In early 1975, National Air and Space Museum staff began to fill the new museum with aircraft and spacecraft. The Douglas World Cruiser Chicago was the first aircraft to enter the new building. Given to the Museum by the U.S. War Department in 1924, the Chicago had been on continuous display in the Aircraft Building, and the Arts and Industries Building since that time.
The largest single craft to be displayed, a backup Skylab Orbital Workshop, presented special problems. Standing 48 feet tall and weighing more than 78,000 pounds, the spacecraft had to be cut into three sections, shipped by water to the Washington Navy Yard, transported to the Museum, and then reassembled in place. (4:19)