On Monday, December 5, the Intrepid Museum unveiled its new Aircraft Restoration Hangar. Susan Marenoff-Zausner, president of the Museum, hosted a special reception and ceremony for Museum patrons. Eric Boehm, the Museum’s curator of aviation, joined the aircraft restoration team and volunteers to present the new facility and welcome its first tenant, the A-1 Skyraider.
This particular model, the XBT2D-1 Dauntless II, arrived at the Museum in the spring of 2014. It served on Intrepid, making it a special part of the collection. Gerald Feola, a former crew member who attended the unveiling, flew the Skyraider on electronic countermeasure missions during his service in 1967. On October 9, 1966, Lt. (j.g.) William T. Patton flew a Skyraider from Intrepid and shot down a MiG-17 jet fighter over Vietnam—a remarkable feat for a piston-engined aircraft designed during World War II.
Gerald Feola, who served as an aviation machinist on Intrepid, poses with the A-1 Skyraider.
There are only 57 Skyraiders in existence. This particular model is the oldest surviving example. The restoration and preservation of aircraft like the Skyraider is an enormous challenge. Staff and volunteers at the Museum are specially trained in the sciences of metallurgy and organic chemical reactions on aircraft components. They help to identify damage and fabricate replacement parts when a piece in the collection shows damage from age or the elements.
The A-1 Skyraider, currently undergoing restoration at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
The new Aircraft Restoration Hangar will be a great asset in the Museum’s ongoing efforts to restore and preserve its aircraft collection. Future plans for the facility include adding a classroom to further enhance the Museum’s commitment to education.
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