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Timeless Voices Theater Renovated

Wilson Foundation’s Support

July 23, 2016 - The Wilson Timeless Voices of Aviation Theater has been renovated thanks to the generous support of the Robert A. and Susan C. Wilson Foundation.

Since its inception in 2002, the mission of the Wilson Timeless Voices of Aviation Program has been to curate and preserve firsthand accounts of aviation history, and make them available as an educational resource. When the theater first opened in 2004, it was outfitted with a standard DVD player and projector system that featured 22 story clips playing on a two-hour loop.

There are currently 1,415 total interviews in the collection, 530 are available online, and more than 100 can be viewed in the renovated theater. As more interviews are edited, the number of clips available in the theater will continue to grow.

The renovation included replacing the projector setup with a 72-inch 4K high-definition television and opening the theater entrance to make it more inviting to visitors. Also, instead of a DVD of looped footage, visitors can now select specific clips to view using a kiosk at the center of the theater.

The area outside the theater, once home to the museum’s MaxFlight simulator, now has four touch-screen kiosks, programmed with the same stories as the main theater. New graphics behind the kiosks showcase the breadth and depth of the story collection, featuring a variety of photos of anyone from 1930s barnstormers to astronauts and everyone in between.

The new collection of clips includes diverse stories from the all of the most influential eras in aviation, including ones from military and civilian aviators.

Bob Wilson said the Wilson Foundation’s support of the program is inspired by the fact that aviation is built on the history of flight in all categories.

“Aviation is one of the most important assets to the strength of our nation and the world,” Wilson said. “It is paramount that we need a history that can be accessed. We learn from other’s mistakes and ideas. Every generation contributes to make the United States the apex of aviation whether it is commercial, corporate/business, general or homebuilt. Everyone associated with aviation contributes to how we build and fly safe. We strive to eliminate accidents due to structural, technology or human related causes. We owe it to ourselves and the others who fly.”

Wilson also said he hopes to see Wilson Timeless Voices of Aviation further the collective knowledge of aviation and aviation safety in the future.

“Our foundation will strive to make sure it is spread across all aviation venues,” Wilson said. “EAA has what is considered by many the greatest audio and visual collection in the world. My wife, Susan, and I are committed to working through the Timeless Voices to see that no stone is unturned for our new aviators, present aviators and the ones to come to have the tools and commitments of others who have come before them.”

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