Foundation Fundamentals – Construction Update June 2018

Yankee Air Museum is continuing its work to renovate the famed Willow Run Bomber Plant to become the Museum’s future new home!

The new home of the Yankee Air Museum will be in the historic Willow Run “B-24 Liberator” Bomber Plant west of Detroit. 
Here, “Rosie the Riveter” made her mark, and the assembly line produced one bomber every hour at peak production 
during WWII.

The Museum succeeded in acquiring the famed “roll out” portion of the Willow Run Bomber Plant where the completed B-24 Liberator bombers exited the factory out of its two iconic bay doors.

Now, renovation of the structure is continuing in summer 2018 after a year of intense underground utility and infrastructure work during the 2017 construction season. We called 2017 the year of the “Big Dig,” and succeeded in bringing in all new utilities from over 2,000 feet away. With help from our donors and construction partners, we encountered and overcame many significant logistical challenges presented by the site.

This summer, Yankee Air Museum is building a solid infrastructure for the next phase of the Save the Bomber Plant Campaign. We will connect the building utilities and work on the mechanical systems for the new home of the Yankee Air Museum. While not generating the “wow factor” that the finishing touches will, these efforts are foundational to creating a boldly reimagined museum in the years ahead.

Thanks to your support for the Save the Bomber Plant Campaign, we have made significant progress on the museum construction. We need your help more than ever as we lay the groundwork for the next phase.

The new and reimagined Yankee Air Museum in the Willow Run Bomber Plant will house over 20 historic aircraft, allow for expanded educational programs and exhibits, and introduce future generations to the story of the brave men and women who envisioned, built and worked at Willow Run.

It will also introduce visitors to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines that fuel our economy. And, as befits the Willow Run location, the museum will have a special focus on manufacturing innovation.

The foundation must be set to Save the Bomber Plant and transform it into a museum. We need your continued support!

Please click here to give generously today to the Save the Bomber Plant Campaign. Thank you for your support as we work to restore this prominent piece of local, regional and national history! 
Remember, your gift is tax deductible as provided by law.

Scroll to enjoy a photo gallery of recent construction and renovation highlights…

This photo clearly demonstrates one of our significant logistical challenges from the 2017 “Big Dig.” It shows how thick the concrete floor of the Bomber Plant was. We had to cut through that slab for well over 2,000 feet in various areas to install utilities. Ford Motor Company, along with architect Albert Kahn, really built this place to last!

This interesting photo from the 2017 “Big Dig” shows one of the old original sewer catch basins — built out of brick — and the new black flexible pipe sanitary force main sewer that we are installing. We will actually use the old structure to route the sanitary sewer through.

This photo from February 2018 shows the elevated Final Inspection Office area of the Willow Run Bomber Plant. The tracks visible in the floor were used to move fully built B-24s back and forth sideways between the two final assembly lines.

The towing tug shown in this photo is now owned by the Yankee Air Museum! In this photo from 1945, it is being driven by Henry Ford II and is towing the very last B-24 out of the Bomber Plant.

The 2018 construction season will bring further renovations to the historic Willow Run Bomber Plant, including work on HVAC, lighting, painting, fire suppression and more underground work.

We look forward to sharing our history and preservation efforts with our supporters!

Thank you for your ongoing support, which has made great progress possible! But your help is still needed to turn historic Willow Run into a museum…

Together, “We Can Do It!” Please do your part. Please give generously!

(Click here to donate.)

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)