The Museum of Flight’s combat veteran Boeing B-52G Stratofortress will soon move from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, to the Museum’s West Campus at Boeing Field in Seattle. The aircraft has been in open storage at Paine Field since she retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1991. She rolled off the Wichita, Kansas production line in 1960 as 59-2584, and served in Strategic Air Command for her entire career. The bomber took part in the Linebacker II bombing campaign over Vietnam in December, 1972, an operation which led directly to the negotiations for the U.S. to depart the conflict. Nicknamed Midnight Express, 59-2584 flew 15,305 flight hours before shutting down for the last time. The aircraft, while recently cleaned up and repainted, is still in need of further work before she will be ready for display. Over the past few weeks, the museum has had the massive bomber disassembled, with some components making their way by road to Seattle in recent days. This effort has been a part of the museum’s Project Welcome Home, a plan to create an outdoor Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park at the museum…
As the museum’s press release continues… The project’s grand finale will be June 2-3, when the final sections (two 100-foot wings and the 170-foot-long fuselage) will be trucked on separate flatbeds to Boeing Field. The plane will be restored and put on permanent display in a new exhibit, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, opening this fall.
To minimize traffic congestion during their 40-mile journeys on I-405 and I-5 freeways, the large, rare and eye-catching cargo will make the 2-hour trip between midnight and 4 a.m. The wings arrive first. The fuselage will be trucked on June 3, and will be staged near its destination so the public can join in a welcoming celebration in the Museum’s Aviation Pavilion at 8 a.m., when its drive will be completed in view of fans, veterans and City of Tukwila officials. The outdoor welcoming is free, and the Museum will open for business an hour early-9 a.m. with free admission to U.S. veterans.
For more information about the musuem and the memorial, visit www.museumofflight.org