|By Mark Nankivil|
The second hangar is essentially the restoration hangar and is a real gem in its own right. Undergoing restoration at the time of our visit was a Hiller H-23 Raven and a North American F-86H Sabre. A most unique and likely only one of its type is the forward fuselage of a Chinese Shenyang F-8 fighter. In the mid-80s, under a Foreign Military Sales program, 55 F-8 fighters were to receive avionics upgrades from Grumman. With the sanctions put in place after the Tiananmen Square killings by the Chinese government, the program started to stumble and was finally cancelled in 1990. This forward fuselage was used as a mock-up for the avionics installation and somehow managed to survive and be displayed at the Combat Air Museum.
The staff at the Museum was great, and The Aero Experience wants to thank in particular the Curator, Danny San Romani, for taking time with me to share a look through the archives of the NAS Olathe material. Also, thanks to docent Ralph Knehans who took me around and shared details about the collection, including the origins of many of the aircraft and artifacts on display.