Raiders of the Lost… Wing?


In a nearly forgotten corner fo the AirVenture grounds…. in a nondescript red building…

Behind this unmarked white door…

You will find a vast warehouse full of shelves, craters, and the framework of flying machines that could leave an aviation historian puzzled and enchanted for a lifetime!

This unnamed storage facility hiding in the backwaters of the show is home to items that have been donated to, or acquired by, the EAA museum, yet have not found homes in a display or collection. Airframes, engines, propellers, accessories, trinkets, goo-gaws, thing-a-ma-bobs… and a lot of things that have even less formal names are stored here in rows and rows, and rows… some in crates, some in the cardboard boxes in which they arrived from some musty attic or barn. It would take several lifetimes to sift through this delightful avalanche of aviation history, but what a set of lifetimes that would be!

What could possibly be stored in these carefully-built (but unlabeled) crates? Mystical relics of the Golden Age of Aviation?

If that jet engine, or those airliner seats could talk, what would they tell us of aviation dreams long gone by? Even that bicycle probably has a story…

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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