Collections Highlights

Back to Collections

Recent Donations

Preventative Care

Make a Donation

During the 75th Anniversary we dedicated the new lobby exhibit featuring AMA Ambassador and former astronaut and naval aviator, Robert “Hoot” Gibson. The exhibit features several trophies, an F-16 model airplane and a NASA Flight Suit on loan from Hoot. Included in the exhibit as illustrations of Hoot’s career are models of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, an F-14 Tomcat and Hoot’s Cassutt Racer. Due to the nature of these models matching the ones flown by Hoot, it was necessary for the museum to create these models from scratch instead of having them donated. Here’s a look at some of the pictures of the creation process that went into the exhibit overall.

November 1, 2010 – Installing the exhibit’s backdrop so that the prints matched up was a tricky process. November 1, 2010 – Installing the exhibit’s backdrop so that the prints matched up was a tricky process.
 January 6, 2011 – Staff had to test size and spacing with a cardboard mock-up of the shuttle and the monitor before work on the shuttle could begin. January 6, 2011 – Staff had to test size and spacing with a cardboard mock-up of the shuttle and the monitor before work on the shuttle could begin.
January 7, 2011- Determining the angle to begin carving the shuttle out of foam. January 7, 2011- Determining the angle to begin carving the shuttle out of foam.
January 12, 2011 – The shuttle is made up of green foam used for floral displays and pink industrial Styrofoam planks. January 12, 2011 – The shuttle is made up of green foam used for floral displays and pink industrial Styrofoam planks.
January 14, 2011 – The wings are supported with wooden rib supports. Here are the grooves cut in the Styrofoam for the ribs. January 14, 2011 – The wings are supported with wooden rib supports. Here are the grooves cut in the Styrofoam for the ribs.
January 17, 2011 – Here’s the installed wing ribs/supports. January 17, 2011 – Here’s the installed wing ribs/supports.
January 28, 2011 – The engines are wood pieces and heavy plastic cut round and sanded smooth. January 28, 2011 – The engines are wood pieces and heavy plastic cut round and sanded smooth.
February 2, 2011 – The foam shuttle with the models used to determine its look and measurements. February 2, 2011 – The foam shuttle with the models used to determine its look and measurements.
Feb. 2, 2011 – The wooden wing aileron. Feb. 2, 2011 – The wooden wing aileron.
April 12, 2011 – The model was covered in multiple thin layers of spackle. April 12, 2011 – The model was covered in multiple thin layers of spackle.
April 12, 2011 – The detailing in the nose reinforced with cut-out wooden blocks. April 12, 2011 – The detailing in the nose reinforced with cut-out wooden blocks.
April 12, 2011 – It took quite a while for the layers of spackle to dry properly. April 12, 2011 – It took quite a while for the layers of spackle to dry properly.
April 13, 2011 – The engines look pretty realistic when installed. April 13, 2011 – The engines look pretty realistic when installed.
April 18, 2011 – The extra weight of the spackle meant that the original bracket was not strong enough to support it in the exhibit. Good thing we tested it beforehand. April 18, 2011 – The extra weight of the spackle meant that the original bracket was not strong enough to support it in the exhibit. Good thing we tested it beforehand.
May 12, 2011 – Once the shuttle was built and properly prepped with spackle, local modeler Jeff Groves sanded and painted it for us. May 12, 2011 – Once the shuttle was built and properly prepped with spackle, local modeler Jeff Groves sanded and painted it for us.
May 23, 2011 –Here’s the reinforced bracket attached to the support for the video monitor. May 23, 2011 –Here’s the reinforced bracket attached to the support for the video monitor.
June 5, 2011- Here’s the first paint coat on the bottom of shuttle. June 5, 2011- Here’s the first paint coat on the bottom of shuttle.
June 7, 2011- Hoot loaned the AMA his flight suit for the display. To display it, we built a frame of plumbing PVC. – It was a bit too wide for the first try, and needed to be cut down. June 7, 2011- Hoot loaned the AMA his flight suit for the display. To display it, we built a frame of plumbing PVC. – It was a bit too wide for the first try, and needed to be cut down.
June 9, 2011- The frame was wrapped and padded with inert, acid-free foam. June 9, 2011- The frame was wrapped and padded with inert, acid-free foam.
June 9, 2011 – Once the frame was dressed in the flight suit, it was further padded out with acid-free tissue paper. June 9, 2011 – Once the frame was dressed in the flight suit, it was further padded out with acid-free tissue paper.
June 16, 201- The paint job is coming along. June 16, 201- The paint job is coming along.
July 8, 2011 – The exhibit is in a small space so everything needed to be angled just right so everything could be properly seen. July 8, 2011 – The exhibit is in a small space so everything needed to be angled just right so everything could be properly seen.
July 14, 2011- Once everything was in place – including a fabric drape to cover the floor and adding Hoot’s trophies, the exhibit was finished. July 14, 2011- Once everything was in place – including a fabric drape to cover the floor and adding Hoot’s trophies, the exhibit was finished.
July 14, 2011- Hoot spoke at the dedication, sharing stories from his modeling experiences, as well as his career. July 14, 2011- Hoot spoke at the dedication, sharing stories from his modeling experiences, as well as his career.