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[b]World's largest military aviation museum ready to build new addition[/b]
The world's largest military aviation museum is about to get bigger.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is set to expand its legacy with a new 224,000 square foot building to be constructed by Turner Construction Co. of Washington, D.C.
The contract for the museum's newest building, which will be similar in size and shape to its three existing hangars, was awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, for the amount of $35.426 million, and is being privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the museum's facilities.
Current plans call for construction to begin in late spring 2014 and be completed in the summer of 2015. The museum will then begin populating the building that fall. A public opening is anticipated in late 2015.
According to Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson, the fourth building will provide more educational opportunities, increase visitor access to the presidential and research and development aircraft and improve visitor experience with space exhibits and large aircraft...
The new Space Gallery will showcase the Space Shuttle exhibit featuring NASA's first Crew Compartment Trainer (CCT-1), a high-fidelity representation of a space shuttle crew station used primarily for on-orbit crew training and engineering evaluations. As a major exhibit component of that gallery, visitors will be able to walk onto a full-size representation of a NASA space shuttle payload bay and look inside the CCT-1 cockpit and mid-deck areas. Conceptual plans call for the gallery to also include a Titan IV space launch vehicle, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft and many NASA artifacts such as a nose cap assembly, landing gear strut and a variety of astronaut equipment. A range of satellites and related items will showcase the Air Force's vast reconnaissance, early warning, communications and other space-based capabilities...
The Air Force Museum Foundation recently gifted the funds necessary to begin construction of the building and will continue fundraising toward their campaign goal of $46 million, which would provide additional options and amenities for the building.
Since its inception, the Foundation has contributed more than $85.6 million for museum construction, expansion and facility upgrades.
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