In the Museum: Model Employee
- By Sara Duncan Widness
- Air & Space magazine, May 2007
(Page 2 of 2)
The Soviet N1 heavy rocket booster was supposed to be the means by which the Soviets were going to put a man on the moon. It was an enormous rocket, according to Gianakos, “every bit the equal of the Saturn V and even more powerful.” Between 1969 and 1972, the Soviets attempted four launches of the N1, each of which failed, and they cancelled the program in 1974.
The Navaho was a U.S. Air Force intercontinental surface-to-surface missile designed to carry a nuclear warhead. Although the Navaho flew nine flight tests between 1956 and 1958, the project was cancelled due to cost overruns. “[The Navaho] was very important in the advancement of space technology and long-range navigation,” says Gianakos.
Aside from the models, Gianakos’ presence is felt in other, unexpected ways in the Museum. A new exhibit in the Air Transport Gallery will feature the nose section of a Boeing 747—the very one that Gianakos has flown a number of times in his career (see “Nose Job,” below). It will be the first full-scale “model” of his in the Museum.
A 747 NOSE SECTION IS THE LATEST addition to an exhibit called America by Air, scheduled to open in 2008 in the Museum’s Air Transport gallery. Model maker Dave Gianakos flew the aircraft that donated its nose; the last time he piloted the 747, he flew 450 troops from Alexandria, Louisiana, to Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, just a few months prior to the 747’s retirement from Northwest Airlines service. For more information on the jet’s big move, visit www.airspacemag.com.