The AAM revitalization has taken a major step forward with the installation of three giant banners along the west wall of the museum. They will act as dioramas to help show the aircraft in their historic settings.
“The banners are 18 feet high, with the longest running 36 feet,” says AAM Head Curator Lech Lebiedowski. “So the Katherine Stinson airplane [depicted on the banner] is almost the same size as the the actual aircraft.”
Lebiedowski says the idea of the banners was born in part from the limitations of the World War II hangar the museum inhabits.
“It has to do with the historial designation of the building,” says Lebiedowski. “We cannot put up anything permanent. So this was good solution.” Lebiedowski also says the banners can also be moved if the displays change at a later time.
The first three banners, behind the Viking, the Curtiss Special and the Fairchild, are just the first to be installed. Another three banners, for the Cranwell, Stinson and the Norseman, should be up within a few weeks. Lebiedowski is also working on designs for along the east wall.
The banners were printed by Hi Signs, which did a “fantasitic job” producing and hanging them, Lebiedowski says.
The giant images came from the curator’s creative mind. Before this, he had never worked with image manipulation software. Despite that steep learning curve, Lebiedowski has created designs which are highly detailed and individualized to our collection of aircraft. But he says 418 Squadron Archivist Ryan Lee deserves much credit for the designs.
“Whenever I would have a problem or didn’t know something I would ask Ryan. Ryan was really the good spirit behind all this.”
Be sure to drop by and see for yourself the amazing transformation taking place at the museum.