by Monica Mendoza
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — At the Peterson Air and Space Museum all things old are about to be new again.
A massive $76,000 restoration project of several aircraft is underway and expected to be completed by the start of the New Year, said Jeff Nash, museum deputy director.
The project, which gave special attention to the F-101 “Voodoo” aircraft, was funded by North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.
The Voodoo was an all-weather interceptor used by the Air Force’s Air Defense Command and it was designed for both tactical and air defense roles. The Voodoo aircraft retired from the Air Force inventory in 1974 and became part of Peterson’s Air and Space Museum.
The aircraft was relocated when the Peterson west gate was redesigned. Upon reaching its final destination at Peterson Boulevard and Hamilton Street, the aircraft was in need of paint, repair and restoration, Mr. Nash said. Now, the aircraft is being repainted in the colors and markings of the 13th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, reliving its glory days as a first-line, tip-of-the-spear protector of America nearly 50 years ago.
“This is a major restoration,” Mr. Nash said. “This aircraft needed work for a very long time.”
The funds from NORAD/USNORTHCOM have allowed the museum to restore additional aircraft, Mr. Nash said. Three restoration companies – Enviro-Tech out of Georgia, Lovern’s out of Colorado Springs, and Sooner Coatings out of Oklahoma – which specialize in restoring, treating and painting static display aircraft, are working on the museum’s aircraft now.
Other aircraft being restored in the project are the EC-121 “Warning Star,” the F-86 “Saber Dog,” the F-4 “Phantom,” the F-106 “Delta Dart,” the P-40 “Warhawk,” the F-94 “Starfire” and the T-33 “Shooting Star.” Also included in this project was a complete makeover of the MIM-3 Nike Ajax missile.
“We got a lot of mileage out of the money that was graciously given to us,” Mr. Nash said.
These aircraft, and other museum exhibits, trace the history of Peterson Air Force Base, NORAD and Air Force Space Command. The museum features 16 historic aircraft and six missiles. The Peterson museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; admission is free. The airpark is open for viewing at all times. Call 556-4915 for details.