June 26, 2006
Storage Collection

While digging around for obscure German WWII aircraft (it's a slow day), I found this nifty collection of photographs of the old Smithsonian Paul Garber Storage Facility. This was where most of the Smithsonian's air and space collection was held, and it was, well, sort of open to the public. You had to make an appointment, and tours were given most days.

I saw it back in 1995, four years before these were taken, but still recognize most of the things in the pictures. It's closed now, and I never got around to going back. Ellen claims to be quite disappointed, but she tends to roll her eyes when she says it so I'm not sure I believe her. A dusty, un-airconditioned collection of warehouses full of junked old airplanes... what's not to love?

A lot of these aircraft are now on display, but many are not. I hope once they get the restoration section of the annex built that The Swoose (the only "shark-fin" B-17 in existence) and the Go-229 flying wing (a Nazi "might-have-been" that never flew) are at the top of their "to-do" list.

Posted by scott at June 26, 2006 03:31 PM

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This prompted me to do a search for that airplane that was found in a hangar at Wright-Patt. Turns out it's the XF-92 (as near as I can tell). It was found sitting in the back of a hangar (Hangar 13, IIRC), covered in bird crap and more or less dissasembled. My unit was tasked with doing some of the restoration work, and I actually got to help do a bit of it. One of the cool things I remember was that the nose-cone was made completely of wood. They had shaped it by gluing pieces of wood together, and then doing all the work to get the correct shape by hand. Very neat, that.

The interesting part of this is that they say it was donated to the Air Force Museum in 1969 and it's on display now. As of 95, it was still in pretty bad shape. I had heard that it was turned over to the Museum, but I dunno about it current state.

Note that for some reason, the filters are preventing me from posting links to the different sites, but if you do a search on the name, you should find a NASA and an Air Force Museum link with pics).

Posted by: ron on June 27, 2006 10:49 AM
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