PETERSON AIR AND SPACEMUSEUM
VOLUME 1, NO. 3 JANUARY 2007
With the New Year we are trying a new format that will not only be easier to read and follow, but will provide us more flexibility in providing you with the news, etc.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
MIKE DRENNAN, PRESIDENT
On behalf of the Peterson Air and Space Museum Foundation I would like to render a heart-felt thanks to every Board and Foundation member who made 2006 such a resounding success. As the year draws to an end we have close to 70 super volunteers who devoted over 10,000 hours of their time in helping capture the heritage of Peterson Air Force Base. Around 12,000 visitors were able to see first hand the outstanding efforts of our team aided by our first-class Docent program that served as our good will ambassadors.
The accomplishments were too numerous to mention in the limited space that I have available; however, it is fair to say that the improvements in the Terminal Building, Old City Hangar and museum park have made the museum complex a model in the Air Force. We look forward to adding the Broadmoor Hangar to the collection in 2007. We have been extremely successful in spreading the word about our efforts through a marvelous web site, advertising around the community, hosting social functions, retirement ceremonies, and catering formal events.
The Old City Hangar houses our many great exhibits including Air Defense, Missile Warning and Space Surveillance, ICBM, and CheyenneMountainOperationsCenter. Significant progress continues on the restoration of our many great historical aircraft and the airpark looks superb.
Yet, there is still much to do and I know that 2007 will be an even more exciting and rewarding year. My thanks to each and every one of you who have made 2006 so successful and I look forward to working with each of you in 2007.
F-101 VOODOO ALERT
Gail Whalen, Director
The museum’s F-101B, which is guarding the West Gage entrance to Peterson AFB, will be coming off the “stick” sometime in December. Literally, it will be pulled off the steel pylons and crated away to the flight line until the major renovation and re-routing of the West entrance to the base is completed, sometime in 2007. Then, a new ground-level pad, complete with landscaping and interpretive signage, will be created, and Voodoo will resume its duties at a somewhat lower altitude than before.
The aircraft will first undergo needed restorations, and then be placed on a belly cradle. The new pad will sit next to a new commercial entrance at the West Gate, next to a newly constructed SecurityForcesVisitorControlCenter. This means that fiscal year 2008 aircraft restoration money will be applied to the Voodoo, freeing up this coming year’s money for more of the aircraft in the airpark next to the museum.
VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION DAY
Volunteer Appreciation Day 2007 will be held in the Old City Hangar at 1300 hours, 12 February 2007. All Volunteers are urged to attend with family members welcome too. Dress is casual. Refreshments will be served.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS SPECIAL MEETING
ED WEAVER, SECRETARY
During a special Board of Director’s meeting, MGen (Ret) G. Wesley Clark, MGen (Ret) Tim McMahon, and Col (Ret) Glenn Griffith were nominated for a three extension (through 31 Dec 09). BGen (Ret) Bob Stein (former chairman of the Colorado Springs Military Affairs Committee) was nominated for an initial three year term. Tom Allee, National Director Community Affairs, Frontier Airlines, was also nominated
for a three year term, replacing Joan Sell. Joan stepped down from the Board but will continue to manage the Museum Commemorative Tile Program. BGen (Ret) Russ Anarde was nominated for a one year term to replace Col (Ret) Jim Rix who resigned for personal reasons. The Board also established a working committee to expand fund raising efforts.
GAIL WHALEN, DIRECTOR
INSPECTOR GENERAL VISIT
Peterson AFB was very busy the last few months preparing for the Air Force Space Command Inspector General. The IG team came to Peterson AFB in September and October. When they had finished going through the 21st Space Wing, they left us with an overall EXCELLENT rating!
So, what did we do at the Peterson Air and SpaceMuseum to support the effort?
Our volunteers cleaned every inch of the OperationsBuilding, Workshop, and Archives Storage area. They sat through briefings on Operations Security, Fire Safety, Shelter-in Place, Emergency Evacuation, etc., etc. etc. They made sure every bolt was tight, every lamp was lit, every paper was checked, every work hour was logged, every chemical was listed, and every hole was plugged (except for the ones in the F-86 where the yellow jackets keep rebuilding winter quarters). And, they stepped gingerly out of the way while the Museum staff flew around like pigs fleeing the butcher.
And what do the think the IG Man inspected at the Peterson Air and SpaceMuseum? Did he check our outstanding static displays and servicing records (thanks to the Ramp Rats and the Go-to-Gang)? No. Did he go through our inventory and accession records – the number one priority of the NationalMuseum of the Air Force? No. Did he cruise into our workshop and check our Hazardous Material storage, our archive storage, our carefully curiously curled air hoses and water hoses? No. The IG Man checked one drawer of files in my office, and wanted to see one electronic filing action. And, then he left. Two days before the IG visit, we hosted 80+ personnel from up the road during their exercise response to a simulated bomb threat. Since it was cold and drizzling outside, we let them in the TerminalBuilding for the next two hours. Then, they ate all of our candy.
Prior to the day of the candy eating evacuees, I closed the museum to visitors and volunteers three different times this year in order to correct
safety, hazmat or other operational problems. The closings totaled almost
one month. Despite that, we’ve still exceeded last years’ visitation numbers. This is a direct testament to the work of our volunteers – the word is getting around that this is a great museum, and they are coming out to see it. I want to thank every one for assisting with all the preparation and putting up with some very rough days and interrupted schedules.
STARFIRE FLIES AGAIN!
I’m sure most of you are under the assumption that our static display aircraft are non-operational. They’re on display in the airpark permanently, not merely parked here waiting for a pilot or crew to taxi them out for a mission. Apparently, someone forgot to tell our F-94C Starfire (interceptor).
At the end of October, the Fr
ont Range got quite a blast of winter weather. On Thursday, 28 October, we received from 13 – 20 inches of snow. Wind gusts got up to 60 MPH. The airpark was covered top to bottom, and the base was closed that day. While most of the snow melted away by Saturday, there were still some significant drifts around some of the static displays. By Monday, though, almost everything was clear. Jeff Nash, the Museum’s assistant director, was patrolling the airpark when he spotted the nose wheel on the Starfighter pointed in the wrong direction. When he looked closer, the gear was resting on top of the steel support stand.
Our first thought was that the snow plow operators had gotten too close to the aircraft and lifted it up with the blade. But, it wasn’t damaged, other than the fact that it was resting on top of the steel support stand. A quick response by Jerry Kovach, Ed Mika and Zoie (trusty Schnauzer mechanic) fixed the problem. Seems there isn’t any engine in the F-94, and the wings were pointed in just the right position, and the wind came from the right direction, and at just the right speed, and according to Jerry, the wings
did just what they were designed to do – they lifted! The only things holding her in place were the steel cables attaching the gear to the steel support stand. Jerry, Ed and Zoie corrected the problem with a few more cables and a few more twists to the locking nuts. However, if anyone sees any of our other aircraft attempting to make unauthorized departures, please notify us immediately. We are not cleared or authorized for takeoff.
DON’T FORGET THE GIFT SHOP
Our Gift Shop has a fine inventory of aviation apparel, DVDs, souvenirs, jewelry, models and toys. The merchandise may be purchased in person by visiting the Museum. All members of the Peterson Air Force Base Museum Foundation receive a 10% discount on inventory items.
GO TO GANG
“She wants us to do what?” I can’t tell you how many times we have said that over the past year. What that question refers to is our Director’s numerous requests.
Now, as we end the year it is interesting to look back over what we accomplished. Most of our tasking has been in the Old City Hangar. Many walls of many sizes, numerous display cases, gallons and gallons of paint, cartons of cleaning materials, and many trips to the dumpers, and, what did we get? Well, perhaps the comment of a recent visitor puts it all in perspective. She said something like …We were here a little over a year ago, wow; you’ve done a lot of work!
After two years the Hangar has been transformed from a long neglected storage facility to a Museum. We have more to do, but for the next few months, most of our attention will be directed toward the completion of the exhibits and preparation for the conversion of the Broadmoor Hangar from administrative offices. We must admit, we look forward to the challenges Gail will surely present us.
Yes, we are all excited about the Broadmoor Hangar. However, not only does that Hangar building provide additional exhibit space, expanded theater, and expansion of the gift shop to expand our total floor space, but it allows us to convert the Operations (OPS) Building to a first class maintenance facility. The relocation of artifacts storage (over 3,000) items, staff and volunteer offices, and library items will correct the current very crowded conditions.
THE MISSILE WARNING EXHIBIT
Larry Flynn, Crew Chief
Work on the Missile Warning Exhibit continues to progress. During the first part of the year the Missile Warning Crew worked on the BMEWS and SLBM displays. Both now show the sites associated with each and the missions of each system. In progress is a visual depiction of the coverage of each system and the associated warning times to impact after the detection.
The Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) was our first line of defense against ICBMs launched over the North Polar regions. As the threat progressed and Soviet’s deployed submarines off both coasts we had no existing detection system in place. As an interim solution, various height finder radars, deployed for air defense, were modified to perform SLBM detection. This system became known as the Sea Launched Ballistic Missile Warning and Detection System. Another name for the conglomerate of radars was the FUZZY Seven System after the Air Force nomenclature FSS-7 for the modified height finders.
The Pave Paws display is moving along also and we are hoping for a software training system late this year. The system can then be used by visitors to see an actual operation.
The Defense Support Program (DSP) exhibit is in the works. We expect a model of the actual satellite this year and as of now we have a couple of small models flying in the exhibit area. Additionally, two display cases have been constructed with the help of the Go To Gang. One of these will be used to describe the DSP Mobile Ground System together with a model of the mission truck. The other will display various items from the worldwide DSP sites.
The ALERT demonstration has been fixed and it can be run to demonstrate launches during the first Iraq war.
Finally, we have a story in the VELA satellite area that explains the VELA nuclear detection mission. The VELA satellite is an actual satellite and the various spacecraft components are labeled for the visitor.
We hope visitors will come and use the demonstrations, and have an understanding of this important Air Force mission.
FRIENDS OF THE MUSEUM
As 2006 comes to a close and we anticipate the New Year, it is time to reflect on all of the great improvements that your kind and generous
contributions have made possible:
Restoration of EC-121T Warning Star’s radomes and air stairs
Installation of restored HAWK missiles on the launcher
P-40 Warhawk re-painted
Medal of Honor Park completion and dedication
Museum recognized by the AFSPC Facility Excellence Program
Please consider the Peterson Air and SpaceMuseum when you are making your annual contributions and gifts. Whether it is $10 or $1,000 every penny counts toward the acquisitions, improvements and success of the Museum.
Exciting plans for 2007 include the transfer of the Broadmoor Hangar to the Museum. This will double the size of the Museum and allow for many more dioramas and interactive displays.
If you haven’t visited the Museum recently, please do so soon. You will be amazed at how it has matured.
Please visit the Museum web site for a glimpse of the Museum and the volunteer and gift giving opportunities – www.petemuseum.org.
CY 2007 BUDGET
ED WEAVER, TREASURER
Can you say $76K plus some change? To be exact, $76,230. That’s the amount the Foundations’s Board of Directors approved as the income target for next year. This includes $25K of the Connie (to complete the exterior of the aircraft); $18K for the Broadmoor hangar conversion; money to move and increase the Gift Shop; $3.5K for construction of the ICBM exhibit
; and monies for a special event to mark the Air Force’s 60th, Air Force Command’s 25th , and Peterson AFB’s anniversaries. This is a very aggressive budget.
MUSEUM GETS A PEACEKEEPER MISSILE PROCEDURES TRAINER
The Museum has received a complete Missile Procedures Trainer (MPT) for the “Peacekeeper” ICBM weapon system from Vandenberg AFB, CA. The MPT was previously used to train missile crew members for the squadron at F. E. Warren AFB that operated the “Peacekeeper” for the 90th Missile Wing. (continued)
The MPT is a self-contained unit approximately 20 feet wide by 30feet long by 10 feet high. Assembling the MPT will be like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle and will take considerable time and energy to complete.
When assembled, we will have a much more complete representation of a LaunchControlCenter that controlled 10 “Peacekeeper” ICBMs. The MPT fully replicated all equipment in the operational LaunchControlCenter. Crew members could be trained in all procedures that they would need while on alert.
The MPT became excess to Air Force needs when the “Peacekeeper” weapon system was deactivated in 2006.
Volunteers are welcome to participate in the assembly and activation of the MPT. Contact the Museum staff or Ron Gray at 719-599-5024.
RAMP RATS REPORT
Most outside efforts at this time of year consist of ensuring that the aircraft are secured to their stands. All aircraft now have positive, tamper-resistant landing gear downlocks.
The F-102A has a new belly panel installed. Installation of landing gear doors is ongoing’ the problems are in obtaining usable left main landing gear door and parts to mount both doors.
