A Unique Experience

Today I had a unique experience. The Museum of Flight Restoration Center in Everett has worked since July 2017 to restore a Viet Nam era B-52. It will be the centerpiece of the Project Welcome Home Commemorative Park. The aircraft was painted in its VN era livery some months ago. Within a few weeks it will be disassembled for transport to the Museum of Flight Seattle.  The park honors veterans who served in all military branches between 1964 and 1975 (the Viet Nam conflict).

I do have some ambivalence.  This aircraft was a terrifying instrument of war.  I acknowledge that.  It will be re-purposed as a centerpiece in a park to honor the sacrifices of those who served our country in the military during the Viet Nam conflict.  In my youth I opposed the war but I never disrespected those who served in the military.  I’m doing this sketch (first in a series, I hope) to honor those who served. They deserve a Welcome Home.

Apart from my Museum volunteer duties, I like to sketch Museum events and activities. I arranged to have access to sketch this behemoth. I had to be escorted as it is located near Paine Field, behind a locked gate. I cannot say “Thank You” enough to Restoration Center staff Sheree Van Berg. She was so gracious to allow me to do this.

I had to get a long way back to get it from wing tip to wing tip. Note that there are outboard wheels on the wings to support them during take-off!

Then she offered what felt like a once in a life time experience. She took me into the flight deck of the aircraft! This is not going to be part of the display at the Museum.

The flight deck

More info about this B-52
http://www.museumofflight.org/Explore-The-Museum/Welcome-Home-The-B-52

Restoration process
http://www.museumofflight.org/Explore-The-Museum/B-52-Restoration-Progress

More photos are here: https://redharp.smugmug.com/MKB/2018-0228-B-52

While there, I scouted out location(s) outside the fence from which I might be able to sketch the disassembly. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to sketch its transport as that will happen at night. I do plan to be there when it arrives and sketch that event. So, I hope, there will be more sketches to come.

About redharparts

Born in Michigan. Attended undergrad and graduate universities there. I've lived in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington (state). I'm a retired Medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology. I've enjoyed exploring historical re-creation through the SCA. I costume in several fandoms. Lately I've returned to Art and have taken up Urban Sketching, a version of en plein air painting.
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2 Responses to A Unique Experience

  1. miatagrrl says:

    Wow, what a great opportunity!

    – Tina

  2. Pingback: Sans Engines | Red Harp Arts

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