By Staff Sgt. J. Aaron Breeden
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — A restoration project that started in August is breathing new life into several aircraft in and around the Peterson Air and Space Museum, and will likely be completed this spring after Old Man Winter has come and gone.
What started as a small restoration project grew into the complete repainting of eight aircraft and touch up of two others.
Museum curator Jeff Nash explained the museum is charged with ensuring all of their aerospace vehicles are maintained and preserved as accurate representations for guests visiting the museum, and he said he’s pleased to see this project underway.
Although Peterson is a space base, the aerospace vehicles represent the historical and current missions of the 21st Space Wing and its tenant units.
Nash said since 1951 the Air Force’s former Aerospace Defense Command, then a component of Northern American Aerospace Defense Command,existed at Peterson until NORAD moved here in 1957.
“The aircraft and missiles we have on display here at the museum and elsewhere on Peterson are weapon systems used by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army Air Defense Commands,” Nash said.
Along with the static displays outside of the museum, inside there are treasures which showcase the rich history of Team Pete, the construction of Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, and the evolution of the space missions operating today.
“For over 60 years, units at Peterson and other Air Force bases in Colorado Springs have supported the aerospace defense mission,” he said. “The display aircraft and missiles you see around base are silent representatives for members of Team Pete who supported those missions.”
Nash said future projects will include renovating the Broadmoor Hangar, currently used for administrative space and artifact storage, with new and updated exhibits to help tie the hangar into the rest of the displays at the museum.
The museum will continue to operate normal business hours throughout the restoration project. For those interested in volunteering at the museum or for more information visit http://petemuseum.org/.