Pin It
Favorite

Celebrating Spokane's Troops 

by DOUG NADVORNICK & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & A & lt;/span & rne Weinman is collecting airplanes. A year or two ago, the retired Air Force Colonel-turned-homebuilder returned from Phoenix, where he picked up an old P-17 military plane (the P-17 was flown for about 20 years, beginning in the mid-1920s) and trucked it back to Spokane.





"We had to take the thing apart first. We used slings to hold up the wings," Weinman remembers. "There were only two pins holding each of the wings to the plane. When we got it apart, we loaded the pieces onto an 18-wheeler and drove it back and put it all back together here."





Eventually Weinman hopes to display the plane, and several others, in Spokane's new Armed Forces and Aerospace Museum, to be located on land just southeast of Spokane International Airport, visible from Interstate 90 near the Geiger Interchange.





The museum has been on the drawing board since 1995; it was initially to be located on land at Fairchild Air Force Base. But organizers found a more visible site in the airport's business park. The new facility will feature some of the thousands of artifacts from the now-closed Fairchild Air Force Base museum that are stored at the Northwest Museum of Arts & amp; Culture. "But this won't be just an Air Force museum," says Weinman. "Spokane's military history pre-dates the Civil War, going all the way back to George Wright," he says. "We want to tell the whole story, about all of the service branches."





"I'm not only impressed that they've saved most of the artifacts from what the military evaluated as one of the best museums out there," says Howard Lovering, the museum's consultant who was also involved in creating Seattle's Museum of Flight. "But I'm impressed by the positioning of the new facility. It's not just an old heritage museum. It's a history of the military and technology. That's a wise move."





Organizers say the new facility will have aircraft on display, classrooms, flight simulators and theatre spaces, in addition to galleries with exhibits that will be changed a few times a year. The museum will be located so as to allow planes to fly into SIA and taxi over to the facility.





"It's taken us a long time to get the Air Force to give the museum artifacts to us and to get the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to approve our site," says Weinman. "Now we're ready. We have a building design, drawings, everything except the money we need."





The cost for the first phase of the project is estimated to be $12 million, of which about $2 million has been raised. Weinman and the other organizers asked the legislature for $5 million this year, but "they decided we weren't quite ready yet." He says they'll go back to Olympia and ask again next year. For now, museum organizers are proceeding with a fundraising campaign, including a public event with special guest, talk show personality Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Thursday, July 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m at XN Air, 8125 W. Pilot Drive, at the Spokane Airport Business Park. Tickets are $100; call 325-0701, ext. 41. And next Thursday, July 26, Indian Canyon Golf Course will host a golf tourney and silent auction to benefit the museum. Call 466-2242.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Connecting the Dots
  • Connecting the Dots

    How the Washington state budget touches us all in Eastern Washington
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • See a Need, Fill It
  • See a Need, Fill It

    Publisher's Note
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • The Clouds Finally Part
  • The Clouds Finally Part

    A newly protected, 275,000-plus-acre Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness is a monument to working together for Idaho
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event

Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event @ Hillyard Library

Tue., Sept. 1, 6:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • 'Flip of a Coin'

    A Spokane Valley deputy trained to spot stoned and drunk drivers is wrong nearly as often as he is right, blood tests from drivers show
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


marijuana


Comment


Publisher's Note


BUSINESS


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation