Museum Display Area Expansion
By Mark Hurwitz
One of the key projects we are currently working on is the expansion of our museum display yard. This project more than doubles the size of the outdoor area that is now accessible to the public. We accomplished this by extending our fence line to allow access to all of our aircraft that are currently on display. Visitors can now get up close to the A-10 Warthog, F-18Hornet, and T-34 Trainer, in addition to our other aircraft.
And while the public now has access to this larger area, we still have more work to complete. The roof on the picnic area has just been replaced and we are working on landscaping the edges of this area to make it easier, and safe, to access and to use this wonderful outdoor space for picnics, parties and public events.
We also have plans to create a memorial garden in part of the newly extended area on the south end of the yard. This will hold all of the memorials from the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station that The Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum has been entrusted with. We will also place the recently dedicated memorial bench for 2nd Lt. James P. Kelly in the memorial garden area.
But that’s not all. The P-3 Orion has been moved from the west side of the base property to our Restoration area to be cleaned up in preparation for public display closer the museum. We plan to move the P-3 again later this year to join the other aircraft on display that tell the story of aviation history in the Delaware Valley.
All of this is happening now and over the coming months. It expands the museum experience for our guests of all ages and enhances our ability to relate the extraordinary history of flight, including the innovations, and inventions, of Harold F. Pitcairn.
All of this has opened up new opportunities for volunteers to help the museum as it continues to grow. What we need now is for the public to come and visit, talk it up to friends and neighbors and help us attract more visitors. And as we expand our need for funding has also grown. The cost of extending the fence line and putting a new roof on the picnic area, plus future landscaping work that includes the creation of the memorial park area, and moving the P-3 Orion add up very quickly for an all volunteer organization that does not get any Federal, State or Local funding. Your donations are critical to ensuring the future success of The Wings of Freedom Museum. We need you as visitors. We need you as volunteers. We need you as sales people and promoters of the museum. And we need your donations.