Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

McDonnell Aircraft XF-85 Goblin Wind Tunnel Model Dedicated at Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum

By Carmelo Turdo
The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum dedicated a one-sixth scale restored wind tunnel model of the McDonnell Aircraft XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter during a mid-day ceremony held at historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  The museum hosted a group of retired McDonnell Aircraft employees and guests in the hangar following a luncheon held at the airport's nearby Spinners restaurant.  Prior to the arrival of the invited guests, museum members set up several displays featuring wind tunnel model parts from various known and unknown aircraft projects in addition to the Goblin model, which was kept under wraps until later in the program.  Here we present an illustrated recap of today's event:
The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum is the custodian of artifacts and memorabilia relating to aerospace activity in the St. Louis, Missouri and Metro East Illinois area.  The museum is located in historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport.  The museum offers three main galleries of aerospace memorabilia, along with special exhibits including a Lockheed Jetstar corporate jet once owned by Howard Hughes, F-4 Phantom II fighter jet restored cockpit and F-4 cockpit simulator, two working Link Trainers, other aircraft, engines and components.  New members and volunteers are welcome to participate in museum operations and activities.    
Howard Hughes Lockheed Jetstar outside of Museum

Goblin Model (foreground) with Link Trainers 

The museum provided several displays of wind tunnel model parts that will also be assembled and restored in the future.

McDonnell Model 44 wind tunnel model parts
Other wind tunnel parts, likely from McDonnell Demon fighter
The McDonnell Goblin wind tunnel model was unveiled to the invited guests by Museum members Past Curator Jack Abercrombie and Director Mark Badasch.  The model was donated by Rainy and Carol Bell, and restored by Greg Downen of Downen Signs.  Museum President Mark Nankivil presented a framed photo of the Goblin to Greg Downen in appreciation for his work on the model. 

Jack Abercrombie (left) and Mark Badasch unveil the Goblin model

Jack Abercrombie dedicates the Goblin model
Museum President Mark Nankivil (left) and Greg Downen

Museum Past Curator Jack Abercrombie gave a presentation on the development and testing of the McDonnell Goblin parasite fighter prototype.  The 15-foot long aircraft was launched from an EB-29 bomber during test flights in 1948-49 using a trapeze mechanism attached to the bomb bay.  The trapeze operator, McDonnell Aircraft engineer Les Eash, was present at today's dedication ceremony.  

Jack Abercrombie with the refurbished Goblin model

Jack Abercrombie gives a presentation on the Goblin program

Invited Guests included McDonnell Aircraft retirees
Jack Abercrombie and Les Eash relate Goblin stories

Following the program, guests toured the museum and Irve Burrows, McDonnell Douglas test pilot who flew the F-15 Eagle's first flight, took the Link D4 trainer for a spin.  

Museum member Bob Dighton and Jack Abercrombie visit with guests

Test Pilot Irve Burrows flies the Link D4 Trainer

No comments: