In the Museum: A French Treasure
- By Roger A. Mola
- Air & Space magazine, July 2002
NASM NEG 2002-2589
(Page 2 of 2)
Heinzel leans in. “I’m full of secret tidbits,” he whispers. “There is a cutaway engine at NASM of the FE-8, in the World War I exhibit. We took off those copper intakes, cast them in resin, and reinstalled the casts [on the FE-8]. We did such an accurate reproduction you can’t tell.” Heinzel’s team placed the real deals into the Caudron.
A propeller original to the period was found and installed, and Heinzel’s team precisely copied its pattern in walnut wood for the other engine. Propeller decals will be duplicated to match those of the original French manufacturer, Gremont.
For now the props, original and copy, are in storage at Garber. Future generations will not be able to easily distinguish the original from recent craftsmanship. Except perhaps, for the stencil on the new propeller’s center, which will be hidden when mounted. “NASM 2001 KLH” it reads. Karl L. Heinzel grins and glances at his feet.
—Roger A. Mola
Coming in 2003
The National Air and Space Museum is building the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a facility to display and restore part of its collection of historic aviation and space artifacts. Located at Washington Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia, the Center will open late next year. In addition to restaurants, a movie theater, and an observation deck, the Center features a 104-foot-high hangar (below), in which 73 aircraft will be suspended from the ceiling (each arch can hold up to 20,000 pounds). For more construction site photographs, visit www.nasm.edu.