Frequently Asked Questions About the Campaign…
Who’s Behind The Campaign?
The Campaign has been organized by the Michigan Aerospace Foundation, the facilities fundraising sister organization to the Yankee Air Museum, to raise the funds needed to accomplish this. The Campaign itself is led by volunteers, but it is the Foundation’s leadership that provides day-to-day management of this Campaign.
What happens now that the SaveTheBomberPlant.org has succeeded in preserving a portion of the Willow Run Bomber Plant?
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” — Winston Churchill, 1942
To paraphrase Churchill, this is, “The end of our beginning.” Now that we’ve saved our portion of the Bomber Plant from demolition, we have to raise the funds necessary to fill our big, empty historic box with history.
When will the Yankee Air Museum move into the Willow Run Bomber Plant?
There is a lot of work that needs to be done to the building before it’s ready for habitation. With one and a half walls, and all utilities, gone when the rest of the plant was demolished, a lot of rebuilding and securing and reconnecting has to be done. And after that, interior renovations and the building of exhibits must begin. So, we still need to raise a great deal of additional money before we have a fully-functional Museum inside the former Bomber Plant. Our goal is to raise the funds necessary to complete restoration, and move the Yankee Air Museum into the preserved portion of the Willow Run Bomber Plant by early 2018.
Will it still be called the Yankee Air Museum?
When the Yankee Air Museum moves into the Bomber Plant, it will become the National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run. Until that process begins in 2018, however, the new name will be used primarily for fundraising and as a means of describing the new facility and exhibits to be created with funds raised through the Save the Bomber Plant Campaign. The existing facility and organization will remain the Yankee Air Museum, and the Yankee Air Museum will continue to operate at its present location on the opposite side of the airfield from The Willow Run Bomber Plant, until the new site in the Bomber Plant opens.
Why is a new name needed?
An internal planning committee worked for several months on storylines and exhibits for the new museum. Over the course of its work, that group came to believe that a new name might be necessary in order to call attention to the much larger and more educationally ambitious museum that will be created in the Bomber Plant.
How was the new name developed?
Some potential names were proposed by the Vision and Strategy Group. Those names were tested with external focus groups by a well-regarded market research firm working on behalf of the museum. The new name was then recommended to the museum’s board of directors and adopted.
What was the thinking behind the particular name that was selected?
Three elements of the new name are intended to send specific messages about our museum’s rising ambitions, growing breadth and historically-significant location. National —This will be a national museum, a unique venue that that preserves and tells the story of the plant that best exemplified the World War II Arsenal of Democracy. Technology—Our museum has already moved beyond aviation history to include aviation-related hands-on learning experiences focused on the underlying science and technology as a means of engaging children and young adults with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. At Historic Willow Run—The Willow Run Bomber Plant is an important historic site, the best-known World War II war plant, the topic of books and the place where the original Rosie the Riveter (Rose Will Monroe of Pulaski County, KY) did her riveting. When can I get merchandise with the new name and logo? National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run merchandise will go on sale to the general public when the new facility opens.
Will the “Save the Bomber Plant” campaign now also get a new name?
No. “Save the Bomber Plant” is a compelling name that has helped us achieve high visibility with the media and public. Achieving comparable visibility using something new would require an expenditure of time and money that we would prefer to invest in the project itself. The campaign, however, is evolving to focus more on raising the money needed to create the new museum’s facilities and exhibits and less on preserving the building itself
What is the legal status of the new name?
The new name is a DBA under which the Museum will do business. The legal entity and name used on official filings, however, will remain the Yankee Air Force for both administrative convenience and as a means of recognizing the museum’s proud heritage and honoring the Yankee members who played such important roles in its growth and development.
Is this an exciting vision for the new Museum at Historic Willow Run? We think so.
Together, “We Can Do It!” Please do your part. Please give generously!
Thank you for your support!
The Michigan Aerospace Foundation
The Yankee Air Museum
Campaign Co-chairmen: Jack Lousma, NASA Astronaut (retired); Bob Lutz, GM Executive (retired)