Featured Exhibits

aircorp drafting exhibit

Drafting: The Art of Aircraft Engineering in WWII

The draftsmen of World War II put pencil to paper and brought the most iconic aircraft of our time from imagination into reality.

This temporary exhibit, located in the Telling Gallery, focuses on North American Aviation’s (NAA) drafting department and the aircraft it designed for the war effort. NAA manufactured the P-51 Mustang, B-25 Mitchell, and AT-6 Texan during WWII, aircraft that are still beloved and flown today. The draftsmen of NAA drew by hand hundreds of thousands of aircraft parts and assemblies and possessed incredible artistic talent, along with a technical mindset.

Discover the methods and tools the draftsmen used to create engineering drawings and how these drawings were used to manufacture parts and build finished aircraft. This exhibit features original pencil drawings from the NAA factory that are visible to the general public for the first time in history. Visitors also have the unique opportunity to learn how the drawings in the exhibit were saved from incineration by one NAA employee who understood their historical value when others did not.

The story of the draftsmen told in this exhibit is a reminder of the war-effort contributions made by a humble group of unsung heroes who never asked for recognition but whose work shaped the aviation history of both America and the world.

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