How we get our aircraft to the Museum is a two-part answer!
So, they either fly in or they are trucked in – how simple is that?! We haven’t had anything trucked in lately, but some of those moves proved to be quite challenging. The Sikorsky VS-44 Flying Boat came to us in several loads, the biggest one being the hull. This required a lot of planning and engineering to insure that the hull was not crushed as it was placed on its side. Going way back into the distant past, our Museum’s “ancestors” worked miracles in trucking the Goodyear K-Ship Blimp Car in one piece from Akron and in bringing up the Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster from Baltimore.
Now regarding the airplanes that have flown in – how does that work?
Thanks to our many friends at Bradley International Airport, the aircraft are flown into and parked at various locations before they are tugged over to our premises.
Out latest arrival, the Coast Guard HU-25A Falcon was flown into Signature Flight Support and hangared there for several days while it was being prepped for delivery to the Museum. The Waco YKC-S was also flown into Signature before being tugged over to the Museum.
Going back several years, our F-14 Tomcat was flown into and hangared at the Army National Guard’s Aviation Support Unit at Bradley while it was being “de-milled.” Our Lockheed 10A Electra was transported from eastern Connecticut by a Chinook and delivered to our parking lot. Our DC-3 flew into Bradley and the McDonell Douglas F-4D "Phantom II" was flown into the Bradley Air National Guard Base to be “de-milled.”
Once the aircraft are ready for delivery to the Museum they are tugged over to the nearest paved point to the Perimeter Road where the fence can be taken down. Then it’s over the grass, through the hole in the fence and into our parking lot which has a take down fence. We have used our own tug for some of the moves and in other cases we have gotten help from the Army National Guard, FedEx, Signature Flight Support or the Air National Guard. None of these moves would have been possible without assistance from our friends including the great operation and maintenance staff at Bradley!