|By Mark Nankivil|
The building has some wonderful architectural details and artwork that really add to the flavor of an aviation museum. The building interior is filled with aviation artifacts, aircraft and displays and has a number of dedicated rooms used for meeting spaces and education. Wichita's rich aviation history is well served by the museum, and a peek into their archives showed the depth of research material available to those writing on the history of companies like Travel Air, Stearman, Cessna, Beech, Boeing and newer companies such as Spirit Aerosystems. Outside of the building, there are a number of aircraft on display, including the Boeing B-47, of which just over 2,000 were made in Wichita. The one and only Beech Model 73 Jet Mentor is on display, showing its obvious relationship to the T-34 Mentor. There is a rare Beech Starship on display as well.
The Aero Experience wishes to thank Gerry Sibley for allowing us to access the Museum as normal hours this time of the year are on the weekend. A number of Docents were on hand during our visit to do restoration work on aircraft and displays, and one in particular was doing intricate detail painting in the main terminal to duplicate the way the building was decorated back in its heyday. The archives team was also on hand, and were a delight to talk to about the archived materials and artifacts in their care. All in all, a great group of people who add life and vigor to an amazing Museum.