Week two of the internship at the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum started a little different from the first week. DJ Armstrong and I were tasked with performing some research on the museum’s collection of aircraft in order to ensure the accuracy of some new placards that were being made for the displays. The first part of the research began with DJ and I physically climbing onto and into all of the aircraft at the museum in search of data plates to confirm a few things about each aircraft.
The data plates would confirm the aircraft type that it was purported to be. For example, the museum’s F-104A Starfighter was actually a pre-production YF-104A Starfighter. That may seem like a minor nomenclature distinction, but in reality, a YF-104A is a much rarer aircraft than the first regular production version F-104A. The aircraft specifications needed to change just slightly to accurately reflect the corrected version of the aircraft at the museum.
Another aspect that the data plates would confirm were the aircraft’s serial number for Air Force aircraft or Bureau Number for Navy Aircraft. These numbers are used to track the history of the aircraft through its respective service. This tells us when and where the plane served, and whether or not it served in a war zone during its career. The units that the aircraft served with help us to determine which paint and markings to restore the aircraft into for presentation in the museum.
DJ and I found that only 20% of the aircraft at the museum still had their factory data plates, so we were forced to refer to the museum’s data files to analyze the rest of the airframes’ history. This was accomplished over three days, and we reviewed the material for spelling and grammatical errors as well. Once complete, the Curator ordered the new placards for the aircraft, and once arrived, they will be em-placed on new stands for each aircraft at the museum.
During the research work for the placards, I was also tasked with my regular docent duties and giving tours. Sometimes manning concerns would relegate me to running the gift shop on occasion, but this normally did not happen for more than a couple of hours or so. Next week I look forward to doing some restoration work on the F-15 Eagle and/or the F-16 Fighting Falcon in preparation for the open house event that we will be holding on June 2nd. The Open House will be on Saturday from 0800-1600.