The Curatorial Department of the March Field Air Museum continues to provide educational exhibits and displays focused on a wide variety of aviation topics presented as engaging, interactive and visually compelling experiences for visitors.
Current projects completed, scheduled for completion, or significant advancement in the near future include:
The MFAM "Commercial Aviation Exhibit" tracing the evolution of civil aviation from the early Pan Am Clippers of the 1930's through the latest superliners. To date, four specially constructed cases equipped with airport taxiway lighting have been constructed to display recently donated artifacts. A 15-foot long quarter section of a 727 passenger jet has been installed inside the exhibit space to permit visitors to sit in the aircraft’s cabin and experience the comforts of modern air travel. The ties between military and commercial aviation development are explored with the Captain Walter Fus exhibit and the Bud Gurney “early aviator” display and interview are complete. With this weeks scheduled completion of the World Map Floor Mural by our own local artist Viviana Catalan the exhibit will be opened to the public.
The March Field Main Hangar timeline has been completed. All of the Decade Interpretation Exhibits are finished: the 1920's "March Field Re-Established" featuring the simulated interior of a reconstructed 20’s era hangar. The 1930's "March and the Great Depression" with an emphasis on March Field's role in the Civilian Conservation Corps and the buildup to World War II The “Pearl Harbor Exhibit” featuring artifacts, photographs and a specially produced MFAM DVD presentation featuring the personal stories of five local area Pearl Harbor veterans. The “Wartime Training at March Field” exhibit featuring the interior of the March Field Flight Operations Center in 1943 and the March Field Officer’s Club displaying Officers uniforms and artifacts in a recreated interior of the March Field Officer’s Club utilizing original cast bronze lighting fixtures are now open to the public.
The "Staff Sergeant Vincent J. Rogers Jr. Exhibit" is open. Using six 8' by 4' interpretive panels with period artifacts, sound isolation domes and a newly restored B-24 gun turret the exhibit traces the wartime experiences of Staff Sergeant Rogers. Dedicated to preserving the legacy of the common Army Air Force service members of World War II the exhibit was developed from Roger’s wartime letters. Motion activated sound domes permit visitors to hear Rogers describe each step of his captivating personal journey from recruit to hardened veteran as he teaches us the true cost of war.
“Women in the Aviation War Industry” exhibit featuring one of only 8 surviving Radioplane OQ-2A target drones has been completed and work has begun on the WACO Glider “Troop Transport Gliders during World War II” exhibit as well as the expanded and revised “Lady be Good” B-24 bomber exhibit,
Improvements to the "Strategic Reconnaissance Exhibit" featuring the SR-71 Blackbird and associated artifacts from the world of covert intelligence will continue. The acquisition of Central Intelligence Agency U-2 pilot Al Rand’s flight suit used during the build-up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and U-2 data link hardware and specialized aerial photography equipment have greatly enhanced the display.
Two large air conditioned exhibit cases have been completed in addition to a third case containing tactical reconnaissance artifacts. Upgraded graphics will be installed in late June.
Outside the main buildings the addition of a sound system to the “Fire Base Romeo Charlie” helicopter display area adds the final element of sound to our immersive Vietnam era exhibit. The first stage in the construction of the “Iraq-Afghanistan Campaign” interpretive area has been completed with the clearance of the museum’s back lot and erection of a radar tower and antenna.
Within the Restoration Department work on the F-89J has been completed with the aircraft now returned to its original 124th Fighter Interceptor Group colors. Our B-52 is nearing completion, a culmination of two years of intense effort and significant progress has been made on the F-1 Gnat and R50 Lodestar and the F-84C
These are but a few of the major revisions in March Field Air Museum’s future where we strive to provide a constantly improving, interesting and entertaining educational experience.