|English: MD-21 Blackbird with mounted D-21B Drone Displayed in Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|English: Williams X-Jet Displayed in Museum of Flight in Seattle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Long Beach, CA – September 20, 2013 – Having spent weeks researching her books on Long Beach aviation in the archives stored at Boeing, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske is convinced that they need to stay in Long Beach, “preferably in an aviation museum that could be established with a building donated by Boeing before it closes its C-17 plant in 2015.”
“While the announced closure of the C-17 plant in 2015 by Boeing will end this era of Long Beach history, it presents an excellent opportunity for the City to partner with Boeing to create a lasting legacy to commemorate our aviation history and to preserve thousands of archives, photographs and memorabilia that are specific to the history and residents of Long Beach and which are now in storage at a Boeing facility,” says Schipske, who represents the area in which Boeing is located.
Schipske notes that the Boeing archives and photographs not only chronicle the history of Douglas Aircraft, McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing operations in Long Beach, but provide a unique look at our local history during all of those periods in time.
“They have the rosters of employees from the 1940s. The newsletters feature photos and information on the people who worked in the plant – many of whom lived in Long Beach. Other photographs document how Long Beach workers produced the more than 15,000 planes made at the site. It is an incredible wealth of historical documentation and it should remain in Long Beach,” emphasizes Schipske.
Schipske believes that Boeing should be asked by the City to not only donate the archives specific to Long Beach, but should also be urged to donate a building that could be used as a Long Beach Aviation Museum that could house the archives and more.
“The City of Long Beach has spent considerable time, money and energy in support of Boeing’s efforts to maintain funding of its C-17 by the U.S. Air Force, but unfortunately production will cease in 2015. So now is the time to ask Boeing to help establish a Long Beach Aviation Museum.”
Schipske says there are thousands of retirees from Douglas, McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing who would welcome the opportunity to help establish and docent such a museum. “This could become a major tourist attraction for Long Beach,” pointing to the Seattle Museum of Flight (http://www.museumofflight.org/), where the Boeing Company was started, as an excellent example of what an aviation museum can do for a city. “More than 500,000 people visit this Smithsonian affiliate each year.”