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Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Flashback: Hello, Helldiver!

This October, the Smithsonian Collections Blog is celebrating American Archives Month with a month-long blogathon! We will be posting new content almost every weekday with the theme Discover and Connect. See additional posts from our other participating blogs, as well as related events and resources, on the Smithsonian’s Archives Month website.

During Archives Month 2013, the National Air and Space Museum Archives told one of the many true stories behind the restoration of the Museum’s Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver.  In this story, restoration specialist Will Lee created a new clip for the outboard trailing edge using Curtiss manufacturer’s drawings from the Archives’ collections.

NASM Restoration specialist Will Lee with drawings from the Archives Department and newly fabricated parts for the Museum's Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver.  NASM 2013-03245
On April 1, 2014, the Helldiver finally went on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia!  Although you can’t see the clip Will constructed under the fabric, dope, and paint, we all know it’s there! 

The Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver on display at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center.  NASM 2014-01742
And that isn’t quite the end of the story. Will gave the Archives duplicate copies of his work. We now pair these pieces with reproductions of the drawings as show and tell in Museum events, such as Become a Pilot Day and the Hazy Open House.

Will's duplicate pieces were part of the NASM Archives showcase in front of the Helldiver at Become a Pilot Day 2014.  (I'm very excited about something!)  NASM 2014-03501
What is the National Air and Space Museum up to next?  Stay tuned for Monday’s post!

Elizabeth C. Borja, Archivist
National Air and Space Museum Archives

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