Volunteers at the Connecticut Air & Space Center museum in Bridgeport have started the process of cleaning and restoring the historic Curtiss Hangar at Sikorsky Memorial Airport.
Visited over the years by aviation pioneers including Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes and Igor Sikorsky, the Curtiss Hangar will become a focal point for the museum, which is already home to a large collection of aviation artifacts including a flying full-size replica of Gustav Whitehead’s “No. 21,” an airplane that is claimed to have flown in Bridgeport two years before the Wright Brothers — though aviation historians doubt the account.
The museum is currently restoring an FG-1 Corsair that for many years was displayed on a pylon at the entrance to Sikorsky Memorial Airport. During World War II several thousand Corsairs were produced at the Army Engine Plant in Stratford, Connecticut, and flown directly to the Pacific Theater from Sikorsky Memorial Airport.
Restoration of the Curtiss Hangar is expected to be completed next year.