Every so often a new plane is added to the Midway Museum collection. The historic aircraft carrier USS Midway, active from 1945 to 1992, now has a couple dozen restored airplanes among its exhibits. Today the latest addition was hoisted up onto the dockside elevator by crane from the pier below! I was there to snap a few cool pics!
The last time I saw an airplane brought over from North Island, where the restorations take place, it was by barge. So I was surprised this time when a plane arrived on the back of a truck. This F4F Wildcat is a specimen of the small carrier-based fighter that helped to win the Battle of Midway during World War II. This particular plane was salvaged from the bottom of Lake Michigan. Restoration in a special hangar at Naval Air Station North Island, across San Diego Bay, took three years. You’ll notice the wings are missing from the fuselage. They came in on a second truck!
The first photo shows the Wildcat arriving on the opposite side of Navy pier.
The truck has pulled alongside USS Midway’s dockside elevator, which is lowered and ready to receive the new exhibit.
A small crane waits off to the left to lift the airplane. Here we see some preliminary preparations.
Up it goes! Everybody was extremely careful that no mishaps occurred!
And finally the F4F Wildcat is aboard its new home! This plane will be part of a three dimensional theater exhibit called Battle of Midway Experience. I can’t wait to see it!