The 2nd annual AirPigz Air Force Museum MeetUp is underway right now from Friday thru the weekend (January 27-29, 2012) - and today was the behind-the-scenes tour at the restoration shop. These special tours run only on Fridays and advance reservations are required - get more info here. Last year, when we saw the historic Memphis Belle B-17 that's been undergoing restoration for several years now, it was a fuselage in two parts with the wing removed, no engines and no landing gear. This year the airframe has really made progress, as the CoolPix image above shows. (pix 4 and 5 in this post show it from last year)
We heard that the project has been given extra high priority, and this progress really seems to reflect that. This is a good time to make it clear that these restoration shop tours are absolutely fantastic as they not only give you the opportunity to see some fascinating aircraft being worked on, but you can also get remarkably up-close with them. The tours are guided by museum staff, and each of the several guides typically leads 5 to 7 people thru. And it's not just one aircraft that's being worked on... there are usually several projects that range from relatively simple to extremely extensive like the Memphis Belle. Between the amazing access and the info shared by the guides, I highly recommend you find a time to come experience this unique aspect of the Air Force Museum, especially since it's free!
A total of nine of us gathered for the restoration part of the AirPigz Air Force Museum MeetUp, and I expect more will join in on Saturday and Sunday as we take in the regular parts of the facility. In fact, you can see me (far right) and @adamcanfly (next to me) pointing as we have just spotted @pilot2b as he was driving in on the access road directly behind our tour guide who was nice enough to help with taking the picture after the tour. We're all having a great time in Dayton... YOU should be here too!
Watch for more pix tomorrow night from other great parts of the Air Force Museum experience!