ASHLAND – The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum offers a new lecture series that includes an opportunity to view inside historic aircraft.
The Aircraft Adventure Series is focused on the museum’s collection, highlighting historic events from World War II through the Cold War.
The curator-led speaker series will include the opportunity to view artifacts that are not on display and learn about historic events from a subject matter expert. Each event begins at 10 a.m. with a presentation near each featured aircraft. Aircraft tours will end at 2 p.m.
The series begins Feb. 9, with a presentation on the C-54 Skymaster’s role in World War II and later the Berlin Airlift, with an opportunity to get inside the aircraft. The event begins at 10 a.m. with a presentation focused on Capt. Norm Stevens and his experiences with the C-54 Skymaster aircraft during World War II and later the Berlin Airlift.
The late Stevens was a Nebraska resident with a 10-year U.S. Air Force career. He flew the C-54 military transport around the world. He evacuated prisoner-of-war nurses from the Philippines in the latter days of World War II, hauled food and fuel into besieged Berlin during the airlift of 1948-1949 and ferried wounded troops from Korea to Japan during the Korean War.
The museum’s curator will display unique artifacts from the museum’s collection for each event. The Feb. 9 Aircraft Adventure will include 1940s flight gear, an illustration appearing in the Columbus Evening Dispatch about General Curtis LeMay and his work with the Berlin Airlift and technical drawings and manuals of the C-54 Skymaster.
The C-54 aircraft will be open for public viewing immediately following the presentation. The aircraft are not usually open to the public and the Aircraft Adventure series provides a rare opportunity to get inside the aircraft and visit with museum volunteers about the aircraft and its missions.
The March 16 Aircraft Adventure series will include a presentation on Aircraft Ditching and Survival, focusing on Nebraska native Capt. Lee Seemann and the B-17 Flying Fortress during World War II.
On June 8, a presentation will be held about the Normandy Invasion of World War II “D-Day” from the perspective of paratrooper Ed Mauser and the C-47 Skytrain.
On July 13, there is a presentation on the museum’s Avro Vulcan and the Falkland Islands War.
On Aug. 10, guests will get to tour the museum’s archives with a presentation topic focused on Nebraska in the Cold War and how that shaped civil defense today.
On Sept. 14, a presentation will be held on early aerial refueling and the role of the city of Lincoln, featuring the KC-97 Stratofreighter.
On Dec. 14 there is a presentation on the supersonic nuclear bomber, the technology and innovation of the FB-111 Aardvark.
Reservations are not required. These events are available to the public as part of general admission and are free for members. Admission cost for adults is $12, military and seniors are $11, children age 4 to 12 are $6 and children 3 and under are admitted free.