The P-47N has its armor plate awaiting installation, probably after the holidays. The plate was fabricated from “scratch”, using available photos, and trial and error with templates. The finished, close-tolerance, one-piece product will be ¼” aluminum plate below the pilot’s shoulders, and ½” aluminum plate above. The 302nd FMS Sheet Metal and Machine Shop helped us immensely by cutting the pattern and bending the headrest, which is canted forward 25 degrees. We are currently finessing and painting the final product.
Recent contact with Westpac Restoration, who brings salvaged Warbird aircraft to flyable status for aircraft owners, brings us promise of a P-47 pilot stick (or pole to fighter pilots) to copy. It’s not simple, consisting of multiple bends and tapering. We will also get a pattern for the “stick” boot.
Weather and work permitting, we will install Plexiglas intake and tailpipe covers on all aircraft that have engines installed; this will allow for more interesting and meaningful viewing.
The Ramp Rats currently amount to two volunteers who maintain and improve 13 aircraft on wheels and three aircraft on poles (which are presently untouched). Another volunteer assists with Hawk interceptor missile launcher and missiles, and the anti-aircraft Nike missiles.
The 302 AW Field Maintenance Squadron is to be commended for the invaluable assistance they give us; they fill their training needs and we put hardware to use.
MUSEUM WELCOMES A CONNIE AFFICIONADO
Our Connie/EF-121T is known around the world not only from our web site (www.petemuseum.org) but other web sites as well. Ralph M. Pettersen, an aeronautical engineer, freelance aviation writer, and photographer specializing in “round engine” airliners is also the web master for www.conniesurvivor.com. Ralph has included our Connie on his web site since becoming active in 2002. Hi site also includes information on the four remaining Connies that are still airworthy.
Ralph was a special visitor to the Museum in November and his hosts were retired USAF Lt Col John C. Cawood, restoration team chief of our Connie; SMSgt Erv Smalley, web master for the Museum; and CMSgt Ernie Newman, museum volunteer. On a recent typical Colorado November morning the inside of the Connie was quite nippy, or better put, “very cold”. After a two hour tour, Ralph summed it up in these words, “Walking through the aircraft is like taking a trip back in time. The consoles and avionics are vintage vacuum tube and there is no glass cockpit in this airplane. What impresses me is the sheer amount of electronic equipment onboard the aircraft and what an absolute maintenance hog it must have been.
The group then moved to Solo’s restaurant for lunch where Ralph was greeted by another “round engine” aircraft. This time it was the KC-97 that has been converted into an annex of Solo’s restaurant. Ralph’s description of this nostalgic setting was, “Maybe there’s something to these airplane restaurants after all!” Of course, more photographs were taken and all this will be included in his review of the trip. All had a great time and we truly appreciate the exposure Ralph has given to our Connie.
PetersonMuseum personnel presented a small table-top display on 11 November, at Colorado Springs’ AscensionLutheranChurch. This is the
Church’s fifth year presenting “A Veteran’s Salute”. About 300 people were in attendance, including the Peterson AFB High Frontier Honor Guard, who presented the colors to start the program. Peterson Museum Volunteer docent Jim Bowden greeted the visitors, and explained a little about Pete Field’s WWII origins while handing out a good many membership brochures. Director Gail Whalen tracked down about a half dozen folks to interview, including a WWII B-24 bombardier who might five us some personal insight into our Norden bombsight, and a Viet Nam era veteran who was the first woman to earn a slot (and completed) airborne Jump School.
In the Museum’s display, a gray flight suit from our historic uniform collection caught the attention of the guest speaker, USAF Col Roscoe Griffin, who wore one just like it when he served a tour at CheyenneMountain.
We hope to expand and improve this display next year, and invite all our members who aren’t already committed to other Veteran’s Day activities to join us.
It was a very nice, non-denominational program, and really shows how the citizens of this community celebrate our veterans’ contributions.
RAMSTEIN AB REUNION
In October, Museum staff hosted tours of the Museum by personnel attending a reunion of those who served at RamsteinAB, Germany. In appreciation for the tour and our Docents they donated $450.00 to the Museum.
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The Peterson Air and Space Museum Newsletter is published by the Colorado Springs Peterson Air and Space Museum Foundation, Inc., a private entity no way connected to with the United State Air Force. Contents of the Newsletter are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U. S. Government or the Department of the Air Force.
Jerry M. Drennan, BGen (USAF, Retired), President
Jack L. McKinney, CMSgt (USAF, Retired), Editor
150 East Ent Avenue
Peterson AFB, CO80914
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