New England Air Museum Gets An Upgrade

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Work has begun on major improvements at the New England Air Museum, adjacent to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The $1.9 million project aims to enhance the visitor experience. The project will create lofty mezzanines in two of the massive aircraft hangars, which will provide vistas over the museum's aircraft collections. The mezzanines, equipped with grand staircases and elevators, will create space for additional exhibits, public programs and events. The project will also install energy-efficient heat and air-conditioning systems, as well as new LED lighting. Aircraft will be relocated to take advantage of the new perspectives.

The project also will create new exhibits and graphics in the museum's galleries and add new exterior signage and branding. The museum will remain open throughout the construction, with completion slated for mid-August. The work is funded by a state bond, grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Pratt & Whitney and museum resources. The collection includes a B-29 Superfortress; a Silas Brooks balloon basket built in 1870, which is believed to be the oldest surviving aircraft in the United States; the 1912 Bunce-Curtiss Pusher, the oldest surviving Connecticut-built airplane; the Sikorsky S-39, the oldest surviving Sikorsky aircraft; and a Kaman K-225 helicopter, the oldest surviving Kaman-built aircraft.

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