addition to the Collection: Beech SNB-1

The newest addition to the collection is an SNB-1! The Navy version of an AT-11 Kansan, this sometimes overlooked warbird had an outsized impact on the war! The AT-11 was the standard bombardier trainer for the US Army Air Forces during World War II and would be used to train around 90% of the more…
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1941 Fire Engine Joins the Collection

Following right along behind the Fuel Truck restoration is another new piece of equipment for the airfield! This 1941 International-built Fire Engine has come to us from North Carolina, and we are excited to get started. The current condition of the vehicle is being surveyed (it does run!) and a couple of ground rules have…
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We have a flying fleet!

After a couple of weeks of assembly, test runs and other pre-flight procedures we have a flying Fleet Model 2! Although it was test flown in Texas before being disassembled for transport to Virginia Beach we are no less excited to see the airplane back in the air! The images here were captured on Saturday…
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The Fleet Model 2 has arrived!

The Military Aviation Museum collection is home to a large number of aircraft that the public does not regularly have the chance to see. These airplanes wait in storage for the opportunity to be restored. Which airplanes get finished in what order is not always an easy decision, with thought given to available resources, and…
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Finding the Fords

The accident report card from BuNo 36175 indicates that the pilot, Lt. Charles L. Ford III, survived the crash, suffering two deep wounds to his forehead. The team here is working actively to collect more information on the pilot, and we welcome any help! The card, shared below, depicts the specifics of the accident which…
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Dauntless, destination New Zealand

The Fighter Factory has finalized the plan for the restoration of the Dauntless! Aircraft components will be split up to accelerate the project. The wings are going to be restored by the team at Aero Trader and the fuselage section is going to be dispatched to the dedicated team at Pioneer Aero of New Zealand! Pioneer…
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We have Wings!

For 30 years, Kevin Smith of California has been working on a Dauntless project of his own, aimed at celebrating the incredible wartime contributions of the SBD. We are pleased to announce that Kevin’s unequalled collection of parts is going to be used in the restoration of our Dauntless! A big Thank You to Kevin,…
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Welcoming the SBD-5 Dauntless!

We are pleased to welcome Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless BuNo 36175 to the collection at the Military Aviation Museum. The airframe was recovered from the bottom of Lake Michigan where it had been lost during a WWII training accident. Join us throughout the month of March to view the airplane before the restoration process begins. The…
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