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EAA Aviation Museum Welcomes Two New Exhibits Along With Other Updates


June, 2023— The EAA Aviation Museum is seeing some updates, as two new exhibits will open in the coming weeks. One will focus on the work of drafters who played a pivotal role in designing some of the most iconic aircraft of WWII. The other exhibit will showcase the career of Mike Melvill, the first commercial astronaut.

The Telling Gallery in the Eagle Hangar will be the home of AirCorps Aviation’s traveling exhibit titled Drafting: The Art of Aircraft Engineering in WWII. The exhibit provides a detailed look at the process of drafting aircraft designs during World War II. Original drawings from the Ken Jungeberg Collection are displayed across the exhibit, showing detailed depictions of some of the war’s most iconic aircraft such as the B-25 and P-51. The Telling Gallery is sponsored by Fred and Barbara Telling.

To make room for the exhibit, WASP: Women Flyers of WWII has been moved to a new permanent location in the Eagle Hangar by the Link Trainer. The exhibit highlights the heroic women pilots who served their country by flying military aircraft to bases around the world.

The museum’s other new exhibit focuses on Mike Melvill, EAA Lifetime 53387, and his accomplishments over his career. Melvill is most well-known for flying Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne, an experimental spaceplane, on its first flight into space. The flight made Melvill the first commercial astronaut. Included in the exhibit are a pair of astronaut wings that were given to him by the U.S. Department of Transportation, his Robert J. Collier Trophy and Medal, and the horseshoe pin that was his good luck charm from his wife, Sally. The exhibit opens on June 23 and is located in the SpaceShipOne exhibit near the Eagle Hangar entrance.

The Engle Collection, located adjacent to the Wright Flyer replica, has a new addition as part of the exhibit. A replica of Joe Engle’s X-15 suit is now on display. The suit was made by Hollywood prop and costume maker Ryan Nagata and includes lakebed dirt from Edwards Air Force Base to make the boots look worn. The suit adds to the collection of personal archives donated by Joe and Jeanie Engle from their careers in the aerospace industry.

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