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What's New at the Museum
By Benjamin Page, EAA Museum Collections Curator
December 29, 2020 – It has been a non-standard summer and autumn in a decidedly non-standard year at the EAA Aviation Museum. Early August, though, saw the museum again buzzing with visitors for the first time since March, and our members and guests returned to find a number of exciting new features.
Our newest permanent exhibit, Huey: Workhorse of Vietnam, opened on August 3, giving guests the opportunity to explore the history of the "Helicopter War" and get a close look at our restored Bell UH-1 Huey. Since then, we've continued to enhance the Huey, so much so that those who first saw it might hardly recognize it now! During the fall, a pair of specialists generously volunteered their time and expertise to the project. Pat Rodgers of Aircraft Restoration Services — who previously contributed a decorated avionics bay panel — not only fabricated a new sync elevator, but loaned an entire set of armament to transform our UH-1 into a gunship. Artist Shayne Meder also visited us in September, adding aircraft markings and recreating a second piece of nose art worn by our UH-1.
Museum docent, volunteer, and artist Larry Jankowski has loaned his collection of aviation artwork to the museum. Called Portraits of Epic Flights, the series celebrates the accomplishments of famous fliers in American aviation history. This unique collection will be on display in the Main Museum through August 2021.
Also on display on the mezzanine is a 1:36 scale model of the German airship Graf Zeppelin II. The model was built by museum docent John Mellberg and was previously on display at the Mitchell Gallery of Flight at Milwaukee-Mitchell International Airport. Accompanying the model is a display featuring artifacts from the golden age of passenger airship flight, including items from the actual Graf Zeppelin II. The model and display can be found just beyond the gift shop.
Finally, the temporary exhibit WASP: Women Flyers of World War II, which opened this March, will remain open into the summer of 2021. This is to give our out-of-state visitors a chance to see the exhibit as we head toward AirVenture 2021.