Returning an aircraft to airworthy condition preserves the power and
grace of the performing machine.
Curtiss P-40E. TIGHAR photo.
Restoring an aircraft to its former appearance for static exhibition
provides a window to the past.
Vought Corsair KD431 at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, England
Sometimes, historically significant aircraft survive with much
of their original structure intact. Such aircraft are candidates
for true museum conservation – the preservation of the
actual material that was present at a particular moment in history.
Handley Page Halifax at Royal Air Force Museum,
Hendon, England. TIGHAR photo.
In some cases, an historic site might be best left undisturbed. This,
too, is a form of historic preservation.
Japanese engine and propeller on Betio Reef, Tarawa, Republic
of Kiribati. TIGHAR photo.
Decisions about what standard or form of preservation is most
appropriate for any given historic aircraft are up
to the individual owner, collector, or museum – so long
as they are carried out in accordance with applicable law.
TIGHAR’s goal is to promote awareness and recognition of
the various forms of preservation so that decisions by pilots,
managers and curators can be made from an informed perspective
and so that the aviation enthusiast public can better appreciate
and support their efforts.
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