Building 170, 1976

On March 1, 1976, CAHA President Philip O’Keefe (soon to be museum director) signed an agreement with the state to lease an old World War II hangar on the east ramp of Bradley Airport. Called Building 170, this hangar offered new possibilities for the Bradley Air Museum.

After the collapse of the inflatable shelter in 1968, the museum had stored its airplanes in leased buildings around the airport in addition to an outdoor display. Building 170, which was 24,000 square feet, allowed the museum to display more of their aircraft along with their more fragile pieces that could no longer be left outdoors.

For the next few years, the Bradley Air Museum operated as a two-location museum as the indoor and outdoor displays were not located next to each other. Expanded staffing allowed visitors to travel between the two display areas with their two-part ticket. In 1978, the airport wanted to use the area for other purposes and offered the museum 56 acres in a different area. The move was sealed in 1979 when a tornado caused significant damage to Building 170. However, for the few years it was in use, Building 170 brought the Bradley Air Museum into a new era in its history.


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