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USAF Looks To Expand NMUSAF

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(photo courtesy of NMUSAF)


Construction of new Air Force Museum building could start in 2012



WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Construction of a building to house the spacecraft collection and former presidential aircraft at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force could start in 2012 if fundraising stays on track, museum officials said Monday.


That 200,000-square-foot building would house a retired space shuttle, if the Air Force museum is ultimately awarded one by NASA for permanent display. It would also house the museum’s seven former Air Force aircraft dubbed “Air Force Ones” that carried U.S. presidents.


NASA may not announce until summer 2011 which contenders will be awarded the retired shuttles because of a revamped schedule for the orbiters that will have them flying well into 2011, said museum director Charles Metcalf and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who visited the museum Monday. The government previously had planned to retire the shuttle fleet this year.


NASA has already said it plans to award a shuttle to the Smithsonian Institution for its National Air and Space Museum. The Air Force, which helped bring the shuttle into existence, has formally requested one for the Air Force museum. Other contenders include the Johnson Space Center, Houston, and Kennedy Space Center, Fla.


Brown said he has been lobbying NASA in behalf of the Air Force museum.


The Air Force Museum Foundation, which raises money for the Air Force museum’s needs, has raised $18.6 million toward an initial goal of $25 million that would be enough to construct a basic building to house the spacecraft and aircraft, museum officials said Monday. The foundation estimates it would need to raise an additional $17 million to fit out the building for opening to the public and for outside parking lots, sidewalks and landscaping.


Museum officials are hoping the foundation will transfer an initial $175,000 within the next week or two for the start of design and environmental studies for the new building, said Dan Dobbyn, chief of the museum’s operations division.


Plans are to heat and cool it with a geothermal system that would make use of ground water, Metcalf said. It costs about $750,000 annually to heat and cool the museum’s three hangar-style, existing buildings, which is second only to payroll among the museum’s biggest expenses, he said.

U.S. Air Force AIM Points



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It looks like they want to put the space flight and presidential collections into the new hangar.

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