National Park Service Announces 2016 Aviation Lecture Series: "To the Top of the Atmosphere and Beyond"

This rehabilitated DH-4 Liberty plane, which will be on permanent exhibit at Pearson Air Museum once it is completed, will be the topic of a lecture presented by its restorers: Century Aviation of East Wenatchee, Washington.


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News Release Date: January 21, 2016

Contact: Dr. Bob Cromwell, Acting Chief Ranger, (360) 816-6253

In the 2016 Aviation Lecture Series at Pearson Air Museum, titled To the Top of the Atmosphere and Beyond, four speakers will make connections between the past and the present, and between aviation and historic events of global importance. This series of lectures, presented by Fort Vancouver NHS and the Oregon L5 Society (a part of the National Space Exploration Society), will take place at the Tex Rankin Theater at Pearson Air Museum, located at 1115 E. Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661.

On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, at 7 pm, Portland State University Anthropology Professor Dr. Cameron Smith will present The History of Pressure Garments and Space Suits: Technological Evolution and Notes From Private Research. Dr. Smith will explore the history of the development of pressure and space suits used in the exploration of the outer reaches of our atmosphere and outer space, as well as his drive to develop, build, and test his own pressure suit.

On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at 7 pm, Flying in the BUFF: Personal Memories of the B-52 and Missions over Vietnam will be presented by National Park Service Volunteer-in-Parks Mac MacKinnen, who was a navigator in B-52 airplanes during the Vietnam War. MacKinnen will discuss the history and development of the B-52, its pivotal role in global scale aerial conflicts and the Strategic Air Command, and share some of his personal stories of his many missions on board the "BUFF."

On Saturday, February 20, 2016, at 1 pm, Mark Smith and Karen Barrow of Century Aviation will present Old Planes: A Labor of Love. Century Aviation of East Wenatchee, Washington, specializes in the rehabilitation of historic aircraft for museum and private displays. The life of an aircraft is not necessarily over when it is retired to a junkyard or replaced by more modern technology - at Century Aviation, historic aircraft are given new life. In this lecture, learn about the restoration of various historic aircraft, ranging from the famous Spruce Goose at Evergreen International Air and Space Museum, to Pearson Air Museum's own soon-to-arrive DH-4 Liberty.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, at 7 pm, Dr. Bob Cromwell, Acting Chief Ranger of Fort Vancouver NHS, will present New Research on Pearson Field's US Army Air Service 321st Observation Squadron, 1921-1942. Using newly acquired files from the US National Archives, as well as photographs and records from the national park's collection, Dr. Cromwell will present an overview of the activities, people, and planes associated with this little-known or researched Army Reserve Observation Squadron.

"This is the second year of our annual aviation-themed lecture series at Pearson Air Museum," said Dr. Cromwell, "It continues to build on the success of last year's lectures, with a wide variety of topics revolving around the exploration of flight."


Last updated: January 21, 2016

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